Vitiligo Home Therapy

  • Best Results4-12 months
  • Treatment Recovery0-1 days
  • Procedure Time2-10 minutes
  • Skin SpecialistYou
  • Duration of ResultsVariable
  • AnaestheticNA
  • Back to Work0 days
  • Cost$

Vitiligo Home Therapy

DIY treatments can be considered in cases whereby specialist access is limited. Diets, coupled with antioxidants such as vitamin C, E, green tea, ginkgo & vitamin B supplementation can give marginal improvements. Topical psoralens are of historical value, however if combined with natural sunlight, can re-pigment areas of vitiligo.

FactsFacts on Vitiligo DIY treatments

  • In office treatments are gold standard for vitiligo
  • Some patients may want to try DIY home remedies
  • Diet & supplements can be adjunctive therapy
  • Topical creams can be sourced online
  • Creams & natural phototherapy can give some results
  • Microneedling for stable vitiligo looks promising

Can diet make a difference?

Vitiligo home therapy

You will find many advertisements wanting to sell you a vitiligo diet. Here is the summary-

Eat foods high in antioxidants. This includes leafy green vegetables, fish, fish oil & nuts. Antioxidants can protect your body & skin from UV rays & pollution.

Exceptional cases of vitiligo can respond to a gluten free diet. Google search gluten & give it up. If your vitiligo improves, it is a fluke.

Low acidic foods can in theory improve skin inflammation. Though it is far-fetched, avoidance of citrus juices, tomatoes & others won’t kill your taste buds.

What supplements can help with vitiligo?

Most supplements are aimed at reducing inflammation & oxidative stress to your pigment cells known as melanocytes. Oxidation can lead to cellular damage, as this has been shown to be one of the causes of vitiligo.

Vitamin B deficiency can be associated with pernicious anaemia. This is an autoimmune disease, like vitiligo. There are low quality studies that have demonstrated the benefits of Vitamin B3, B6 & B12.

Vitamin C is the most potent antioxidant in the body. It is a water-soluble vitamin that requires supplementation via leafy green vegetables & citrus fruits. Therein lies the paradox. Applied topically, vitamin C can reduce free radicals that damage melanocytes. The flipside is that ascorbic acid is one of nature’s most powerful tyrosinase inhibitors, meaning it achieves the very opposite of what we would like for vitiligo, namely vitamin C inhibits pigmentation Hence if you would like to supplement, take a tablet and don’t use a cream.

Vitamin D makes more sense. Oral and topical supplementation has shown to be beneficial in some cases of vitiligo. Taking 150+% more than the RDI is safe.

Ginkgo biloba is another well accepted herbal supplement, there are some studies in the dermatology literature. Though it is controversial (as to the true effects), I am not against it. The worst-case scenario is that it is placebo, however placebo can work in 25% of the time.

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 that are still in use In India & the Middle East. Your dermatologist / village physician / witch doctor may sell you a derivative of psoralen medications. Be guided by them. I have no experience in herbal medicine. 

What creams can be used to treat vitiligo?

The majority of creams that have been shown to be effective in pigmentation require a prescription. These include tacrolimus, pimecrolimus, PGE analogues, 5FU & potent topical corticosteroids. Powerful creams have side effects, hence their regulation. 

Having said this, if you are creative, you can find some of these topicals online via pharmacies in India & Canada. A relatively safe cream is pseudocatalase. This can be bought online from Amazon. You can apply this twice a day & combine it with microneedling. Another topical application that has a good amount of research is topical tacrolimus, sourced from India. Apply once a day to white areas. Combine with microneedling 1-2 times a week. Try to source a 0.1% ointment.

Disclaimer: I am not suggesting you substitute medical therapy for DIY treatments. These suggestions are for those who don’t have access to dermatological care, including access to phototherapy.

Davin’s Viewpoint on DIY treatments

I am realistic. Even though dermatologists don’t endorse DIY treatments, I do believe that education is the correct thing to do. This especially applies to those who may live away from dermatology access, or do not have Medicare.

A sensible start is supplementation with omega fatty acids, oral vitamin B, C, D & ginkgo biloba. Believe in this adjunctive treatment and one in four patients may improve. It is called placebo.

If you can get hold of some pseudocatalase (it is an outdated treatment) you can use this with natural phototherapy. Obviously if you have fair skin, this may not be the best treatment. Failing that, be resourceful, find some bimatoprost online. Possibly in India or Canada. Get yourself a 0.1 to 0.2 mm stamper. Stamp every 7 to 14 days, then apply the solution. Add 5-20 minutes of mid-day sun. This is basic treatment as I must work on the assumption of the lowest common denominator reading this. If you email asking where to find the stuff mentioned above, this denominator is you.

In closing, be safe. Do not burn yourself or vitiligo will worsen. All the best, thank me later.

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