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Does vitiligo affect children differently than adults?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner
Vitiligo can affect both adults and childern, but the skin treatments for vitiligo may not be appropriate for both adults and children. Corticosteroids can be used to help the skin become repigmented, but the strength of this medication needs to be lowered for children. Oral PUVA treatment is not recommended for children under age ten because they run a greater risk of developing cataracts with this treatment. It is especially important for caregivers of children who are undergoing certain treatments to make sure that children wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and protective clothing, and stay out of the sun during peak hours. Shortly after skin treatments, all people with vitiligo should be careful about sun exposure, as the skin may be especially sensitive and caratacts may develop in the eyes.
Children with lighter skin patches may be teased at school. They may also feel shy or embarrassed about their appearance. School staff, parents, guardians, and others in the community may be able to provide resources and assistance to help the child deal with his or her feelings about having vitiligo.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.