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World Vitiligo Day is celebrated on this date as a nod to the late pop star musician, Michael Jackson, who struggled with vitiligo from the early 1980s until his death on June 25, 2009. 

History of World Vitiligo Day

The first celebration of Vitiligo Day took place in 2011, originally referred to as Vitiligo Awareness Day or Vitiligo Purple Fun Day (referring to the initial designation of purple as a support color for vitiligo). The main event of this inaugural observance was held in Lagos, Nigeria, functioning as an educational event which was sponsored by medical professionals, motivational speakers, entertainers, patients and more. At that same time, events were also held in other parts of the world to bring awareness and education

One goal of the World Vitiligo Day campaign has been to collect signatures in order to make a request for observance of the event by the United Nations and its member states.

Increased awareness about this condition has become even more common in recent years, thanks to World Vitiligo Day as well as other factors. One important event was the conversation created when Winne Harlow, who has vitiligo, gained prominence as a contestant on the television show, America’s Next Top Model in 2014. Harlow went on to become the first Victoria’s Secret Model with vitiligo and has continued in popularity since.

How to Observe World Vitiligo Day

Show support and care for those who have suffered because of this rare skin depigmentation disorder by observing with some of these ideas:

Raise Awareness about Vitiligo

Health care providers, teachers, parents, youth workers and other community leaders can get involved with World Vitiligo Day by using their influence to raise awareness about the condition. While it may be physically painless, vitiligo often comes with a range of challenges which may include social neglect, bullying and even psychological trauma when the public is misinformed. Make a difference in the life of a classroom, a group of patients, a neighborhood or other sphere of influence by sharing truth and educating others about vitiligo.

Learn Facts About Vitiligo 

One of the most important things that can be done in honor of World Vitiligo Day is to get more educated and knowledgeable about the condition. Perform some online or library research, and consider some of these facts to learn or share:

  • Vitiligo is a condition of the immune system, when the body’s melanocytes are attacked and leave white splotches in their wake

  • Vitiligo is not infectious or contagious

  • While vitiligo is completely painless from a physical standpoint, emotionally it can be a very difficult condition to deal with

  • Vitiligo can happen to anyone, from any place, with any skin color

Get More Involved with World Vitiligo Day

Those who have vitiligo, know someone who does, or simply want to get involved and show support can connect with World Vitiligo in a number of ways. The day’s website offers news and information about events, as well as resources. In addition, there may be opportunities to volunteer with the organization as well as make a donation 

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