What is vitiligo?

Vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks and destroys cells that produce skin pigment, resulting in irregular white patches. People with vitiligo wonder what they can do about it and whether their lifestyle and dietary choices may prevent a recurrence or worsen.

Vitiligo is a disorder that affects the pigmentation of the skin. With this condition, the cells which produce the skin's pigment, called melanocytes, are ruined. This leads to white blotchy patches, and vitiligo treatment can take quite some time to get the job done. While researchers haven't pinpointed a universal origin, autoimmune disorders appear to be the most widespread vitiligo cause. A deficiency in specific vitamins and minerals and exposure to some industrial chemicals can also cause this disorder.

Finding the ideal vitiligo treatment therapy takes time; even the most popular traditional treatments can take weeks, months, or even years before appearance enhances. Conventional vitiligo treatment includes substantial adverse side effects.

See: A Case of Vitiligo and Her Remission with Functional Medicine

Types of vitiligo

There are three recognized types of vitiligo:

- Generalized Vitiligo. White patches of skin progress symmetrically on each side of the body, affecting the same body parts at the same time.

- Localized Vitiligo. The white spots appear in a couple of regions of the body, spread, and progress for a brief period, then stop.

- Segmental Vitiligo. Typically appears in younger kids where the white spots appear only on one side of their body.


See: Treating Vitiligo with Success by Ayurvedic Therapy and Medicine

Vitiligo causes

Vitiligo Causes

Autoimmune diseases, including Addison's disease, thyroid disease, pernicious anemia, and diabetes, are thought to be origin vitiligo causes. Nevertheless, some studies suggest people diagnosed with this condition are often deficient in specific vitamins such as B12, folic acid, magnesium, and copper. In Ayurveda clinic, where vitiligo has been identified for over 3,000 years, it's often known as white leprosy. Vitiligo causes include ingestion of foods that are contradictory, overeating grain, curd, fish, or sour substances, and many other physical and psychological traits.

Furthermore, heredity and genetics may also play a role in this condition, as do stress, intense sunburns, and exposure to some substances. Sometimes, immunotherapy for melanoma and other skin cancers can lead to vitiligo. However, researchers note that this is an excellent indication that cancer therapy is working.


See: 10 Year Old Girl with Vitiligo Healed with Homeopathy

Vitiligo natural treatments

Vitiligo Natural Treatments

The best forms of vitiligo therapy take the time to get the job done. Some people may see results in weeks, while for other remedies, it may take nine months, a year, or more.

- Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid. Adding an assortment of vitamin B12 rich foods and folate-rich foods is advised. Vitamin B12 is critical for those who have vitiligo, as it might help prevent depression. Folate is vital for overall health and wellness as it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, may prevent certain kinds of cancer, and is necessary for healthy pregnancies.

- Copper. Researchers are not sure whether copper deficiency causes vitiligo or is a consequence of vitiligo, including copper-rich meals to your diet might be beneficial. In the Ayurveda clinic, water is often kept in a copper vessel overnight before drinking. It's believed that copper stimulates the melanocytes to actions, increasing saliva and pigmenting the skin.

- Zinc. Another common deficiency found in people with this problem is zinc. Zinc supports a healthy immune system, combats cancer, combats diabetes (an autoimmune condition commonly associated with vitiligo), supports proper nutrient absorption, and helps heal and repair muscles, bones, and tissues.

- Beta Carotene. For general skin health, carotenoids are critical.  Lycopene, lutein, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin are found in fantastic tasting foods such as kale, sweet potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes.  Lutein and zeaxanthin are associated with eye health and lycopene with a lower risk for prostate cancer. Beta-carotene is associated with anticancer properties. Additionally, these strong carotenoids can help lower inflammation, promote eye health, and protect the skin from harm, including melanoma.

- Vitamin C. Many vitiligo patients are deficient in vitamin C, just like folic acid and vitamin B12. Vitamin C deficiency is more common than previously thought. It's vital to help slow cell damage, fight free radicals, and also to construct the hydration necessary for healthy joints, bones, ligaments, and skin. An excellent way to get the vitamin C you need is to eat fresh, organic produce. But, citrus fruits might not be the best alternative for those who have vitiligo as they may decrease pigmentation in some individuals.

- Vitamin D. Lots of people with vitiligo are sensitive to sunlight, and a few of the traditional treatments can lead to severe sensitivity to sunlight. Due to this, incorporating tons of vitamin D-rich foods to the diet is critical. The best sources include wild fish such as sardines, salmon, mackerel and tuna; cod liver oil; and raw milk, eggs, and mushrooms.

- Needling. Skin Care needling is showing some promise as a top vitiligo natural therapy. Needling is a process where a trained practitioner uses a medical-grade roller fitted with 200 or more fine surgical needles on the skin. Presently, needling is most frequently utilized to stimulate collagen and elastin production, promote scar, and stretch mark reduction. As there's a risk for disease, finding a skilled practitioner is significant.

- Aloe Vera. Aloe vera supports a healthy immune system reaction. This powerful plant comprises essential antioxidant vitamins needed when fighting vitiligo, such as vitamins A, C, B12, and folic acid. Additionally, it contains essential minerals, such as aluminum, calcium, chromium, zinc, and many others, that may support the skin's repigmentation, which makes it a critical treatment for vitiligo.

- Stress Management. Among the most significant vitiligo treatments is to handle stress. Our minds play a critical role in healing, and the more stress we have, the harder it is for our bodies to heal. Besides yoga, massage, meditation, regular exercise, talk therapy, and support groups should be integrated. For young kids and teens afflicted with vitiligo, it's essential that psychological support and talk therapy are given as much (or more) thought as conventional therapies. Bullying is common, often leading to low self-esteem and withdrawal and depression.

- Turmeric and Mustard Oil. The topical application of a combination of turmeric powder and olive oil might cause favorable changes in the pigment of their epidermis. Simply mix a few tablespoons of high-quality turmeric powder with just enough mustard oil to create a paste. Apply to desired regions, and leave on a minimum of 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Do this twice daily for at least two weeks.

- Stay Hydrated. Skin health depends on hydration levels. It's imperative to drink loads of clean, freshwater during the day. If you would like to follow the Ayurveda clinic, maintain it in a gas container for 24 hours before drinking. Additionally, adding coconut water to your daily diet might help balance electrolytes, lower blood pressure, and decrease stress.

- Yoga. Anxiety, depression, and anxiety are common in this condition. Practicing yoga a few times a week might help alleviate these side effects and enhance mental focus and mindset. Yoga increases GABA levels, reducing anxiety, and reducing depression symptoms naturally. 

- Gingko Biloba. A study published in the journal International Society for Complementary Medicine Research discovered that ginkgo Biloba could cause repigmentation. Besides assisting with the repigmentation, Ginkgo Biloba is proven to assist in depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. Gingko Biloba is deemed safe. Nonetheless, it might interfere with anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents; speak with your doctor about all supplements, especially before any sort of surgery or after a trauma.

See: Turmeric Curcumin Health Benefits & Side Effects

Natural vitiligo prevention

According to VSI (Vitiligo Support International), individuals with this genetic condition may lack healthy levels of certain nutrients. However, no evidence ingesting certain foods could improve or worsen your vitiligo. Despite this lack of evidence, some folks claim to have success with many different at-home treatments. Popular, topical home remedies include:

- a mixture of lemon and sweet ginger extract

- Ginkgo Biloba paste

- a combination of turmeric and mustard oil

Diet for vitiligo prevention

While there is no formally prescribed "vitiligo diet," good nutritional discipline include eating a healthy diet full of right nutrients and drinking a great deal of water. Just like any autoimmune disease, you might benefit from resistant system-boosting foods containing beta-carotene, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. Some foods that  have been cited as beneficial for people with vitiligo include:

- leafy greens, such as kale or lettuce

- bananas

- apples, garbanzo beans

- root veggies, particularly beets, carrots, and radishes

- figs and dates

Vitiligo diet limitations

There are no medically recognized foods that aggravate the condition. However, anecdotal evidence indicates that some people today experience an adverse reaction when they eat certain foods, particularly the ones that include the depigmenting agents' hydroquinones. Everybody's body is different and might respond differently to particular foods. Some of the foods that some people with vitiligo cite as problematic:

- alcohol

- blueberries

- citrus

- fish

- fruit juice

- gooseberries

- grapes

- red meats

- pickles

- pomegranate

- pears

- berries

- wheat products

Vitamins for vitiligo prevention and treatment

Some vitiligo patients have reported that certain compounds, like herbs and vitamins, have appeared to lower the skin's discoloration. These chemicals have not been deemed clinically effective as treatments for vitiligo but are only supported by anecdotal evidence:

- beta carotene

- Ginkgo biloba

- vitamin B-12, or folic acid

- vitamin C

- vitamin D

- amino acids

- enzymes

See: Ayurvedic Treatment For Skin Disorders

Precautions & side effects

Vitiligo sufferers may have a higher risk of developing hearing loss, eye problems, sunburn, skin cancer, and psychological or social distress. Many traditional treatments have serious side effects; speak about all possible side effects with your physician.

See: Yoga & meditation for natural stress relief

Summary

Traditional vitiligo treatment and organic vitiligo treatment may take weeks or years. Vitiligo is believed to be an autoimmune disorder, but may also be a consequence of specific vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Exposure to industrial chemicals, stress, and severe sunburn may trigger vitiligo. Individuals treated for skin cancer with immunotherapy may develop vitiligo. Depigmentation of the skin may result in severe emotional and psychological health issues, including depression, anxiety, and withdrawal from social circles. Seek support from groups such as the National Vitiligo Foundation, American Vitiligo Research Foundation, and Vitiligo Support.

See: Acupuncture treatment for skin diseases

References

1. Vitiligo discomfort with sunscreen use. (n.d.) https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/color-problems/vitiligo/vitiligo-discomfort-stops-with-sunscreen-use

2. Vitiligo overview. (n.d.) https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/color-problems/vitiligo

3. What is vitiligo? (2014, November) https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/vitiligo/vitiligo_ff.asp

4. Schallreuter, K. U., Salem, M. A. E. L., Holtz, S., & Panske, A. (2013, April 29). Basic evidence for epidermal H2O2/ONOO−-mediated oxidation/nitration in segmental vitiligo is supported by repigmentation of skin and eyelashes after the reduction of epidermal H2O2 with topical NB-UVB-activated pseudocatalase PC-KUS [Abstract]. FASEB Journal

http://www.fasebj.org/content/early/2013/04/29/fj.12-226779.abstract

5. Craiglow, B. G. & King, B. A. (2015, October). Tofacitinib citrate for the treatment of vitiligo: A pathogenesis-directed therapy [Abstract]. JAMA Dermatology 151(10), 1110-2, Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26107994

6. Grimes, P. E. (2013, January). The efficacy of afamelanotide and narrowband UV-B phototherapy for repigmentation of vitiligo. JAMA Dermatology 149(1), 68-73 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23407924

7. Fitzpatrick, T. B. (n.d.). Vitiligo treatments http://www.avrf.org/treatments-products/vitiligo-treatments.html

8. Is vitiligo a medical condition? (n.d.) https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/color-problems/vitiligo/is-vitiligo-a-medical-condition

9. Kruger, C. & Schallreuter, K. U. (2012, October). A review of the worldwide prevalence of vitiligo in children/adolescents and adults [Abstract]. International Journal of Dermatology 51(10), 1206-12 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22458952

10. Ongenae, K., Van Geel, N., & Naeyaert, J. M. (2003, April). Evidence for an autoimmune pathogenesis of vitiligo [Abstract]. Pigment Cell Research 16(2), 90-100 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12622785

See: Functional Medicine treatments for Skin Diseases

Get a Consultation
(650) 539-4545
Get more information via email