Vitiligo is a condition that affects the skin and causes white pale patches that result from a low concentration of the skin pigment known as melanin. While the condition can affect just about any part of the skin, it is most prevalent on parts of the body that are constantly exposed to the sun.
These include the face, the arms, hands and neck region. The severity of vitiligo varies from one individual to another, so that while some people get tiny patched areas, others suffer from large patches that can stretch across the body.
Medically, it is not possible to establish the extent of the skin that will be damaged, especially because the patches tend to be a permanent fixture on the skin.
Other symptoms of vitiligo include the lack of the characteristic eye color, progressive loss of hearing in some people as well as the ease of getting sunburns in the absence of sunscreen. While the condition is neither contagious nor fatal, it does cause sel self esteem issues in affected persons, and it is easy for them to plunge into depression. Medical treatment options that exist revolve around improving the appearance of the skin while ensuring that you retain the health of the skin.
In cases where the patches are relatively small, camouflage cream makes for an ideal treatment option. Perhaps the most amazing thing about treating the condition naturally is that you not only have fewer side-effects, you are also better placed to improve the long term health of the biggest organ in your body, the skin. Below are vitiligo home treatment options that you can try out. Make the best of these remedies, a number of which you can find in your kitchen cabinet.
1. Red Clay:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 2 Tablespoons of red clay, 1 tablespoon of ginger paste, and warm water to rinse. Sunscreen (optional).
Red clay is one of the easiest and most effective longterm home treatment for the management of the white patches caused by vitiligo. This is attributed to the high concentration of copper present in the clay. Copper has numerous benefits for the skin, but chief among them is the fact that copper assists the body to get rid of free radicals that tend to destroy the melanin-producing cells. This in turn, helps increase the production of melanin. These two traits are essential for any vitiligo patient. Listed below are the steps you need to follow to use red clay for vitiligo home treatment.
- Mix the red clay with the ginger juice so that you have a fine paste of your desired consistency.
- Take some of the paste and apply on the white patches all over the body, massaging carefully as you do this.
- Allow the mixture to remain on the skin until it dries on its own, a process which usually takes at least half an hour.
- Rinse off the dried mixture using warm water and proceed to apply sunscreen.
- Use this remedy thrice daily to slow the progress of vitiligo.
2. Basil Leaves and Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Basil leaves, pestle and mortar, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and warm water to rinse.
Basil leaves mixed with lime juice make for an excellent home remedy for the treatment of vitiligo at home, thanks to their healing properties. Basil leaves are packed with anti-aging traits that help retain the skin’s health. The addition of lime juice is known to improve the production of melanin, in effect creating an ideal remedy for the home treatment of vitiligo. To make the best of these benefits however, you have to be consistent over a long period of time, usually from 6 months to start noticing any significant changes.
- Sort the basil leaves and wash them well before chopping into small pieces.
- Transfer the chopped basil leaves to the pestle and pound using the mortar so that you have a green mass of the leaves.
- It is this mass that you will add the lime juice to and mix well.
- Apply the resulting mixture to the white patches on the skin and allow to remain there for half an hour or so.
- Once the time elapses, use warm water to gently rinse the skin and proceed with your usual skin care routine.
- Use this remedy thrice daily for best results.
3. Drinking Water Stored in Copper Vessels:
Time Required: Typically overnight but 3 days works perfectly
What You Need: Drinking water and copper vessels.
The idea behind storing your drinking water in copper vessels is to allow the copper mineral to leech into the water. the aforementioned benefits of copper, particularly in destroying free radicals and improving melanin synthesis comes in handy for vitiligo patients. Long term use of this remedy works by toning the skin so that over a period of time, the skin gets an even tone devoid of the significantly altered skin patches. Replace your usual drinking water with water stored in the copper vessels to treat vitiligo with significant ease.
- Store the drinking water in the copper vessel overnight (or longer whenever you can) to allow the Copper mineral seep into the water.
- Drink this water daily as you normally would.
4. Radish Seeds:
Time Required: 40 Min
What You Need: 5 Tablespoons of radish seeds (or about 50 grams), pestle and mortar, 1/4 cup of vinegar, and warm water to rinse.
Radish seeds are a choice home remedy for vitiligo patients. This is because the seeds contain compounds that help with the activation of the melanocytes (melanin producing ells found in the skin). When mixed with vinegar, the resulting paste, over a period of time, helps reduce the obvious appearance of the large white patches on the skin. You, however, need to use the remedy on a regular basis to make the best of its efficiency.
- Place the seeds in the mortar and grind with the pestle until you get a thin powder.
- Add the vinegar to this powder and mix well so that you end up with a thick lump-free paste for topical application.
- Apply the paste to the skin patches and leave for 30 minutes.
- Wash off the radish-vinegar paste using warm water after half an hour. Use this remedy thrice daily and continue to do so even after you start noting improvements on the skin.
5. Protective Gear:
Time Required: Varies depending on the choice of activity and the duration outdoors.
What You Need: Protective gear
One of the most important things that vitiligo patients ought to consider is skin protection at all costs. This involves protection from the sun’s harmful rays as well as from trauma to the skin. The sun’s UV rays pose a great risk to the skin in vitligo patients as it predisposes them to de-pigmentation, which only further aggravates the formation of the white patches. Trauma to the skin, especially that which involves the breaking of the skin, increases the chances of developing the characteristic white patches at the point of contact. As such, it helps to get relevant protective gear as a method of dealing with vitiligo.
- Make sure you wear appropriate sunscreen whenever you spend time in the outdoors in order to shield your skin from the harmful rays.
- Secondly, wear appropriate clothing in the outdoors to prevent yourself from getting cuts and abrasions. This is especially relevant for outdoor enthusiasts.
6. Cosmetic Cover-up:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Ideal cosmetic coverup for your skin tone.
Just as the name suggests, cosmetic cover-ups are all about lessening the start appearance of the white patches so that the condition’s effects are not easily possible. This in turn, reduces the noticeable color difference between the different parts of the skin. The catch however, lies in identifying the perfect cover up for you as the ideal makeup varies from one’s skin tone to another. Regular use is also key if the results are to take root well.
- Apply your choice cosmetic cover up once you identify the perfect option for you.
- Make the routine a regular part of your skin care routine.
7. Gingko Biloba:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Gingko biloba extract.
Gingko biloba has long been used as medication for a myriad of conditions since ancient civilizations. In the treatment of vitiligo, the herb aids in the re-pigmentation of the skin by enhancing the function of the melanocytes. This herb provides a promising solution for vitiligo patients, but is yet to undergo trials on a larger scale. Using the extract for this purpose has the advantage of other benefits such as memory improvement and improved blood flow.
- Apply the gingko biloba extract on the skin patches, and make this a regular part of your skin care routine.
8. Stress Relief:
Time Required: Varies depending on the changes you make.
What You Need: A positive attitude and a conscious undertaking of your choice activity.
One of the most fundamental ways of treating vitiligo is making lifestyle changes and adjustments to be better placed to deal with stress. Stress, whether emotional or physical, has been found to enhance the spread of vitilgo. This worsens the formation of the white patches and triggers the malfunctioning of the melanocytes. By taking up activities which help you decompress and eliminate the stress, you are likely to reduce the burden of the melanin-producing cells, thus taking adequate preventive measures.
- Take up choice creative hobbies that will help you deal with emotional stress. These include, but are not limited to knitting, painting, drawing, journaling and coking among others.
- Alternatively, indulge in activities such as yoga, light aerobics or nature walks to inhibit the growth of vitiligo.
9. Dietary Changes:
Time Required: Varies depending on the specific food or fruit.
What You Need: Foods rich in Copper and Vitamin B (specifically B9 and B12).
The purpose of making dietary changes is to include more Copper and Vitamin B in your daily food intake. Studies conducted in Vitiligo patients showed that lack of Vitamins B9 and B12 in the diet generally worsened the skin condition. As such, the growth of vitiligo is easily reduced. Some of the foods rich in the B9 and B12 vitamins include liver, pork, fish, yeast extract and a number of dried herbs.
Copper on the other hand, helps remove free radicals from the body. These free radicals destroy melanin-producing cells, thus aggravating the condition. The increased uptake of copper therefore, increases the production of melanin. Some of the rich food sources of copper include nuts, ginger, pumpkin seeds, oysters, watermelon seeds and liver too.
- Make sure you add one or more of the aforementioned foods to your daily diet to improve the condition over a considerable period of time.
For more information, be sure to check our special guest article: Vitiligo Treatment – What They Don’t Want You to Know