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Abstract

Vitiligo significantly affects quality of life (QOL) in adults, but little is known about the effect on QOL of pediatric vitiligo and whether the extent, distribution, and duration of vitiligo are associated with QOL. We performed an online parental questionnaire-based study (N = 350) regarding children ages 0 to 17 years with vitiligo, including validated questions about body surface area (BSA), distribution, and age of onset of vitiligo, associated symptoms, and QOL using the Children's Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI). Vitiligo negatively affected numerous aspects of and total CDLQI score (median 3.0, interquartile range 5.0). Their vitiligo lesions did not bother only 4.1% of teenagers ages 15 to 17 years, versus 45.6% of children ages 0 to 6 years and 50.0% of those ages 7 to 14 years (p < 0.001). There was no association between the child's age and whether the child's vitiligo bothered the parents (p = 0.27). The most bothersome sites of vitiligo lesions for children and parents were the face (25.6% and 37.4%, respectively) and legs (26.2% and 26.2%, respectively). Eighty-two patients (30.1%) reported itching and painful skin within the past week. Using multivariate ordinal logistic regression models, it was found that an affected BSA of more than 25% was associated with self-consciousness, difficulty with friendships and schoolwork, and teasing and bullying. Lesions on the face and arms were associated with teasing and bullying. The extent of vitiligo is associated with QOL impairment in children and adolescents, especially self-consciousness, but also bullying and teasing. Different distributions of vitiligo lesions are associated with different aspects of QOL impairment. Teenagers ages 15 to 17 years seem to experience the most self-consciousness of all pediatric age groups.