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Medically reviewed by Dr. Shani Saks, D.O. on Sept. 3, 2023

If you or someone you know has vitiligo, it may be helpful to recognize its potential effects on sexual health. Recent research has highlighted a connection between the skin condition and sexual dysfunction. Continue reading for insights into the study’s findings and what they might mean for those living with vitiligo.

  • People with vitiligo might be more likely to experience sexual dysfunction, which affects about 25% of patients with this condition.
  • This link appears to be stronger in women than men.
  • Addressing both the physical and emotional aspects of vitiligo may improve overall well-being.

How Does Vitiligo Relate to Sexual Health?

While many recognize vitiligo as a skin condition with patches of lost skin color, it’s becoming clearer that it may also have psychological and emotional effects, especially concerning sexual health. Research suggests that over 50% of individuals with vitiligo face problems in intimate relationships. As a result, many feel that their sexual lives have been directly affected.

Findings From Recent Research

After evaluating various studies spanning nearly four decades, several important findings emerged:

  • Those with vitiligo were at greater risk of developing sexual dysfunction.
  • Similarly, scores on a different sexual function index indicated a lower level of function in the vitiligo group.
  • While some studies hint that men and single individuals with vitiligo may face more challenges in sexual relationships, other research indicates these problems may be more common in women.

Overall, the research shows that if you have vitiligo, you could be more likely to experience problems with sexual health. The problems could involve a lack of desire, difficulty with natural lubrication, and not feeling satisfied with your sexual experiences.

Considerations for Those With Vitiligo

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Living with vitiligo goes beyond just managing changes in skin color. It’s also about living with emotional and social challenges, including its impact on close relationships.

If you or a loved one has vitiligo, it may be helpful to consider the broader effects of the condition. Educating family members and partners about vitiligo and seeking psychological support may help reduce some of the emotional challenges. By working through these concerns, there’s an opportunity to greatly improve your or your loved one’s overall quality of life.


Liang, X., Guo, F., Cai, X., Wang, J., Chen, J., Liu, L., Chen, Y., Liu, F., Du, Y., Li, L., & Li, X. (2023b). Association between vitiligo and sexual dysfunction: current evidence. Annals of Medicine, 55(1), 946–953. https://doi.org/10.1080/07853890.2023.2182906