Vitiligo and Children

children with vitiligo need support

When your child has vitiligo, your support makes a big difference.

Vitiligo may affect anyone regardless of race, gender or age. It can start at any age, but the white patches typically begin to appear between the ages of 20 and 30. However, there are cases when vitiligo starts to manifest itself in young children. As vitiligo may also be hereditary, children who develop vitiligo may have inherited the condition from a family member. In fact, about 30 percent of vitiligo patients have a family member who also has the skin condition. Then again, a very small percentage of children—about five to seven percent—will develop vitiligo even when they have a parent with the condition.

When the condition does appear in young children, parents should have it treated right away. While there is still no cure for the disorder, there are several treatments available that are designed to slow down or at least stop the spread of the white patches. It is also a fact that earlier treatment of vitiligo often yields great results, particularly in children.

So what vitiligo treatments are right for children? While there are a number of treatments for vitiligo in general, not all of them are recommended for children. The few conventional treatments that are deemed alright for kids include corticosteroid creams or ointments, the application of psoralen to the skin and phototherapy that must be closely monitored by a dermatologist for possible side effects.

The less expensive and ultimately safer route towards vitiligo treatment for children, however, should be the natural way. As vitiligo is also said to be caused by certain nutritional deficiencies, helping your children make up for those

deficiencies is the logical thing to do. For instance, have them consume more green leafy vegetables, whole grains, fruits and nuts, all of which are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. You would also do well to have them take health supplements, particularly those that are rich in Vitamin B12 and folic acid, both of which help in the tanning of depigmented skin.

More often than not, the psychological impact of the condition bears down on children more than anything else. While children that young may not really notice it at first, a name-calling incident at school or on the playground could make them aware of their condition, and that could lead to a lot of things, including low self-esteem. What your child is going to need from you, the parents, is support and reassurance that you will always be there for them, that you will always love them no matter what. The love and warmth provided by one’s own family will give them happiness, and that is all that would matter to a child with vitiligo.