What is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a condition where white patches appears on the skin due to the loss of melanin in the skin cells that are responsible for giving color to the skin. Melanin, produced by special cells called the melanocytes, is destroyed or in less quantity in people who have Vitiligo.
Vitiligo causes symmetrical patches on the skin with dark or red borders. It can affect either of the sex and can occur in people from all races, but they are more common in women than men. The commonly affected areas are hand, back, neck and wrist. Other areas that are affected are lips, eyes, nipples and anus.
Vitiligo is not contagious and affects a person mentally than physically. In some people, the condition may not be visible, but in others, it is obvious. Light-skinned people have less cosmetic concerns, but patches can become visible during the summers, as the affected areas do not tan.
Causes & Impacts
In the past, there have been a number of myths about the cause of vitiligo. While some attributed it to eating fish and drinking milk at the same time, other believed it was caused due to germs. In reality, the exact cause of destruction of melanocytes cells that in turn results in vitiligo is still unknown.
Some of the causes of vitiligo are
Vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder and the person with vitiligo will develop antibodies that destroy melanocytes. It is also associated with other autoimmune diseases such as thyroid, diabetes, addison’s disease and other disorders.
- Hereditary history of vitiligo has also been seen as a cause of vitiligo.
- Melanocytes destruction can also be caused in case your body accumulates many toxic radicals.
- Vitiligo may also be caused due to intake of denatured foods that are low in nutrients.
- Other common triggers that cause vitiligo are sunburn, mental stress, illness or any injury to skin.
Unfortunately, there are no measures that can be taken to prevent vitiligo. But, it is best to start home remedies for vitiligo as soon as you see the symptoms of the disease appearing on the skin, so that the spreading can be minimized to that area alone.
Cure or Treatments
Vitiligo is difficult to treat and response to different treatments may vary. While there is no permanent cure for vitiligo, a number of home remedies can help prevent the disease from spreading on your skin and hair.
- Turmeric and mustard oil mixture can help reduce the white patches on the skin. For the mixture, mix 250 ml of organic mustard oil and 5 teaspoon of turmeric powder and mix them well. Apply this mixture to the affected areas and let it stay for 15 minutes. Then, wash it off and allow it to dry. Apply the mixture at least twice daily for 20 days for great results.
- Papaya helps in reviving the dead melanin cells. Rub a piece of papaya on the affected areas and let it dry. You may also drink papaya juice every day for visible results.
- Store water in a copper vessel overnight and then drink that water only for a few days. This helps in the promotion of melanocytes cells.
- Walnuts are also very affective in curing vitiligo. You can eat walnuts every day or even powder walnuts and then apply it on the skin by adding water to it and making a paste.
- Sweet basil leaves have also been found to be effective in getting rid of vitiligo skin problems. Extract some lemon juice in a glass and add two teaspoon of sweet basil leaves to it. Apply this mixture on the skin for 15 minutes and then wash it off.
- Drink at least one glass of neem juice daily to treat vitiligo.
- You can make a paste of leadwort root and water and apply them on the patches on your skin.
- It is important to take nutritious diet to stay healthy and prevent the disease to affect other areas. Some of the food that need to be your diet are green tea, ginger, garlic, olive oil, black pepper and turmeric powder.
It is best to try a combination of about 3-5 home remedies to be able to fight vitiligo naturally.
These treatments are most helpful if vitiligo affects a small area on the skin. If you find the condition is spreading, it is best to contact your doctor for examination and further treatment. It is important to wear sunscreen when heading out in the sun to protect the affected areas.