What is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo, also known by its clinical name Leukoderma, is a skin condition that is characterized by gradual de-pigmentation. This condition begins as a small patch of bleaching skin. Often, this little patch will gradually expand. In addition, to the dismay of the afflicted person, whitening will emerge in other parts of the face and body. Many people know about vitiligo because this disease affected Michael Jackson, but most do not realize that vitiligo or leucoderma is a skin disease that affects about two percent of the population.
Although scientists have been studying this medical condition for years, we have not yet been able to eliminate this disease. There are three main links to this disease, a person’s lifestyle, genetics and family environment. What vitiligo experiences is a discoloration or depigmentation of their skin. This seems to happen in different parts of your body. This almost makes it seem as if some parts of your skin have peeled off. Actually, it is melanin, or part of the skin cells responsible for the production of skin color, that dies suddenly. It is this sudden death of melanin that makes experts believes that it is an autoimmune problem. If vitiligo is an autoimmune disease, this intrigues experts. This would mean that there is an imbalance that is causing your immune system to activate melanin, attack and ultimately kill melanin. It is important to check with your doctor SO SOON as you suspect you have vitiligo. Your doctor can confirm if you have a temporary skin or vitiligo disease.
“It is key that you get this diagnosis because you may have some other health problem that can trigger vitiligo”.
If you are able to cure this first ailment, then that will solve your vitiligo. Vitiligo can last decades in the affected areas. In many ways, vitiligo is like chronic arthritis. Once it is turned on it is stuck for a while. Vitiligo affects both men and women equally, and tends to appear before a person reaches the age of 40.
Treatments to Cure Vitiligo:
Anyone suffering from vitiligo will have to learn to cope with this condition for the rest of their life. There is no prescription medication that completely cures vitiligo. That does not mean that they cannot do anything to stop or eliminate any outbreak that may arise. It’s good news, because if you can control the outbreaks, you can live with vitiligo and not even know that you have it. Some of these therapies are aimed at re-pigmenting the affected parts of the skin in a person’s body. However, other therapies try to attack how vitiligo forms, and get to the root of the problem approach. There are two popular approaches, applying corticosteroid creams in the affected area and changing a person’s diet and lifestyle.
UV Ultraviolet Rays or Phototherapy:
A very common therapy that slows the outbreak of skin whitening is UV phototherapy. If you are considering UV phototherapy, you should only perform this type of therapy under the supervision of a medical professional. This is not a type of ‘go to your local tanning salon’ therapy. If you try this yourself, you may exacerbate the outbreak. This happens when the patient is very exposed to UV rays. Due to the risk of overexposure , it is better if UV phototherapy is performed in a licensed clinic or hospital that has the appropriate equipment. UV phototherapy does not mean that you can go out in the sun and tan. Doing that will be a quick way to make your condition worse. In fact, you should make sure to cover the affected areas with protective clothing when you expose yourself to the sun. A high SPF sunscreen is also recommended. Obviously, your skin is sensitive and you should take precautions. UV therapy will help encourage color to return to the affected areas by re-pigmenting the skin. In addition to this initial treatment, you can make adjustments in your lifestyle that can help you control this disease.
Another option to treat vitiligo is to obtain skin grafts. However, it should be borne in mind that skin grafts would be considered very risky in most cases. We would only advise considering skin grafts if the outbreak is in an area that causes extreme distress. Obviously, getting a skin graft can only be done by a medical professional and even then the results may not be as expected. The easiest option to deal with vitiligo is to do nothing at all. It is very possible that you only have a small sprout in an area of your body that will always be covered. After observing the outbreak for a period of time and determining that the outbreak is not getting bigger and that there are no other outbreaks, you can decide to ‘live with it’ as it is, since it is not noticeable.
A corticosteroid will not cure the disease. The reason we use a corticosteroid is to reduce tissue inflammation in or around the affected area. Experts say that tissue inflammation is a key ingredient in vitiligo outbreaks. Therefore, a common first step is to use a corticosteroid to reduce inflammation and stop the outbreak of vitiligo condition. Doctors are working to determine the initial causes of vitiligo and there is much discussion about tissue inflammation. Many experts believe that it is inflammation that can act as a trigger. Pay special attention if vitiligo occurs in your family. If it works in your family, you will want to work with your doctor to make sure you have regular skin checkups.
Natural Remedies for Vitiligo:
Is there any way to naturally cure vitiligo? Is there any way to naturally reduce the outbreak of vitiligo? These are two of the most frequent questions asked by people suffering from vitiligo. Like most things in life, the answer is not so simple. There is no magic pill that a person can digest to cure. However, there are integral ways such as the “Body Without Vitiligo” system to stop the outbreak and in many cases reverse vitiligo. Vitiligo is curable up to a certain point and depending on each case. There are many home remedies available, which can help us get rid of the nasty white spots. Then I will present the most effective natural remedies to combat Vitiligo …
A mixture of turmeric and mustard oil is very effective in healing white spots. It is one of the traditional ways useful for the treatment of Leucoderma at home. To use it, you should first take about 500 grams of turmeric in eight liters of water, boil until it is reduced to one liter. Thereafter, filter this solution and add about 500 ml of mustard oil to it. Apply this mixture twice a day on patches.
A mixture of radish and vinegar seeds is also very useful for the treatment of Vitiligo. To prepare it, take 25 grams of the powdered radish seeds and two teaspoon of vinegar and mix together. Apply along the patches on a regular basis.
Another popular home remedy is the mixture of red clay and ginger juice. Both are very effective because red clay contains copper that has proven good for restoring skin color, and ginger helps activate and improve normal blood circulation.
A powder is formed by grinding some dried pomegranate leaves and then taking this regularly along with the water.
Prepare a paste or mixture of Psoralea seeds and ginger juice by boiling them for three days. Then dry the solution and grind it to make powder. You can take this powder with a glass of milk, or it can also be applied to patches. This is probably the best home remedy to treat Leucoderma or vitiligo. In addition to the aforementioned solutions, daily use of bitter drinks such as Indian lilac leaf juice will be very beneficial.
Avoid Wearing Tight Clothes and Shoes:
Not only is tight clothing uncomfortable, it also constantly brushes your body. Even a microscopic inflammation of the skin can trigger vitiligo. An area in which you may not think at the beginning is the type of physical exercise in which you participate. Research has shown that using a tight head can trigger vitiligo on the face where the skin comes in contact with the gear.
Beware of Skin Allergies:
You need to evaluate your work environment. If there are air pollutants, then it is possible that those pollutants are exacerbating your vitiligo. If you find this is the case, then take precautions, use skin protection. Work gloves, long-sleeved shirts, masks, etc. are needed. to reduce the intake of pollutants.
Reduce your Stress Level:
Stress is a great contributor to developing a new outbreak of vitiligo. Stress can come in any form: school work, work stress, money and even marital discord are factors that can raise your stress level. If you discover that you are under a higher than normal level of stress, it is time to ask yourself if there is any way to reduce that stress. If you can’t eliminate stress (marriage, work) there are vitamins that are excellent for helping to deal with stress.
Studies have Shown That Stress Can Trigger an Outbreak.
This is especially true if you notice that the pigmentation fades in your hands or around the joints of your body. If this is the case, take steps to reduce stress in your life. This may mean that you need to make drastic changes in your life, such as your work, marriage and similar things. Although we would never recommend leaving a marriage, we recommend that you sit with your spouse and work to resolve the problems that are causing stress in the marriage. Not only will your marriage be stronger, but also the additional benefit of helping your skin condition. Studies have also shown that if you don’t reduce stress, your vitiligo will get worse over time. If the stress continues, the vitiligo will probably get worse over time.
Avoid Makeup, Perfume and Cologne as Much as Possible
Basically, avoid anything that could irritate the skin. Your goal is to keep your skin as happy as you can. Tight clothing, makeup and allergies can trigger an outbreak.
One of the best things a vitiligo sufferer can do is alter their lifestyle. This will have the positive effect of limiting and, in many cases, eliminating the effects of this unpleasant skin condition. The diet and the environment are two of the biggest contributors to vitiligo outbreaks. You may wonder, how can my environment affect a skin disease? Well, this may seem obvious, but if you live or work where there is a high level of environmental concerns such as air pollutants, then it is quite likely that your vitiligo is much worse than if you lived in an area of low pollution. You may think that it is fine because your condition ‘has always been like this’ or that you don’t even notice the contaminants but trust us, they are there. It is similar to asthma. Many people have asthma induced by cold weather. Therefore, two people can live in a northern climate and one fights asthma during the winter, while the other person, who lives in the same climate, breathes well. The same with vitiligo. You may not notice the effect of pollutants but you will not really know what effect they have until you leave the environment. This may mean that you should contemplate moving your family. Although drastic, this movement can mean that your vitiligo yields or even disappears.
Did you know that your diet can have a great influence on the aggressiveness of vitiligo? Most people do not realize this. In fact, by modifying or eliminating certain aspects of your lifestyle, you can reduce or even eliminate the symptoms of vitiligo. The biggest factor is the diet. The researchers discovered that there is a link between vitiligo and a person’s diet. Researchers have also determined that the link is common allergies. The things you should consider when thinking about your diet are the types of food you eat (organic versus processed), how much fast food do you eat and what kind of fast food? Also, do you eat spicy foods regularly? Also, make an inventory of the food you eat in general. The reason you want to take stock of what particular foods you eat, even if they are all healthy, is because you can have a food allergy and not even realize it. A person can develop an allergy at any time in his life and even the slightest allergy can trigger an outbreak. Seek to replace foods such as cocoa and gluten and try to incorporate tofu into your diet. To determine what allergies, if you have any, you have, it would be better to consult your local doctor for a food allergy test. The doctor will review your eating habits and the types of food you eat. Then they will perform a series of small tests to see if your body has a reaction to a particular food. If you find that you are allergic, then you should seriously consider replacing that food with one that you are not allergic to.
After discovering which foods you are allergic to and modifying your diet to eliminate those foods, it is time to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into the diet (to which you are not allergic). Eating more of those foods will provide your body with a daily supply of antioxidants. Antioxidants are vital to allow your body to neutralize free radicals. Once you take steps to ensure your diet is correct, you will discover that your vitiligo will improve. We cannot guarantee that your vitiligo is completely cured, but with changes in your lifestyle and changes in diet, your body will be less stressed. Less stress on the body can mean that your vitiligo will disappear. It is very important for anyone with vitiligo to eat from the four food groups. We recommend a diet high in fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains and fish. Observe the emphasis on fresh foods. That is not by accident. Stay away from processed foods. In addition, meat should be kept to a minimum for anyone with vitiligo. Pork, beef and chicken can be eaten in smaller quantities. But how am I going to get my protein? ‘ You can maintain your protein levels with fish consumption.
Creams for Vitiligo:
There are creams that you can put on the affected areas to help with the irritation. Both creams are available by prescription and treat vitiligo in different ways. One is a topical corticosteroid and the second is phenytoin. The phenytoin is premature breakdown of melacitos. Topical corticosteroids work to prevent inflammation of the skin. While that does not cure vitiligo, it does help with the severity of the condition. The less inflamed the skin, the less severe the outbreak of vitiligo . These creams are not an instant cure; they need to be applied for a period of time to work. In addition, corticosteroids work best in small patch patches. If you have your entire leg with an outbreak, then topical corticosteroids will not have much effect. However, if you have a small area in your hand, then you can stop the progression. Topical corticosteroids are a good first option to combat vitiligo. They are relatively inexpensive, have virtually no side effects and have a long shelf life. Phenytoin, on the other hand, tries to attack vitiligo from a different perspective. Phenytoin tries to stop the death of melaocytes. These skin cells are responsible for producing the skin pigment. When these cells die, a person loses pigmentation in that area and you get the familiar characteristics of vitiligo. This is a very exciting cutting-edge research. Researchers from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Romania have led this research and have been able to formulate phenytoin in a product that is applied to the skin. These researchers have determined that, for maximum results, a high concentration of phenytoin is necessary. It should be borne in mind that this product is still under investigation and development, but phenytoin does contain many promises.
While phenytoin is new and cutting edge, the third vitiligo cream has been around for a while. Psoralen is used together with UV therapy. This is the approach that many dermatologists have used. Psoralen tries to control the outbreak in a similar way to a topical corticosteroid. In the long term, we can imagine a multiple approach to diet and lifestyle changes, phenytoin for long-term health melaocytes and psoralen / UV therapy for the treatment of current outbreaks.
Frequently Asked Questions about Le Vitiligo:
Who is at Risk of Developing Vitiligo?
Basically, anyone can develop vitiligo. Both men and women have the same chance of getting vitiligo. All races exhibit a similar prevalence of this condition, although the darker the complexion of the skin, the more noticeable the effects. However, your chances of getting vitiligo increase greatly if a parent has it, if you or someone in your family has an autoimmune disease (such as hyperthyroidism). There is also evidence that you have more possibilities if you experience hair graying before age 35.
Is Vitiligo Contagious?
No, vitiligo is not contagious. As anyone with vitiligo will tell you, people will unconsciously stay away from you. People will think you are contagious; Some will even think that you are unclean and that is why you suffer. A person with this disease will find it harder to get a job, get a promotion, an appointment and even get married. If the outbreak is in the face and is very noticeable, the scrutiny will increase. All these reactions are due to ignorance. The common man does not understand what causes vitiligo. Another person cannot get vitiligo by contact, sneezing, handshakes, etc. Technically, the skin of a vitiligo sufferer is healthy. It’s just that the pigmentation cells in that skin are dying too early before they can replenish. Even so, the natural response of a person who knows a person with vitiligo is to withdraw from contact. Genetics seems to be the main culprit of how vitiligo spreads. This disease will not cause death. In fact, a person with vitiligo will not feel any pain at all, no matter how widespread the outbreak is. The pain will come as emotional scars from the social stigma that society will give these people.
How Widespread is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo affects 1 to 2% of the population worldwide and it is estimated that between two and five million Americans suffer from this condition. In general, vitiligo develops between the ages of 10 to 30.
What Causes Vitiligo?
The symptoms of vitiligo arise because the melanocytes (the cells that produce the pigment that gives color to the skin) are destroyed or stop working. What makes this happen is still debatable, it may be the result of an autoimmune and genetic reaction. There is research that shows that even events such as sunburn or emotional stress can cause outbreaks of vitiligo. Although science has not eliminated vitiligo, they have been able to identify some key factors that may contribute to its outbreak. The first factor is genetics and, unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about it. You will have to be on high alert if the vitiligo runs in your family tree. Good news about the second factor: you can control your lifestyle and your diet. Driving an unhealthy lifestyle with a lot of stress, pollution and a poor diet, then your vitiligo will suffer.
What are the Symptoms of Vitiligo?
People with vitiligo have irregular white patches on different parts of the body, and these patches grow over time. Usually, the first white patches appear on the face, lips, hands, arms and feet. Later, they spread to other areas, including the armpits, eyes, genitals and nostrils. Loss of pigment can also cause eyes and hair.
How is Vitiligo Diagnosed?
A doctor will diagnose vitiligo by doing a physical exam, taking the patient’s history and possibly performing a biopsy and / or blood test to rule out other conditions.
How is Vitiligo Treated?
Conventional medical treatments for vitiligo include: re-pigmentation of UV light therapy, corticosteroids (oral or topical), skin grafts, skin tattoos and in extensive cases of vitiligo, de-pigmentation of the rest of the skin so that match the color of the affected skin.
Is vitiligo Treatment Effective?
Unfortunately, no method has guaranteed success. Steroids can produce some improvements if used long term, but this is not recommended due to side effects. Light therapy is effective to some extent, but it takes a long time and can cause eye damage, skin burns and skin cancer. Skin grafting should theoretically be very effective, but many complications actually occur, including graft rejection, infection and abnormal appearance of grafted skin (cobblestone effect).
Can Vitiligo be Cured Without Any Medication or Surgery?
Yes, there have been numerous published research papers that reported that in scientific trials, patients have been cured of vitiligo using a combination of 3 vitamins, herbal extracts or a combination of herbs and vitamins. It has also been shown that dietary changes can have a pronounced effect of the condition.