Public perception of vitiligo

public perception vitiligo

Have ever wondered how the vitiligo condition is perceived by others ? You may have sometimes noticed a long stare or have been asked some odd questions but what is someone thinking when seeing a person with visible loss of pigmentation ?

A study performed in Saudi Arabia reveals alarming results: the disorder is thought to be infectious by 20.4% of respondents (182 of 894), inherited by 40.5% (365 of 902), autoimmune by 41.2% (370 of 899) and due to a lack of hygiene by 22.5% (199 of 883). The study noticed that the responders with less education were more likely to think that vitiligo is caused by an infection or bad hygiene. Maybe the misconceptions are not so widespread in the western world.

The public perception of vitiligo is also dependent on the disease spread; for example visible spots on extremities, face and neck have a special impact. Around  half of the persons questioned would be unwilling to marry a person with vitiligo.
This social perception leads to low self-esteem, social isolation and overall poor quality of life in vitiligo patients. Because the wrong perceptions of the disease are common it would be necessary to raise the awareness level about this skin disorder.

Khalid, M. A., Noura, A. M., Mandil, A., AlKofidi, M., Madani, A., AlDaham, N., & Abbas, A. A. (2012). Public perceptions and attitudes toward vitiligo. Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery


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