Background: It was previously thought that persons with genetic predispositions to vitiligo develop the condition after exposure to various precipitating environmental factors. However, in many cases, the aggravating factors of vitiligo have not been clearly identified. Objective: To identify the aggravating factors of vitiligo in the working environment and daily life. Methods: A total of 489 vitiligo patients were recruited from 10 institutions in South Korea; patients were provided with a questionnaire about environmental factors and behavior patterns in the workplace and in daily life, and their association with vitiligo. Results: Ninety-five of the 470 enrolled patients (20.2%) answered that environmental risk factors in daily life and in the workplace affected the development of vitiligo. The most frequently attributed causes were trauma and burn (13.6%), followed by sunlight (12.8%), stress (12.8%), cleaning products/disinfectant/chemicals (4.9%), and hair dye (2.1%). Conclusion: Vitiligo of the hand and foot was associated with frequent exposure to aggravating materials and overexposure to sunlight, along with frequent trauma of these areas, all of which could be considered important risk factors of vitiligo. The development of vitiligo could potentially be controlled through the early detection of aggravating factors.
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