Vitiligo activities in India in recent times

Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists (IADVL) has been persistently conducting different dedicated activities against vitiligo.

Scientific Activity :

Pan-Indian epidemiological survey on vitiligo, focussing on multiple key parameters, associated comorbidities and psychosocial aspect of vitiligo has been completed recently. With its vast size and enormous population, number of vitiligo patients in India is among the highest in the world. Moreover, being a country of mixed religion and races, it contributes most diversified data. Once published, this will provide a highly valuable record on vitiligo and will answer various crucial aspects about the disease.

Premier institutes in India are considered comparable to the world’s best research centres and they generate path-breaking publications. The quantum of work and publications from some of these Indian centres on vitiligo will leave no scope for the level of work Indians are doing and contributing to scientific world. Enthuciasm and quality of dermatologists working in other institutes or the practicing dermatologists with limited or even no funding have done stupendous job. The number and quality of publications are enviable and documented the credibility of their work. Only few of the available works have been cited at the end of this report. (Ref 1-12)

IADVL has been persistent in its effort to support the research work on vitiligo. Special Interest Group (SIG) on pigmentary disorders has been formed to work on various pigmentary diseases and vitiligo is always the top priority.

Although, it is not possible for IADVL for fund each and every project, it has been regularly supporting research activities on vitiligo through various research grants.

World Vitiligo day Programs

World Vitiligo day has been observed on 26th June all over this vast country and most members actively participate with great enthusiasm. Each state branch of IADVL conducts CMEs, seminars, workshops, health camps on this day (Fig 1,2).

Fig 1. Vitiligo awareness rally organized by IADVL Bihar branch

Fig 2. Walkathon: Dermatology faculty, nurse, students of Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh (Assam) walking for vitiligo awareness, organised by IADVL North East States

On the occasion of world vitiligo day on 26th June, 2014, along with scientific seminar, mass awareness program was initiated (Fig 3). 40 rickshaw and a motor van travelled the entire Chandigarh city with free distribution of information leaflets (Fig 4).

Fig 3. World vitiligo day program, 2014, Chandigarh

Fig 4. Rickshaw and van for mass awareness, world vitiligo day, 2014, Chandigarh

World vitiligo day was celebrated in New Delhi in 2015 and 2016. In 2016, this program was organised along with International Conference on Genomic Medicine in Skin Research at IGIB, New Delhi. International experts like Dr. Shosuke Ito, Dr. Caroline Le Poole, Dr. Mauro Picardo, Dr. Torello Lotti were invited to that program.

Social Activities

One of the main mottos of this observation is to reach out to the public to increase the awareness on vitiligo and to diminish the psychosocial impact of the disease. Thus, patients are involved with most of these activities. Mass media is involved, road shows are organised, lectures are given and recorded videos are played in the clinics and hospital OPDs. Patient information booklet are distributed freely. Banners and pamphlets display the basic knowhow on the disease in the prominent locations of the hospitals.


Last year, IADVL Karnataka branch conceptualised a unique awareness program to reach out to the community.

A Display Van, which had banners and educative material about vitiligo called “VITILIGO RATH” travelled all over Karnataka covering 5000 km and all the districts for 29 days (Fig 5).

Fig 4. “VITILIGO RATH” - an innovative vitiligo awareness program in Karnataka organised by IADVL KN branch.

The vehicle started from the city Bengaluru and travelled many cities and districts of the state. District coordinators were identified, who gave wide publicity prior to the arrival of the vehicle and had organised various community activities. Local leaders, senior government officials like DHO and Deputy Commissioners were invited for flagging off the vehicle in the district.

In each district the vehicle stopped at prominent public places like bus stops, railway stations, markets, government hospitals and medical colleges, schools and colleges. Various activities were conducted like street Plays/ skits, sharing experience by vitiligo patients, folk songs. There were processions and human chains were formed. Educational flyers were distributed. Articles were published in newspaper and other mass media were also involved. Apart from dermatologists, medical students, teachers, general peoples, media personnel and ministers participated actively. Overall, the month-long program was high vibrant and was hugely successful in strengthening the interrelationship among dermatologists, getting the young people actively involved, and its main purpose to reach out to the most remote areas.


  1. Gan EY, Eleftheriadou V, Esmat S, et al Repigmentation in vitiligo: position paper of the Vitiligo Global Issues Consensus Conference. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2017 Jan;30(1):28-40. doi: 10.1111/pcmr.12561.
  2. Gupta V, Ramam M. Measuring Quality of Life in Indian Vitiligo Patients. Indian J Dermatol. 2016 May-Jun;61(3):334-5. doi: 10.4103/0019-5154.182435.
  3. Gupta V, Sreenivas V, Mehta M, et al. Measurement properties of the Vitiligo Impact Scale-22 (VIS-22), a vitiligo-specific quality-of-life instrument. Br J Dermatol. 2014 Nov;171(5):1084-90.
  4. Jha A, Mehta M, Khaitan BK, et al. Cognitive behavior therapy for psychosocial stress in vitiligo. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2016 May-Jun;82(3):308-10.
  5. Majid I, Imran S. Relapse After Methylprednisolone Oral Minipulse Therapy in Childhood Vitiligo: A 12-Month Follow-Up Study. Indian Journal of Dermatology. 2013;58(2):113-116.
  6. Majid I, Imran S. Depigmentation Therapy with Q-Switched Nd: YAG Laser in Universal Vitiligo. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2013 Apr;6(2):93-6. doi: 10.4103/0974-2077.112670.
  7. Majid I, Imran S. Targeted ultraviolet B phototherapy in vitiligo: A comparison between once-weekly and twice-weekly treatment regimens. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2015 Nov-Dec;81(6):600-5. doi: 10.4103/0378-6323.168325.
  8. Majid I, Mysore V, Salim T et al. Is lesional stability in vitiligo more important than disease stability for performing surgical interventions? Results from a multicentric study. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2016 Jan-Mar;9(1):13-9.
  9. Majid I. Can Injectable Lignocaine be Replaced by Topical Anesthesia in Melanocyte Transplant or Ultrathin Skin Grafting? J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2013 Apr-Jun; 6(2): 127–128.
  10. Majid, Imran MD; Imran, Saher DPD. Ultrathin Skin Grafting in Resistant Stable Vitiligo: A Follow-up Study of 8 Years in 370 Patients. Dermatologic Surgery: 2017; 43 218–225
  11. Pahwa P, Mehta M, Khaitan BK, et al. The psychosocial impact of vitiligo in Indian patients. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2013 Sep-Oct;79(5):679-85.
  12. Singh S, Khandpur S, Sharma VK, Ramam M. Comparison of efficacy and side-effect profile of oral PUVA vs. oral PUVA sol in the treatment of vitiligo: a 36-week prospective study. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2013 Nov;27(11):1344-51.

Dr.Ramesh Bhat
President, IADVL

Dr.Umashankar Nagaraju
Honorary Secretary General, IADVL

Dr.Davinder Parsad
Chairman, Vitiligo Mission of India

Dr.Nilendu Sarma
Convener, Vitiligo Mission of India

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