World Vitiligo Day takes place on June 25. Vitiligo is a skin disorder that affects 1% to 2 % of the population. It is a lifelong disorder that causes discoloration of patches in different areas of the body as well as a total loss of skin color. Other symptoms include hair turning prematurely gray or white and eyelashes or eyebrows losing color and turning white. World Vitiligo Day was first celebrated in 2011 and is also known as Vitiligo Awareness Day’ or Vitiligo Purple Fun Day, as purple is the official color representing the condition.
History of World Vitiligo Day
Vitiligo has been mentioned in the text of almost every major religion and its first description dates back more than 3,000 years. The end of the 19th century was a time of much progress in terms of understanding vitiligo. Doctors observed that episodes of emotional stress led to flare-ups of vitiligo. They also noticed that none of the then-available treatments made much impact on the disease. During the 1940s, it was observed that vitiligo may be genetic as the disorder affected families.
World Vitiligo Day was first celebrated in 2011 with the inaugural event taking place in Lagos, Nigeria. Micheal Jackson was one of the most well-known celebrities who suffered from this condition. He passed away on June 25, 2009, thus World Vitiligo Day is observed on June 25 in his honor.
In 2013 World Vitiligo Day changed its headquarters from Rome to Detroit. The movement has steadily grown over the years, from a handful of volunteers to 484,687 activists and 50+ clinics offering free skin check-ups in 17 countries. Many events are being hosted across the globe. Another part of the awareness campaign helps those with vitiligo to overcome any insecurities they have. These have been organized by local organizations and have taken place in person as well as online. In 2020 WVD a webinar in China was watched by 5,51 million people.
World Vitiligo Day timeline
Vitiligo is first described in both pre–Hindu and ancient Egyptian texts that give a clear record of depigmentation.
Celsus uses the word ‘vitiligo’ in his Latin book “De Medicina.”
Vitiligo is unknown to Europe and is confused with leprosy and other disorders.
Doctors discover that there is no cure and the treatments available do not make an impact on the disorder.
Over 500 000 people sign the petition to ask the U.N. to officially recognize World Vitiligo Day.
World Vitiligo Day’s international headquarters move to Mexico.
World Vitiligo Day FAQs
Is there a website for vitiligo research?
25June.org is a website associated with the Vitiligo Research Foundation, a registered 501 (c)3 non-profit organization existing under the laws of the State of Delaware, U.S.
Is there a Vitiligo Awareness Month?
Yes, June is Vitiligo Awareness Month.
What are the different types of vitiligo?
Non-segmental vitiligo and segmental vitiligo are the two main types of vitiligo.
How to Observe World Vitiligo Day
Wear a purple shirt
Purple is the color of vitiligo awareness. You can participate by wearing the shirt and encouraging others to do the same.
Become a volunteer
Educate yourself about the disorder. You can always run a fundraiser or host an event to raise money for vitiligo research.
There is still much prejudice against people with vitiligo. Educate people around you that it is not contagious or a sickness like leprosy.
5 Important Facts About Vitiligo
There is no cure
Vitiligo can be managed by eating correctly, taking care of your skin by not exposing yourself to too much sun, using organic lotions, exercising, and reducing stress.
We do not know the cause
There are different types of vitiligo and these different types have different origins and causes.
Vitiligo is not contagious
It cannot be spread from one person to another via direct or indirect contact.
It occurs anywhere on the body
It is found on the skin around the eyes, mouth, elbows, wrists, hands, and ankles.
Many famous people have vitiligo
Winnie Harlow, John Hamm, and Joe Rogan are some of the celebrities who have the disorder.
Why World Vitiligo Day is Important
It highlights the disorder
Vitiligo is a “forgotten” disease. The day creates awareness around the bullying, social neglect, psychological trauma, and disability of the people affected by it. In some cultures, there is extreme prejudice against people with vitiligo, and only educating them will help.
It advocates for better treatment
The movement calls for better treatment and care of vitiligo and improvement in the healthcare systems. This is especially needed in poorer countries.
It highlights the topic positively
People are learning not to tease those with vitiligo. That is because social media highlights the beauty of people with vitiligo. This day shines a positive spotlight on a sensitive issue.
World Vitiligo Day dates