Byline: M. Kishor, P. Ashwini, Jayadev. Betkerur, Veeranna. Shastry
Vitiligo is a common acquired, idiopathic, heritable depigmentary disorder of the skin and or mucous membranes, characterized by depigmented macules of varying sizes and shapes. It is a major social and cosmetic concern in India. Vitiligo is the most common pigmentary disorder involving complex interaction of the environmental and genetic factors that ultimately contribute to melanocytes destruction leading to characteristic depigmented macules.
Vitiligo can be extremely disfiguring, leading to significant morbidity. Low self-esteem, poor body image, and poor quality of life have been found in patients with vitiligo leading to psychiatric morbidity. Even though the perception of illness is distressing across all age groups, this is, of particular concern for children and adolescents, as they are in their formative years and developing their sense of self.
Vitiligo occurs worldwide with an overall prevalence of 1%. Some dermatologic outpatient records show the incidence of vitiligo to be 3%-4% in India, although an incidence as high as 8.8% also been reported. In Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan, the prevalence of vitiligo is very high being described by some as of epidemic proportion.
As part of the patient care services, periodic 'group therapy'can be beneficial for patients in building coping skills, sharing the distress, clarifying myths, and misconception. The group therapy can be carried out with small group of the patients affected with moderator who can be dermatologist/psychiatrist/clinical psychologist/a patient who is activist in the area of concern. Here, we describe one such group therapy...