Vitiligo is a disease that causes the loss of skin color in blotches. The extent and rate of color loss from vitiligo is unpredictable. It can affect the skin on any part of your body. It may also affect hair, the inside of the mouth and even the eyes. Vitiligo natural remedies can help improve the skin condition.
Normally, the color of hair, skin and eyes is determined by melanin. Vitiligo occurs when the cells that produce melanin die or stop functioning.
Vitiligo affects people of all skin types, but it may be more noticeable in people with darker skin. The condition is not life-threatening or contagious. Treatment for vitiligo may improve the appearance of the affected skin but does not cure the disease.
Vitiligo occurs when melanin-forming cells (melanocytes) die or stop producing melanin — the pigment that gives your skin, hair and eyes color. The involved patches of skin become lighter or white. Doctors don’t know why the cells fail or die. It may be related to:
- A disorder in which your immune system attacks and destroys the melanocytes in the skin
- Family history (heredity)
- A trigger event, such as sunburn, stress or exposure to industrial chemicals
Vitiligo Natural Remedies
As with any over-the-counter (nonprescription) treatment, check with your doctor before trying alternative medicine therapies to be sure they won’t interact badly with other treatments you may be using.
Some experts consider vitiligo as the outward expression of nutritional deficiencies. True to this theory, different studies have found that vitiligo patients have lower levels of certain vitamins and minerals when compared to people without vitiligo.
Different studies have found that vitiligo patients are usually deficient in the B vitamins including vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid. Usually low levels of these vitamins are also associated with abnormally high levels of a compound called homocysteine.
Homocysteine produces a long list of harmful effects in the body but it especially can yield harmful free radicals in metabolic reactions. Therefore, supplementation with vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid can help stop vitiligo by reducing oxidative stress on the skin.
Other vitamins that are helpful in vitiligo treatment include the antioxidant vitamins such as vitamins A and C.
Vitamin D has also been proven to have anti-vitiligo effect through a number of properties. In fact, vitamin D analogs are some of the most effective topical vitiligo products prescribed.
Mineral deficiencies play a smaller role in the progression of vitiligo but copper has been suggested to be effective in the treatment of vitiligo.
Alpha lipoic acid is also another antioxidant supplement that has been shown in multiple studies to be quite effective in the treatment of vitiligo.
Ginkgo biloba is perhaps the most studied herb used in the treatment of vitiligo. Limited studies show that the herb Ginkgo biloba may return skin color in people with slow-spreading vitiligo. Other studies show that folic acid and vitamin B-12 plus sunlight may restore skin color for some people.
The leaf extract which contains antioxidant and immunomodulatory phytochemicals has been shown to improve vitiligo symptoms both when used alone and when used with other vitiligo treatments.
Khella or Amni visnaga is also used in the treatment of vitiligo. In fact, the ancient Egyptians recorded its use for this purpose. The flower extract of khella contains khellin, a potent diuretic but it is the psoralen content that is the most useful in vitiligo treatment.
This phytochemical is the same psoralen used in PUVA vitiligo therapy in combination with ultraviolet A radiation.
This closely follows the use of psoralen-containing plants such as Khella in traditional medicine. After taking the extracts, patients are usually advised to get some sunlight exposure.
Psoralen is a coumarin. It is a photosensitizing compound which helps darken the skin after exposure to ultraviolet irradiation.
Some other plants containing psoralen are also used in the treatment of vitiligo. These include, parsnip, celery, carrot and fennel.
Other herbal extracts used in the treatment of vitiligo include ginger juice, black cumin, turmeric, sesame seed, duckweed, coconut oil and papaya.
While there are different formulas for combining some of these natural remedies at home, you may decide to take an OTC vitiligo supplement formulated with proven natural vitiligo remedies.
A good example of such is callumae.
Callumae contains the vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid; the amino acid, L-phenylalanine (a precursor for tyrosine which is then used to produce melanin); alpha lipoic acid; and herbal extracts of Ginkgo biloba, Amni visnaga and Picrorhiza kurroa.
Turmeric extract plays a great role in eliminating Vitiligo, but it is only effective when taken along mustard oil, which also has its own benefits. A combination of mustard oil and turmeric extract is very efficient in curing this disease.
For best results take, 500mg of turmeric extract dissolved in 8litres of lukewarm water. Filter the solution after boiling, and add 500ml of mustard oil. Apply this mixture twice a day, on the patches and observe a great difference in just few months.
Among many other vitiligo home remedies, one of the best ways to treat vitiligo are Psoralea Seeds. These seeds need to be submerged in 100gm ginger juice for approx three full days, then hulled and converted into a powder form. Apply the paste for an entire month and feel the change!
Red Clay Treatment
Red clay is another useful remedy to vanish Vitiligo. It must be combined with ginger juice in divisible parts and applied daily, twice a day, on the spots, until the problem vanishes.
Lifestyle and home remedies
The following self-care tactics may help you care for your skin and improve its appearance:
- Protect your skin from the sun and artificial sources of UV light. If you have vitiligo, particularly if you have light skin, use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Apply sunscreen generously and reapply every two hours — or more often if you’re swimming or perspiring.You can also seek shade and wear clothing that shields your skin from the sun.Protecting your skin from the sun helps prevent sunburn and long-term damage. A bad sunburn can make your condition worse. Sunscreen also minimizes tanning, which makes the contrast between normal and discolored skin less noticeable.
- Conceal affected skin. Concealing products may improve the appearance of the skin and help you feel better about yourself, especially if your vitiligo patches are on exposed skin. You may need to try several brands of makeup or self-tanners to find one that blends well with your normal skin tone. The coloring of self-tanning products doesn’t wash off, but it gradually fades over several days. If you use a self-tanner, select one that contains dihydroxyacetone, as it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.