chapter  17
10 Pages

Vitiligo

Many physicians are fatalistic regarding the treatment of vitiligo and either actively discourage patients from seeking therapy or tell them they should just live with their disease. In part this attitude is due to a belief that vitiligo is ‘‘just a cosmetic problem.’’ This viewpoint ignores the profound psychological and social disturbances that vitiligo can cause in patients with dark skin and patients who tan well during summer. Furthermore, using this reasoning many dermatologic complaints can be similarly classified as only cosmetic in nature. Another reason for fatalism is the belief that treatment is almost always unsuccessful. This belief is wrong. UV therapy, which is the most effective means of achieving repigmentation, but is not the only treatment, is less effective in vitiligo than it is in psoriasis, and yet many patients achieve a satisfactory result.