Vitiligo and psoriasis

Table of contents

Vitiligo and psoriasis involve a genetic predisposition and an immune response triggered by environmental factors.
Although they are two autoimmune diseases, they have very different symptoms and can also coexist.

A recent study looked at some patients with both vitiligo and psoriasis.

What is Vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a condition in which skin cells are attacked and destroyed, causing the loss of pigment.
This condition is chronic and there is currently no cure.

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic disease characterized by the rapid growth of skin cells.

Under normal conditions, skin cells grow and shed, but in the case of psoriasis the
skin cells grow very quickly but do not fall out and accumulate in certain areas of the body.

Vitiligo and psoriasis and the differences in symptoms

Psoriasis is a topical condition and can occur anywhere on the body.
However, it is more common on the outside of the elbows, knees, and scalp.

A person with psoriasis may experience a burning or itching sensation in the affected areas and dry, cracked skin that can bleed.

Psoriasis generally covers the body in patches that may appear red and scaly and may even affect the toenails or fingernails, causing them to puck or pock.

Unlike psoriasis, vitiligo-affected skin is unlikely to change texture, although itching is possible.

The affected skin cells will lose their pigment, causing them to turn white.

The areas most affected by vitiligo are those most exposed to the sun, such as the face and hands, but it can affect any part of the body.

Vitiligo manifests itself in three general patterns:

  • Focal: limited to one area
  • Segmental: on one side of the body,
  • Generalized to different areas throughout the body.


The study was conducted in France at a single center between January 2017 and January 2020.

Of the 436 patients with vitiligo, 74 had a past and / or current personal history of psoriasis.
Of these 75 patients with both conditions, 45 were women.

Vitiligo European Task Force questionnaire and Vitiligo Extent Score were used to assess vitiligo. In addition, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroid antibodies were analyzed

Psoriasis, on the other hand, was assessed using the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI).

The results showed:

  • plaque psoriasis was the most common type found in 48 patients.
  • the onset of psoriasis was reported before the development of vitiligo, found in 46 patients
  • in 12 patients the psoriatic lesions were in the same place as the vitiligo
  • the onset of psoriasis occurred in younger patients than vitiligo

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