Vitiligo Severity Varies Among Patients by Skin Tone

By Tamara Thomas - April 27, 2023

People with darker skin tones experience a more significant impact of vitiligo on their daily lives compared to those with lighter skin tones, according to the research presented at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) 2022 Congress.

The Vitiligo and Life Impact Among International Communities (VALIANT) study led by Nanja van Geel, MD, Ph.D., and Pearl Grimes, MD, sought to understand better the severity, extent, and impact of vitiligo from the perspective of patients.

The VALIANT researchers conducted a study by collecting information from vitiligo patients who were 18 years or older. The participants were recruited using an online survey that collected their demographic information, confirmed their diagnosis, and obtained consent. The study used a general population sample of participants from seventeen countries across all six inhabited continents.

After the survey and assessment of participants, the researchers selected over 3,500 individuals for analysis. The median age of participants in the VALIANT survey was 38 years, and more than half of the patients were male. According to the researchers, 29% of participants reported that more than ten percent of their body surface area was affected by vitiligo. They also noted that about fifty-nine percent of patients had fairer skin types (Fitzpatrick skin types I-III). Approximately forty-one percent had darker skin types (Fitzpatrick IV-VI).

The researchers found that globally, 33.8% of participants reported being severely affected by vitiligo. The highest percentages were reported in the US and Asia, at 39% and 39.1%, respectively. In contrast, the lowest rates were in Europe at 30.1% and Brazil at 20.3%.

Furthermore, the researchers also revealed that darker-skinned participants reported experiencing a higher severity of vitiligo than lighter-skinned participants. They also found that a higher percentage of participants with more than ten percent affected body surface area (BSA) reported higher severity than those with less than ten percent affected BSA.

The researchers noted that while individuals with skin types IV-VI reported a greater impact of vitiligo on their daily lives, the severity of the condition in individuals with skin types I-III should not be underestimated.


Source: HCPlive

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