Vitiligo is an absence of melanocytes, the cells which produce melanin, the skin pigment. The characteristic patches of ivory white may affect one small area or occur all over the place. Vitiligo affects all races, although it’s more obvious on darker-skinned folk.
This condition baffles everyone. Some theories include:
- Vitiligo may be an autoimmune disorder, whereby parts of ‘self’ are destroyed by certain cells. It is more likely to occur after a severe shock, trauma or stress.
- There may be a genetic cause as the condition often runs in families.
What To Do
Dietary factors don’t appear to play a role in the cause or treatment of vitiligo, but eating sunflower seeds may help, as they contain tyrosine (see below).
Herbs and Supplements
- Many people with vitiligo also have low stomach acid. Whether this is a cause is not clear, but treating this proves helpful in treating the condition. Take a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and honey in hot water before breakfast.
- Take a hydrochloric acid supplement with each meal.
- Take vitamin B5 which aids stomach acid production.
- PABA may be useful in the treatment of vitiligo. Take it in conjunction with a B complex.
- The amino acid tyrosine can be converted in the body to the skin pigment melanin. Take tyrosine between meals. The vitamins and minerals (often found together in a multi) that help this conversion to take place are vitamins B3, B6 and B9, copper, manganese and vitamin C.
- The Bach flower remedy: star of Bethlehem, which is used for shock to the system, may help, especially if a major drama or trauma has preceded the vitiligo.
- Stress management.
- The less melanin your skin has, the less you are protected from UV rays. You must use sunscreen on the unpigmented skin when outdoors.
At a glance
- Good food
- Sunflower seeds.
- Food to avoid
- Remedies to begin
- Hydrochloric acid, tyrosine together with vitamins B3, B6 and B9, copper, manganese and vitamin C, PABA, star of Bethlehem.
- Use sunscreen on unpigmented skin, stress management.
- A feeling of not belonging.