Comparison of the psychological impacts of asymptomatic and symptomatic cutaneous diseases: Vitiligo and atopic dermatitis

Seongmin Noh, Miri Kim, Chang Ook Park, Seung Kyung Hann, Sang Ho Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Vitiligo and atopic dermatitis (AD) are common dermatological disorders which may cause significant psychological and social distress leading to impaired quality of life (QoL) in patients. Objective: We evaluated the degree of psychological stress and impairment of QoL in vitiligo patients as compared with AD patients and normal controls (NCs). Methods: A total of 60 patients from each group and 60 NCs were enrolled. Five questionnaires on depression (Beck depression inventory, BDI), state anxiety (SA) and trait anxiety (TA), interaction anxiousness (IAS), private body consciousness (PBC) and dermatologic QoL were used. Results: The vitiligo patients had a significantly higher level of TA (p<0.01), PBC (p<0.001) and impaired QoL (p< 0.001) than NCs, but not BDI, SA and IAS. The AD patients had significantly higher scores for all five questionnaire items compared with NCs. In the comparison between the AD and vitiligo groups, all of the indexes except body consciousness were higher in AD patients than in vitiligo patients: BDI (p< 0.01), SA (p<0.05), TA (p<0.001), IAS (p<0.01) and impaired QoL (p<0.001). Exposure of vitiligo lesions was not a significant variable in the analysis of the contribution of clinical variables of vitiligo on psychological stress and QoL. Conclusion: Vitiligo, which is not accompanied by any symptoms, involves less psychological impact than AD, which is accompanied by itching. Compared to NCs, however, the elevated general anxiety and body consciousness in patients with vitiligo suggests that they may be more concerned with the aggravation of hypopigmented patches than difficulties in social interactions. (Ann Dermatol 25(4) 454~461, 2013).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-461
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Dermatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology


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