Beyond traditional treatment: The importance of psychosocial therapy in vitiligo

Alexandra K. Rzepecki, Beth N. McLellan, Nada Elbuluk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Vitiligo is an acquired depigmentation disorder of the skin. Patients with vitiligo often face a challenging disease course, having to cope with a condition that is known to be physically disfiguring, psychologically devastating, and socially stigmatizing. Although an extensive amount of research has been directed towards the dermatologic treatment of vitiligo, an overall lack of data exists investigating treatment of the psychological and emotional burden of patients with vitiligo. This paper reviews the literature for treatment options in patients with vitiligo that specifically target the psychosocial domain. Despite being limited in quantity, several studies have proven the benefits of adjuvant care in the form of group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and self-help programs. Although preliminary evidence is promising, larger prospective studies are needed to further define the role of these psychosocial interventions before integrating them in a more official capacity into the standard of care for patients with vitiligo. Because of the considerable impact of vitiligo beyond its physical symptoms, dermatologists ought to consider the utility of adjuvant therapies to adequately address impairments in self-esteem, body image, and quality of life in patients with vitiligo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-691
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Drugs in Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Beyond traditional treatment: The importance of psychosocial therapy in vitiligo'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this