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Abstract

Introduction

Vitiligo is a skin disorder characterized by achromic macules (white) on the skin and/or mucous membranes, which affects 0.5–2% of the population. Few publications address a vitiligo epidemiological profile worldwide. In Brazil there are only studies in children.

Objective

To assess the clinical and epidemiological profile of individuals affected by vitiligo and to evaluate behavior of the disease in different age groups.

Materials and methods

We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study in 669 patients with vitiligo from January 2001 to May 2006, who attended the Faculty of Medicine of ABC, located in the metropolitan region of São Paulo, Brazil.

Results

There was a predominance of females (62.2%) and adult age group (62.5%), with higher prevalence peaks between the second and third decades of life (18.3% and 16.9%, respectively). The most frequent phototype in skin was III (49.9%). Lesions began on the face most commonly in children and adolescents (32.6%) and the elderly (23.3%), and on hands in adults (24.0%). There was a higher prevalence of segmental vitiligo in children and adolescents (36.4%), compared with adults (11.3%) and the elderly (6.7%), and vitiligo with stable evolution was proportionately more frequent in childhood and adolescents (46.2%) than in adults (32.5%) and elderly (36.7%).

Conclusions

Our findings are similar to other countries, mainly regarding the higher prevalence of segmental vitiligo and vitiligo with stable development among children and adolescents.