Objective: The present study aims to investigate the effects of vitiligo on quality of life (QoL), self-esteem (SE), and body image (BI).
Patients and Methods: This study included 64 patients diagnosed with vitiligo, and 87 age- and sex-matched control subjects. Sociodemographic characteristics of the participants were collected and hypopigmented lesion involvement regions were recorded to identify clinical severity of vitiligo. The Dermatology Quality of Life Index (DQoLI), Body Image Scale (BIS), and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) were completed.
Results: Comparison of DQoLI, SE, and BI between vitiligo and control groups demonstrated that vitiligo patients had a statistically significantly lower QoL (P<0.01), a lower SE (P<0.01), and a worse BI (P<0.01). Localization of lesions at one or multiple sites did not show a statistically significant impact on DQoLI, SE, or BI (P>0.05). The DQoLI, BIS, and RSES scores and the levels of QoL, SE, and BI were similar between the patients with vitiligo for ≤5 and >5 years (P>0.05).
Conclusion: Vitiligo can negatively affect the QoL, SE, and BI of patients, thereby, resulting in psychosocial problems. It can be concluded that the unfavorable skin appearance of the disease is not only a factor affecting the patients’ QoL, SE, and BI; however, its relation with neurobiological mechanisms should be further investigated. This study emphasizes that body image and self-esteem is affected independently of the location of vitiligo lesions, and consequently neurobiological mechanisms may be important.