Finlay and Khan have recently suggested that the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) can be used to measure the effects of dermatological conditions on the quality of patients' lives. The aims of this study were to assess its applicability in a nonclinic sample of vitiligo sufferers and to measure its relationship with questionnaires designed to measure a variety of psychological and demographic factors. The DLQI was completed by 614 members of the Vitiligo Society in a postal survey. The results supported the validity of the DLQI for this sample. DLQI scores were related to perceived stigma (a version of Ginsburg and Link's psoriasis stigma questionnaire), recent experiences, self-esteem (Rosenberg's scale), personal distress (both a symptom checklist and the 12-item General Health Questionnaire) and race, suggesting that levels of disability might be reduced by interventions that target these variables.