How to help a friend with vitiligo

How to help a friend with vitiligo

I once met someone who would not answer at all when asked about his vitiligo spots. I think he never had the time to absorb the changes he was going through and therefore was totally blocking this subject.

A person diagnosed with vitiligo might experience anything from loss of self confidence to deep depression. The fear of patches expanding quickly over visible areas can have a high impact around the age when one is most conscious about his appearance.

Friends and family can help a person diagnosed with vitiligo in emotionally dealing with the disease. Below are some ideas that may help:

  • Let them know that you are there for them, as you are now
  • Let them know that vitiligo will not stand in the way of their dreams because many persons with vitiligo live their dreams
  • Let them know that they could have gotten news of something far worse
  • Let them know that what they fill their life with is far more important then an outside shell
  • Be proactive and encourage them to get treatment and regain control of the disease: UV treatments and ointments are very efficient in re-pigmenting some areas
  • The change in their well-being may cause them to retract from social activities or become less active. Help them not to drop out of things they used to like (eg. swimming, pubic events) just because of being worried of how others may react to the spots.
  • Encourage them to talk to others who have vitiligo. A good place to start are vitiligo support groups or online forums