Dr Rajesh Shah's message to parents whose children have vitiligo

Many parents experience a sense of panic or shock when their child is diagnosed with vitiligo. This is especially more relevant to families with brown or dark skin; as vitiligo is a socio-cosmetic disorder, as I call it. I interact with 'vitiligo-scared' parents almost every day, and I am aware of the concerns experienced by the parents.

In simple words, I would like to give the following tips based on my experience with over 5000 patients with vitiligo.

01 Do not panic: Vitiligo is not a serious disease. As I always say, getting anxious or panicking is not going to help your child in any way. As I have written in a separate article, vitiligo is one of the most benign diseases.

02 Try to understand vitiligo: Vitiligo is a disorder like any other medical problem such as allergy, migraine, alopecia areata, colds, etc; in fact, without any suffering associated with it. It results due to loss of pigment, not a big deal, medically speaking.

03 All vitiligo patients do not get it all over the body: Most parents have a concern about what if the child will have vitiligo spread all over the body. It is rare for vitiligo to spread all over the body. Mostly, the spread depends on genetic factors.

04Types of vitiligo: There are various types of vitiligo that your doctors will explain. In fact, there are variants of vitiligo such as those scattered (segmental) vitiligo spots or symmetrical (spread on both sides of the body), etc. The success of treatment may depend on the type of vitiligo, which your doctors should be able to explain.

05No infection: Most parents already know that vitiligo is not contagious or infectious.

06 Social stigma: Vitiligo is no more a stigma. Some communities or segments of society with lower educational backgrounds might consider vitiligo as a stigma, which must be ignored by all parents (and patients). I suggest not paying attention to what others think about your child's vitiligo.

07 Accept it: If you as a parent accept your child's vitiligo, then the child will accept it easily. If you and your child learn to accept vitiligo; society will also accept it. Acceptance of vitiligo will make your child less conscious about it.

08 Do not hide, be comfortable with vitiligo: I know it is a little hard but I suggest not to hide vitiligo spots. Let your child wear clothing of his/her choice irrespective of the visibility of vitiligo spots on certain parts of the body. If you are comfortable with your vitiligo spots then only others will become comfortable with your vitiligo spots.

09 Do not search for new spots: I urge all parents not to search for new vitiligo spots, every day. The process of searching for new spots will make your child more conscious about vitiligo.

10 Examine it once a month or less: I suggest examining your child's vitiligo spots only once in a month or less; that too when the child is asleep. Frequent examination of vitiligo spots (to check if it has grown larger or smaller); will make your child feel that something is seriously wrong with his body.

11 Boost your child's confidence: Major duty of the parents of the vitiligo-afflicted child is to be able to boost his confidence. This is possible if you and your child learn to accept vitiligo with proper understanding.

12 Marriage-related concern: It might sound a bit silly, but it is true that most parents whose children have vitiligo harbor a serious concern about the future of the child, especially with regards to the marriage. Unfortunately, in many parts of the world, some people consider vitiligo as a social stigma, which brings concerns about the marriage of a person who has vitiligo. If we reflect on this topic seriously, we shall realize that worrying would not really help. As society is getting more mature, people are no more having those old-fashioned ideas about vitiligo. There is increasingly better acceptance of vitiligo. As a parent, you have to do your best for your child's overall education, growth, and development. Once your child learns to accept vitiligo (even if not fully treated), he/she will have no problem getting accepted.

13 Let vitiligo not be a block to growth: If your approach towards vitiligo is matured, your child will also learn to accept vitiligo as a part of the body; that will help him/her grow in life without vitiligo becoming a block.

14 Treatment of vitiligo: Vitiligo treatment is a slow process. The use of immunosuppressive measures often leads to an increase of vitiligo on a later date, in my experience. Choose a treatment, which offers:

a Control of disease process

b Stimulates re-pigmentation as much as possible

c Safe

15 Take professional help: Consult doctors who have adequate experience and understanding of vitiligo.

Message to parents by Dr Rajesh Shah

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Vitiligo Case Studies

A 29-year-old male patient, Mr. S.Z. (PIN: 19775) visited Life Force and started homeopathic treatment for the complaint of vitiligo in August 2012.


He was suffering from Vitiligo since a year. The patches were majorly present on his chest, abdomen, and thighs. When he .....Read more


A 45-year-old male patient, Mr. Rakesh (Name changed) (PIN: 39195) came to Life Force and started Homeopathic treatment for his complaints of Vitiligo in 2019.


He was suffering from vitiligo for the last 5 years, and vitilig.....Read more

A 19-year-old female patient, Ms. P.B. (PIN: 35642) visited the Borivali branch of Life Force on 11th February 2018 for the treatment of her Vitiligo.


She had hypopigmented patches on her right eyelid and chin for one year. The patches were increasing in size.....Read more

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