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How can I help my teenager feel less ashamed of his vitiligo?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
There are ways parents can help teenagers feel less ashamed of vitiligo, a chronic skin disorder that causes white patches on the skin. Here are some suggestions that parents can use:
  • Make an appointment with a dermatologist (a doctor who specializes in treating skin, nail, and health problems). A dermatologist should have cutting-edge information on the best ways to treat vitiligo and conceal the white patches with spray-on tans or cosmetics.         
  • Write down questions you and your teen have about vitiligo. Talk openly with the doctor about your questions and make sure you have proper answers for your teen.
  • If your teen needs medical treatment, ask the doctor to explain the various options. Treatments today may include topical therapies, oral medications, light therapy, and skin grafts or surgery. Make sure you know what's involved before your teen undergoes any treatment regimen.
  • Join a support group for people with vitiligo. Go to the group with your teenager so you can learn tips from others who have the same skin condition.
  • If your teen has white patches on the face, neck, or arms, experiment with different cosmetics until you find the best one that conceals the white skin.

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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.