Vitiligo is a disease that many people are not familiar with. Unless you or a loved one have experienced this disease, there’s a good chance you’re not aware of how widespread it really is. And even people who suffer from vitiligo–or know someone who does–may not know just how many organizations there are worldwide offering support for patients. The truth is, there are vitiligo patient organizations and clinics all over the world, even in countries where you might not expect them. Below we highlight some of them.
The Vitiligo Support and Awareness Foundation (also known as VITSAF) is a no-profit organization that advocates for patients in Africa. Founded in Nigeria, this organization is passionately concerned about patients’ needs. They are currently the only organization in West Africa that focuses on vitiligo. They offer support for individuals, especially women, who have been affected by vitiligo with field offices all across Africa. They also participate in World Vitiligo Day – June 25th – to help spread awareness about the disease.
In Rome, Professor Torello Lotti, MD, is the President of the World Health Academy of Dermatology and specializes in vitiligo. He also teaches at the University of Studies Guglielmo Marconi and is one of the leading voices on vitiligo in the world. The World Health Academy holds dermatology summits dedicated to helping spread awareness of vitiligo and other skin conditions. Conferences like these are essential to bringing together the leading minds of dermatology, to help further vitiligo treatments across the world.
At the Cadogan Clinic in London, they employ plastic surgeons and dermatologists who specialize in treating patients with vitiligo. With photodermatology and LED light therapy available at the clinic, it is one of the best places for UK vitiligo patients to consider getting treatment. Dr. John Ferguson, one of the physicians at the clinic is renowned as a vitiligo specialist, and he has published articles on a wide variety of dermatological subjects. Although he mostly sees adults, he does occasionally treat children as well, providing their issues fall within his specialties.
At the University Hospital Henri Mondor in France, there is a specialized dermatology department which offers treatment to patients with vitiligo. A number of their physicians have published well-regarded journal articles and other materials concerning the disease. Insitutions like this are essential to raising awareness and also furthering the research necessary to develop new treatments and potential cures for vitiligo.
At the MelanoSite Medical Clinic in New Delhi, they focus on patient counseling to make sure that vitiligo patients understand the nature of the disease and also the best ways to manage it. They emphasize the importance of having a positive attitude when it comes to vitiligo. Many patients unfortunately struggle with embarrassment or other psychological issues associated with vitiligo, so counseling and other support is essential when it comes to treating the disease adequately. MelanoSite believes in a holistic approach to treating vitiligo, and they treat patients all over India.
It can be easy for vitiligo patients to feel hopeless, like they have no way to combat the disease that affects them every day. But the truth is, no matter where you are in the world, there are organizations, physicians, and clinics working around the clock to try and tackle this disease in a variety of ways. If you or anyone you know struggles with vitiligo, do your research to find an organization near you that can help.
Disclaimer: The information on this blog is intended for orientation purposes only. For medical treatment options please consult your dermatologist.