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#LetsTalkVitiligo—New Campaign Calls for Better Support of Those Living with Vitiligo

#LetsTalkVitiligo—New Campaign Calls for Better Support of Those Living with Vitiligo

photo grid of close up portraits of men and women with vitiligo

Let’s talk vitiligo. That’s the slogan making its way around the internet in support of a new campaign from the Vitiligo Society, a UK charity dedicated to supporting those living with vitiligo.

Launched this March, the #LetsTalkVitiligo campaign was inspired by groundbreaking research that surveyed 700 UK residents with vitiligo and found a gap within the medical and social support for these individuals. To help raise awareness of these needs, the campaign shares the personal stories of UK residents living with vitiligo that bring the data points to life through authentic experiences.

Throughout the stories, three key themes emerge—a lack of medical support, mental health support and social support—that encompass some of the challenges those living with vitiligo face daily.

Better medical support for vitiligo

For many, vitiligo is a life-changing diagnosis and the first meeting with a doctor or dermatologist is a particularly pivotal point of the experience. Unfortunately, research showed that 33% of people with vitiligo felt dismissed and 29% felt confused the first time they spoke to their healthcare provider about vitiligo.

“I remember speaking to my dermatologist after my diagnosis,” said Dale, who lives with vitiligo. “The dermatologist told me I would have to ‘live with my vitiligo’ like he lived with his freckles—absolutely no awareness that the two aren’t the same.”

Better mental and psychological support for vitiligo

The Vitiligo Society’s research showed that those living with vitiligo need stronger mental health support and better access to psychological care. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of survey respondents said vitiligo has a negative impact on their mental health, and 46% said they feel isolated or depressed as a result of living with vitiligo.

Shahn, who grew up in South Africa, emphasizes the shame he experienced due to his vitiligo, adding, “Being depressed was only the starting point.” Beverly, who lives with vitiligo, described how she tried to hide her diagnosis from her family, and said, “My confidence took the biggest hit.”

Better social support for vitiligo

Social stigma plays a big role in quality of life for those living with vitiligo. The Vitiligo Society’s research found that 29% of respondents reported noticing a negative impact on relationships with family and friends. Within personal testimonies, interviewees shared that this can be anything from dating and relationships to professional situations like job interviews.

“When it comes to dating and relationships, I’ve had really mixed experiences,” said Natalie, who has lived with vitiligo since childhood. “However, what has been consistent is how self-conscious being on a date used to make me feel.”

Join the #LetsTalkVitiligo campaign

Ready to join the #LetsTalkVitiligo conversation? Sharing this study on social media not only helps raise awareness for vitiligo but supports those living with the condition today by helping them feel understood. Stories like these can remind those living with vitiligo that they are not alone when they struggle with their vitiligo, as well as inspire compassion among people who do not live with vitiligo.

The Vitiligo Society website has infographics available featuring data from their survey, which are easy to share on social media. You can also visit the hashtag on social media, share the video linked below or share your own vitiligo story to help keep the conversation going. 

Learn more about the #LetsTalkVitiligo campaign and access the survey data and resources here.

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