Vitiligo: any differences in adult and childhood clinical characteristics


  • Ehiaghe L Anaba Department of Medicine. Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Adekunle 0 George Department of Medicine, University College Hospital. Ibadan, Nigeria
  • Adebola 0 Ogunbiyi Department of Medicine, University College Hospital. Ibadan, Nigeria


Vitiligo, Adult/Childhood Differences, Clinical Characteristics


Background: Vitiligo occurs in both children and adults, average age of onset is before twenty years in at least half of adult cases and five years in children. In Nigeria, there are relatively few literatures specifically comparing clinical characteristic between adult and childhood vitiligo in order to identify any differences in our environment as elsewhere.

Aims and Objectives: The objectives were to identify any differences in clinical characteristics between childhood and adult vitiligo.

Methodology: A record based review of clinical characteristics of one hundred and one vitiligo patients at the out-patient clinic from 2005 to 2009 was conducted. Socio-demographic variables were assessed using a structured questionnaire.

Results: Prevalence of vitiligo was 6.5%. Of the 111cases retrieved, 68.5% were adults and 31.5% were children. Significant differences between adult and childhood vitiligo include; preponderance of females in childhood vitiligo (34.3% males versus 65.7% females) and of males in adult vitiligo (57.9% males versus 42.1% females). Re-pigmentation of lesions following treatment was more in children (82.4% versus 56.7% in adults). Reported history of spread of lesions was 72.7% in children and 49.2% in adults. Commonest class of vitiligo is segmental in childhood study population (45.7%) and acrofacial in adults (36%). The vulva as area of onset was observed only in children.

Conclusion: Significant differences in clinical characteristics between adult and childhood vitiligo exist. These include; gender, re-pigmentation, spread of lesions and class of vitiligo. Only children have the vulva as the area of onset of vitiligo.


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How to Cite

Anaba, E. L., George, A. 0, & Ogunbiyi, A. 0. (2019). Vitiligo: any differences in adult and childhood clinical characteristics. The Nigerian Health Journal, 18(3), 90–96. Retrieved from

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