What is vitiligo?
In Vitiligo, melanocytes, (melanin-producing skin cells), responsible to impart skin color get damaged, malfunctioning, or absent. This happens in defined or random areas of skin or mucous membrane, leaving behind discrete hypo-pigmented or light-colored smooth skin patches compared to the surrounding skin. It affects 1–2% of the world’s population. People with vitiligo may associate with eye abnormalities, hearing issues, and have a high incidence of diabetes mellitus, pernicious anemia, and thyroid disorders.
How old is vitiligo?
Vitiligo is as old as the existence of human beings. We can find the mention of vitiligo in religious texts such as the holy Quran, Veda, and the Bible. Documented as “Bai Dian Feng” in Chinese medicine, “Shewetakusta” in Atharva Veda, “Shwitra” in Ayurveda, “Kilas” in Vinay Pitah (Buddhist sacred book) “Bars” in Arabic, and “Phulbehri” in Punjabi. Common slang such as leukoderma, white patches, or Safed Daag is often used to describe vitiligo. The origin of the term vitiligo is from the Latin word “Vitilus”, meaning “Calf”. First coined by Celsus, a Roman physician in the 1st century A.D. since it resembled the white patches of a spotted calf.
Why does vitiligo happen?
There is still no uniform consensus on its cause and the reasons range from hereditary, autoimmune, injury, stress, malabsorption, hormonal imbalances, autoimmune disease, neurogenic factors, genetics, sunburn, stress, and chemical exposure. Lifestyle changes and even nutritional deficiencies.
What are the health effects of vitiligo?
Vitiligo does not cause any physical disability. It is neither contagious nor life-threatening. but often stressful because of social stigma and leads to psychological issues.
Is Vitiligo Diet Supplements Treatment a cure for vitiligo?
No one can claim that Vitiligo Diet Supplements Treatment can be a cure of vitiligo, but yes, Vitiligo is manageable. Vitiligo a multifactorial condition does not have a universal treatment yet. Hence, the approach is to use modalities that suppress the progression of depigmentation and implement cosmetic interventions. This could range from Vitiligo Diet Supplements Treatment, photo-chemotherapy (PUVA), phototherapy (UVB), vitamin D3 analogs, topical immune-modulators, surgery, medications, excimer laser therapy, topical steroids, immune-modulators, blister grafts, melanin transfer, camouflage therapy, repigmentation therapy, and more.
Is every white spot vitiligo?
Remember, every white spot on the skin is not vitiligo. Visit a qualified dermatologist for evaluation of any white spot noticed over the skin or mucous membrane. A proper medical history and clinical evaluation are essential for creating a treatment plan for vitiligo. The most common differential diagnosis is Tinea versicolor, a fungal skin infection that may mimic vitiligo.
The other conditions that may mimic vitiligo are Albinism, Piebaldism, Waardenburg syndrome, Medication-induced or chemical-induced leukoderma, Lichen sclerosis, Onchocerciasis, Pityriasis alba, Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis, Morphea, Hypopigmented macules, Nevus depigmentosus, Hypomelanosis of Ito, Halo nevus, Scleroderma, etc.
Self-diagnosis & self-medication often lead to incorrect diagnosis and delay in treatment. Vitiligo, when diagnosed and managed early, has been shown to have better outcomes specially when Vitiligo Diet Supplements Treatment is added.
What is the natural management of vitiligo?
Every health condition has a cellular origin and results from imbalanced homeostasis. So most skin specialists recommend complementing traditional vitiligo treatments and improving cellular nutrition with Vitiligo Diet Supplements Treatment , a diet suitable for vitiligo and natural supplements for vitiligo management. However, since the exact etiology of vitiligo is unknown in a particular case, it is imperative to make the right decision when choosing the right vitiligo diet supplements.
What is the role of vitamins and supplements in vitiligo?
Vitamin B-12 inhibits the production of homocysteine and protects melanocytes. Folic acid provides methyl group to vitamin B-12 while pantothenic acid with pyridoxine supports them. Vitamin D increases the rate of melanogenesis by increasing the activity of tyrosinase. Vitamin A & E prevents epidermal oxidative stress. Carotenoids provide photo-protection for lightly pigmented skins.
Contrary to the belief, Glutathione protects the skin cells from getting damaged at the cellular level, hence protecting the melanocytes from degradation.
There are mixed opinions about the use of Vitamin C and turmeric. Although the antioxidant effect may counteract the free radical damage to the skin cells, they both boost immunity as well. This may be beneficial sometimes, but not universally, especially if the autoimmune response is to be kept in check. Hence, some dermatologists suggest avoiding them while others suggest incorporating them into the diet. Vitiligo diet has to be focussed on immune-modulation and not be immune-stimulant.
How do I pick the right diet for vitiligo?
Pick foods rich in
- Amino acids: phenylalanine and tyrosine (main precursors of melanin. Tyrosine contributes 64.5% while phenylalanine is 27.4% towards melanin formation)
- Minerals: zinc, copper, calcium, (co-factors that support melanogenesis)
- Vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin B-12, folic acid, pantothenic acid, vitamin D, Vitamin E, calcium. (support & protect melanocytes)
Avoid or minimize:
- Animal protein could trigger an autoimmune response.
- Vitamin C-rich foods. (Boost Immunity)
- Spices: Turmeric (Strong Anti-Oxidant)
What can I eat on the vitiligo diet?
Foods to eat
- Fruits: figs, apricots, coconut, bananas, ripe mango, and mamey sapote.
- Vegetables: leafy greens, avocados, spinach, beetroot, carrot, potato, cabbage, radish, cauliflower, red chili, bitter gourd, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, dried coconut, shiitake mushrooms, peas, and green beans.
- Non-vegetarian: chicken breast, lean cuts of turkey, wild fish, and organic eggs. ( Avoid Animal protein if you can)
- For vegetarians: firm tofu, kidney beans, chickpeas, mushroom, and lentils.
- Dairy: use dairy sparingly. ricotta cheese, skimmed milk, yogurt (high in tyrosine and probiotics). However, dermatologists advise some patients to avoid dairy products.
- Whole grains: lentils, legumes, soybeans, black beans, oats, brown rice, white rice, wild rice, couscous, quinoa, and corn.
- Beverages: allowed vegetable and fruit juices, and coconut water.
- Herbs & spices: ginger, rosemary, thyme, basil, coriander leaves clove, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Nuts & seeds: sesame seeds, almonds, pistachios, macadamia nuts, cashews, walnuts, seeds, squash, and pumpkin seeds.
- Others: spirulina, whole wheat bread, pasta, toasted wheat germ, baker’s yeast.
- Add some dark chocolate.
What food should I avoid on the vitiligo diet?
Foods to avoid
- Fruits: gooseberry, orange, nectarine, prune, peach, pineapple, lemon, lime, melon, watermelon, grapes, papaya, guava, grapefruit, pear, tamarind.
- Vegetables: eggplant, tomato, green chili, onion, and garlic.
- Animal protein: beef, pork, and fish.
- Dairy: milk, curd, and buttermilk.
- Beverages: carbonated and sweetened drinks, packaged fruit juices, coffee, Vitamin C, rich fresh fruit juices, and alcohol.
- Spices: turmeric
- Others: avoid oily, spicy, processed, packaged, canned foods, especially wafers & pickles, etc.
What natural supplements or herbs may help with vitiligo?
The two most common natural and scientifically researched herbs in vitiligo are:
Ginkgo Biloba & Picrorhiza Kurroa
Ginkgo has anti-inflammatory, re-pigmentary, immunomodulatory, and antioxidant properties, thus potentially affecting the oxidative stress mechanisms of vitiligo. Studies have shown ginkgo and its constituents to attenuate oxidative stress in macrophages and endothelial cells, scavenge superoxides and protect against UVB-induced toxicity. In the last few years, researchers have also used ginkgo extracts to treat vitiligo. As stress or anxiety is involved in the mechanisms of vitiligo pathogenesis, ginkgo’s anxiolytic effect may also contribute to its use in the treatment of vitiligo.
According to studies, ingestion of 60 mg of ginkgo biloba, twice a day, demonstrated significant improvement in total VASI vitiligo measures and VETF spread, and a trend towards improvement on VETF measures of vitiligo lesion area and staging. It is safe and well-tolerated at therapeutic dosages (normal value: 120mg/day).
Picrorhiza Kurroa is also known as ‘Kutki’. Picrorhiza Kurroa herbal extract has antioxidant and immune-modulating activities too with its active components picroside I and picroside II. In recent studies, the picrorhiza showed repigmentation as its common effect. Because of this effect, its extract found a place in the treatment of vitiligo. It is also used to treat skin conditions like eczema as well.
Which oil is good for skin application in vitiligo?
One of the effective home remedies for vitiligo is the use of hempseed oil. It is a rich source of Omega 3-6-9, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B, and a natural immune-modulator.
Is there a natural vitiligo supplement to incorporate in the vitiligo diet and traditional vitiligo treatment?
Often, dermatologists recommend a vitiligo diet and vitamins supplements for vitiligo, but there is always an issue of compliance, consistency, and confusion with what to eat and whatnot. And there is always a need for something that can improve the daily vitiligo treatment regimen and lifestyle. Keeping this in mind to support the traditional management of vitiligo dermatologists developed Melanomax- A natural supplement to complement and support classic therapeutic medical management of vitiligo.
The key ingredients in Melanomax are:
- Picrorhiza Kurroa: 200 mg
- Ginkgo Biloba: 100 mg
- Phenylalanine: 300 mg
- Tyrosine: 100 mg
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid): 5 mg
- Zinc 10 mg
- Vitamin B9 (Folic acid): 200 mg
- Copper: 1 mg
- Selenium: 40 mg
- Vitamin B-12 (Cyanocobalamin): 1 mcg
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- The contents of this article are for education and information purpose only. It is not indented to diagnose, treat or recommend any medical treatment for a medical condition. We advise readers to always check with a health care professional before starting any health supplements.