Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The change in appearance caused by vitiligo can affect your emotional and psychological well-being. You may experience emotional stress, particularly if vitiligo develops on visible areas of your body, such as your face, hands, arms or feet. You may feel embarrassed, ashamed, depressed or worried about how others will react. Young people, who are often particularly concerned about their appearance, can be devastated by widespread vitiligo.

Certain strategies may help you cope with vitiligo. Consider these tips:

  • Make a good connection. Find a doctor who's knowledgeable about vitiligo. A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in the care of skin.
  • Learn all about it. Find out as much as you can about vitiligo and its treatment options so that you can participate in making important decisions about your health care.
  • Communicate your feelings. Let your doctor know if you're feeling depressed. He or she can refer you to mental health providers who specialize in helping people deal with depression.
  • Talk with others. Ask your doctor about support groups in your area for people who have vitiligo. You can also contact the National Vitiligo Foundation at 513-541-3903 or Vitiligo Support International at 818-752-9002 to find support groups.
  • Confide in loved ones. Seek understanding and support from your family and friends.
Apr. 21, 2011