Quantitative Analysis of Hair Minerals in Vitiligo Patients

Jun Ha Park, Il Hwan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Although vitiligo is generally recognized as a single entity, the etiology is complex. There have been three hypotheses to explain vitiligo, (1) neural hypothesis, (2) the self-destruct hypothesis, and (3) the autoimmune hypothesis. And recently, there have been several reports about mineral status in vitiligo patients. Hair minerals may provide a continuous record of nutritional status and exposure to heavy metal pollutants. So, analysis of hair minerals in vitiligo patients may help to explain the etiology of vitiligo. Objective: The purpose of this study is to compare the hair mineral concentrations between vitiligo patients and normal controls. Methods: Hair mineral concentrations were measured in 30 normal controls and 30 vitiligo patients. We measured the contents of fifteen nutritional elements (Ca, Mg, Na, K, Cu, Zn, P, Fe, Mn, Cr, Se, B, Co, Mo, S), eight toxic elements (Sb, U, As, Be, Hg, Cd, Pb, Al), and fifteen additional elements (Ge, Ba, Bi, Rb, Li, Ni, Pt, TI, I, V, Sr, Sn, Ti, W, Zr) by an inductive coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Results: In vitiligo patients, the contents of Fe, Mg, P, Cr, Se, Zr were significantly higher than normal controls, and B, Al, W were significantly lower than normal controls. In male patients, K, Cr, B, Rb contents were higher than female and in female patients, Ca, Ba, Sr contents were higher than male. In vitiligo patients, Hg showed positive relationship with increasing age, and B, Pb, Sn, Zr contents showed negative relationship with age. Conclusion: Hair mineral analysis was performed with vitiligo patients and normal controls. We concluded that the hair mineral analysis will be useful in researching various skin diseases including vitiligo and may give the clues of etiology of various skin diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1142-1148
Number of pages7
JournalKorean Journal of Dermatology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Sep


  • Hair mineral analysis
  • Selenium
  • Vitiligo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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