Study sheds Light on Post-Traumatic Stress in People with Vitiligo 

Post-Traumatic Stress in vitiligo

We all have heard how vitiligo, the most common depigmentation disorder, causes disfiguration and induces psychological burdens for those living with it. Still, extremely limited research had been conducted about disease-related post-traumatic stress (PTS) in vitiligo patients. This changed when a study performed at Beijing’s National Clinical Research Center for Skin and Immune Diseases shed light on post-traumatic stress prevalent in people with vitiligo. 


To evaluate the prevalence, severity, and risk factors of post-traumatic stress in vitiligo patients, a case-control study was performed at Beijing’s National Clinical Research Center for Skin and Immune Diseases from January 2021 to April 2021. The study featured a survey questionnaire that included baseline information, post-traumatic stress symptoms evaluation, and life quality evaluation for all participants. According to the severity of post-traumatic stress symptoms, a total of 337 participants (all had vitiligo) were grouped and compared for this study. The logistic regression model was conducted to analyze the risk factors for PTSD. Results revealed that 30.3% of study participants from the cohort had PTS while 12.5% of them were confirmed for developing PTSD. 


Though this study had a small sample size, it put a particularly important topic in front of the vitiligo community – “mental health in people with vitiliginous skin.” As concluded by the study, vitiligo-related PTS is prevalent in those living with the skin condition, which can, in turn, potentially cause psychological impairment. This also means that dermatologists who treat (and are expected to treat) vitiligo should realize and identify the skin condition carefully and offer proactive intervention to improve patients’ quality of life as soon as they diagnose the condition.


Notes: The write-up features results of a case-control study by the Department of Dermatology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, National Clinical Research Center for Skin and Immune Diseases, Beijing, 100730, People’s Republic of China. The same study can be accessed at We express our gratitude to the global community of researchers and those who are investing their time and energy in research on vitiligo and its potential treatment.  

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