- Best ResultsVariable
- Treatment RecoveryNA
- Procedure TimeNA
- Skin SpecialistNaturopath
- Duration of ResultsMedium Term
- Back to WorkNA
Natural Remedies For Vitiligo
Everyone likes to ‘go natural’. Vitiligo treatment and re-pigmentation is no exception. Medical treatment has a higher success rate compared to natural treatments, however approximately 20% of vitiligo patients do respond to natural combinations of Vitamin D, herbal remedies such as ginkgo & light therapy. Re-pigmentation can take up to 12 months, however success can be gauged within the first 3 months of therapy
FactsFacts on natural treatments for vitiligo
- Natural treatments for vitiligo are reported in the literature
- Some vitiligo patients lack vitamin B12, folic acid, & iron
- Replacing low vitamins helps with your general health
- A natural method of treating vitiligo is a combination of vitamin D, ginkgo herbs, vitamin B, C & E
- Phototherapy is another natural remedy
- Light treatments are safe, effective & quick to perform
- Alternative medicines can be adjunctive modalities to medical therapy
What dietary changes can be effective for vitiligo?
There is no direct correlation between vitiligo & diet or food. However, there are unproven studies, which allude that avoiding acidic foods, such as tomatoes may help. Other reports suggest that eating foods high in antioxidants, or supplements such as ginkgo biloba can re-pigment patches of vitiligo. If you would like to try a natural approach, diet & supplements should be combined with phototherapy for the best results.
What is the relationship between gluten & vitiligo?
There are some cases of gluten intolerance in some patients with vitiligo. This is exceptionally rare. My viewpoint is that this diet is harmless. Whether it does anything meaningful is another story.
What is ginkgo biloba & can it help to re-pigment vitiligo?
Ginkgo biloba is a naturally occurring herb. There are reports in the literature that it can slow down the progression of vitiligo. Several large studies have confirmed the effectiveness of this natural remedy. On this basis, I do advise patients to undertake this supplementation as adjunctive therapy.
What is the role of vitamin D?
Vitamin D has an intimate role in signalling pigment cells known as melanocytes. There are many large studies confirming the efficacy of vitamin D analogues known as calcipotriol. On this basis vitamin D supplementation may reduce activity of vitiligo. You can find this vitamin in every chemist. Double the RDI.
In the context of mainstream dermatology, I occasionally combine prescription vitamin D creams with narrowband phototherapy.
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What is the role of vitamin C in the treatment of vitiligo?
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant. In theory reducing oxidative stress to the pigment cells, or melanocytes may reduce, prevent, or improve vitiligo. Studies do not support this. Regardless, combining a supplementation of vitamin B, C, D, & E is as simple as a vitamin pill.
Is vitamin B effective?
Vitiligo can be associated with vitamin B12 deficiency, as pernicious anemia is an autoimmune condition. The role of vitamin B is controversial as there are conflicting reports in the literature. One study showed that vitamin B supplementation coupled with phototherapy showed a beneficial effect compared to narrowband UVB alone. Other studies did not support this. Given the fact that vitamins can be easily supplemented, popping a multivitamin, even if it is placebo, is a sensible option.
What are other herbal supplements that can help treat vitiligo?
Indian gooseberry or Phyllanthus emblica fruit extract, vitamin E, and carotenoid combinations can be useful (in loose studies). Given the banal nature of berries, fruits & tocopherol, supplementation may be indicated, as adjunct to phototherapy.
Polypodium leucotomos (PL) is a tropical fern that has been shown to protect against UV radiation– induced damage.Green tea is another potent antioxidant. Studies are weak, however, as placebo can be useful, supplementation can be considered.
Psoralen plants including Psoralea corylifolia (used in India) & Ammi majus Linnaeus can be useful if you do not have access to phototherapy. These are naturopathic psoralens which were used 3500 years ago. The world has largely advanced since the times of herbs. If you are interested in trying these remedies, possibly a literature review 1500 BC may guide you. I can not.
Davin’s Viewpoint on Natural Remedies for Vitiligo
There is an exponential interest among patients regarding complementary naturopathic remedies & supplementation for the treatment of vitiligo. Some studies are stronger than others. In some cases, supplements with immune mediated and/or antioxidant properties can be beneficial for patients with the disease.
Supplementation should be viewed as adjunctive agents to conventional medical therapy including pulsed topical CS & tacrolimus as well as narrowband phototherapy. To date, the results of oral supplementation studies are promising, and deserve further study in larger, well-designed trials. My advice to patients is to consider supplementation with vitamin B, C, E, D & selected herbs. Complementary alternative medicine in this context is cost-effective and banal.
If you are from a third world country, your dermatologist / village doctor / herbalist may give you plants that contain psoralen. These include Psoralea corylifolia & Ammi majus Linnaeus. I have no experience with herbs. I know they can work; however I am unable to guide you.
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