Complementary (non-NHS) treatments
Some treatments are not available on the NHS. You may feel that they are worth investigating if conventional treatments have not worked for you. However, The Vitiligo Society cannot recommend using any of these treatments, due to the lack of clinical trials to prove their effectiveness.
We would suggest that you check the qualifications and experience of private practitioners very carefully before paying for their procedures or products.
Recell is quite a new procedure that involves the practitioner taking a small sample of normal skin. The skin cells are separated out and then sprayed onto the white vitiligo patches, so that the pigment cells can develop. The re-pigmentation process takes several months. Although less intrusive than skin grafts, the procedure involves some skin trauma. Further research is required to find out how effective this treatment is, in the short-term and long-term.
Laser treatments are only available privately and can be very expensive. There is conflicting evidence about how effective they are.
Complementary medicines are heavily advertised on the Internet, but there is no reliable evidence of their safety or effectiveness. Current research indicates that most complementary medicine products to treat vitiligo are ineffective and expensive, except ginkgo biloba.
Vitamin and mineral supplements may be a good idea if for some reason you have to have a restricted diet, or if it is found that you have a specific deficiency. You should not take more than the recommended dose though. If you have a healthy, balanced diet it should not be necessary to take supplements. More information on nutrition…
The Vitiligo Society continues to monitor vitiligo research and treatments and will advise on any proven product or treatment.