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What can people do to cope with vitiligo?

When you have vitiligo, you may be upset or depressed about the change in your appearance. There are several things you can do to cope with the disorder:

  • Find a doctor who knows how to treat vitiligo. The doctor should also be a good listener and be able to provide emotional support.
  • Learn about the disorder and treatment choices. This can help you make decisions about your treatment.
  • Talk with other people who have vitiligo. A vitiligo group can help you find a support group (check your local listings). Family and friends are another source of support.

Some people with vitiligo have found that cosmetics that cover the white patches improve their appearance and help them feel better about themselves. A person may need to try several brands of concealing cosmetics before finding the product that works best.

Return to Vitiligo

See what others are saying

Comment from: oyjoy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 09

I have had vitiligo since I was 4. I am now 60 and am still spotted; with even less pigmentation (melanin). I tried many cures over the years, because we all know that kids can be cruel. When I was a teenager, I still received many disparaging remarks, but it appeared that boys did not seem to be as bothered, as they thought I was pretty. My advice to you, is to accept the fact that although we have this disease, it isn't as insidious as cancer, schizophrenia, Ebola, polio (my mom had this), diabetes, AIDS, progeria (aging disease), etc. Just wear sunscreen (I need and use lots) and makeup if needed. Maybe one day before we die, they may just find a real cure for our spots!

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Comment from: Taylor, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: July 21

When I was 14 I started developing spots under my arms, I went to the dermatologist and got diagnosed with vitiligo and it just kept spreading. When I was 16 I had to be rushed to the hospital because of my heart rate, and I was diagnosed with Graves' disease the minute they saw my skin and my test results. Whenever I go into the sun my vitiligo burns and spreads. I have it around my eyes and people think I wear white make-up or will ask me what I've done to my eyes. I've realized that some things just make you special and you just have to live with them. If you spend your life wondering why you got this disease, you'll never live the way you should. Look at the positive side, you have something only a select few have. Now I'm 19 and not self-conscious with my body at all because of my spots, I love them and embrace them. I don't let it stop me from wearing my favorite strapless dress or shorts. You have to realize that it's not so much what's on the outside but on the inside.

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Comment from: Marty, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 19

I was first diagnosed with vitiligo at the age of 10. Too young to know what I was in for. I have generalized vitiligo on feet, knees, groin, hips, elbows, hands and chest. You'd think I was a mess. Well, for years I took a drug called Trisoralen and there was improvement over time. Real improvement. Then the drug maker stopped making this medicine and I had nowhere to turn for help. Too expensive to make I was told. Big disappointment! Trisoralen seems to help if you can get out into the sun for UV exposure in concert with the Trisoralen. Anyway, I am 57 now and still deal with this psychologically. Some days are better than others. You must keep a positive attitude and frame of mind. Two people I read about seem to have some success with sunless tanning products you buy over the counter at a retail store. Linda Seidel sells a make up on the web site that others have liked, to mask some areas of vitiligo. Coping with this is not easy. Try to embrace your life and live it. You really only have one life to live and vitiligo will not kill you, but you do need to stay strong, and keep your head up emotionally. Talk with a professional if you are having trouble psychologically or emotionally.

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