Vitiligo is a condition that causes irregular white patches on the skin. It is considered an autoimmune disorder and about 15-25% of those who have vitiligo are also affected by another autoimmune condition, like psoriasis, Addison’s disease, or rheumatoid arthritis. In general, vitiligo affects about 1% of the worlds population, and while many choose to apply topical creams and ointments to manage the condition they can cause side effects such as skin irritation and excess hair growth when used for a long time.
This is why some people with vitiligo are taking a more holistic or natural approach to caring for their skin. Research has shown that using certain herbs can help to treat vitiligo as this can lead to some repigmentation in the affected areas. Moreover, making a few lifestyle changes can also help to treat, manage, and even prevent vitiligo. If you have vitiligo, here are some ways you can manage the condition more naturally.
Revamp your diet
Vitamins found in vegetables and fruits can help reduce the discoloration of the skin. Among the most important vitamins are vitamins A, C, D, and B-12. These are considered to be essential when trying to manage vitiligo. In particular, vitamin D deficiency has been observed in many autoimmune disorders, whereas vitamins A and C act as antioxidants and can prevent the oxidative stress that usually accompanies vitiligo. Oranges, lemons, grapefruits, bell peppers, cod liver oil, sardines, and fortified cereal are excellent sources that contain the essential vitamins referred to.
In addition, be sure to consume enough iron, copper, and zinc since these three are the most important minerals when managing vitiligo. Meat contains high amounts of zinc, whereas copper can be found in nuts, seeds, and dark chocolate. Zinc is a bit more difficult to find, but by consuming cashews and spinach, you can normally reach the desired levels. Also, make sure to be mindful of your daily carbohydrate intake since a diet that’s rich in carbs, fat, salt, and refined sugar can lead to inflammation and trigger chronic disorders such as vitiligo.
Wear sunscreen every day
Vitiligo is mostly observed in areas of the skin that are exposed to sunlight. The harmful UV rays, particularly during the hot, summer months can worsen the condition. For this reason, as a preventive measure, it is recommended to apply a thick layer of sunscreen to the parts of the body that are often exposed to sunlight, especially on the white patches, since these areas are more sensitive to sunlight. Loss of pigment increases a person’s risk to sunburn, so if you must be out in the sun, then be sure to apply lots of sunscreen, reapply through the day as needed, and cover up with protective clothing. A recommended sun protection factor is 50+.
Use natural remedies to improve skin pigmentation
Basil leaves have significant anti-aging properties. Mixing such leaves with some lime juice can stimulate the production of melanin on the skin, and may help improve vitiligo. Walnuts can also be beneficial in treating vitiligo. Consuming 5-7 walnuts on a daily basis is one way to do it, but in order to experience better results, try making a paste by crushing walnuts to a fine powder and mixing with some water. Apply the paste to the skin daily and let it sit for about 20 minutes, and you may notice the slight reduction of white patches. Walnuts are rich in vitamins B and E, both of which have anti-aging properties, and thus, can also help with ageing skin.
Take some time to de-stress
Experts report that vitiligo can appear after an individual experiences high levels of stress. For this reason, it’s important to take some time out to relax and unwind after stressful events. Meanwhile, those with vitiligo may also experience feelings of negativity because of the appearance of their skin, since research shows that people with vitiligo may develop self-esteem issues and have high levels of emotional stress. Having counselling or therapy not only improves quality of life, but can also help one to manage their emotions better. This can lead to reduced stress, and it may also prevent vitiligo from getting worse.
There are several natural remedies that can help treat vitiligo. Although vitiligo is often thought to be a lifelong condition, thankfully, there are natural ways that can help you to manage it and prevent further patches from developing. If you’re dealing with this condition, holistic treatments such as eating the right foods, applying sunscreen, introducing natural remedies, and maintaining a positive attitude can help you to manage vitiligo.
Have you tried any of the methods above? If so, have they helped? We would love to hear….