Characteristics of Vitiligo in Korean Children


Address correspondence to Soyun Cho, MD, 70 Chongro-6-ka, Chongro-ku, Seoul, Korea 110-126, or e-mail:


Abstract: Eighty Korean children (ages 8 months–12 years) with clinical and/or histopathologic diagnoses of vitiligo were evaluated; 39 boys and 41 girls. The mean age at first visit was 7.9 years and the mean age at onset was 5.6 years. The most common site of onset was the head/neck area (58.8%), followed by the trunk and lower limbs. The children were compared with a control group of 422 adults with vitiligo. Children comprised 16% of the total vitiligo patients and adults comprised 84%. A family history of vitiligo was found in 11 (13.8%) children, compared to 10.7% in the adult group; poliosis in 20 (25.0%); halo nevi in 2 (2.5%), compared to 4.0% in the adult group; combined autoimmune and endocrine diseases in 1 (1.3%), compared to 7.6% in the adult group; and segmental vitiligo in 26 (32.5%), compared to 13.0% in the adult group. The combined diseases were significantly less often found in children than adults (p < 0.01), and segmental vitiligo was significantly more often associated with children (p < 0.0001). Our study did not show a higher prevalence of vitiligo in girls as reported in other studies, which may indicate racial differences. Of the total 502 patients, only 1 patient with segmental vitiligo had halo nevi. Sixty-four percent of the children with vitiligo responded to treatment, compared to 57% of the adults.