Vitiligo: Myths-Truths and Ways To Moderate The White Patches On Your Skin With The Help Of Vitamins!

Beta carotene, Vitamin B12, Gingo Biloba, Copper and 10 minutes of sun exposure can help vitiligo patients moderate vitiligo patches a great deal!

Most vitiligo patients have some type of vitamin deficiency without knowing it! By following a vitamin-rich diet they can improve their condition significantly! 

wikipedia commons
wikipedia commons

About 2% of global population suffers from vitiligo! Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease, which means that your immune system attacks itself for unknown reasons. If you suffer from vitiligo, your immune system does not recognize the melanocytes of your skin thus, it attacks them causing partial or full depigmentation of a skin area.

“We don’t know what exactly triggers vitiligo and unfortunately there is not a specific and guaranteed treatment for vitiligo.” This is what most of you have heard from your dermatologist! I also suppose your doctor advised you to cover your white patches with lots of sun cream and not expose them to the sun because there is the danger of a burn. Some doctors have recommended you to use corticosteroid creams and some others have referred you to other skin experts for PUVA or UVB treatments.

Almost NONE of them bothered to subject you to detail blood work, to check if you have any vitamin deficiency, and NONE of them has ever talked about a healthy diet because they thing of the diet irrelevant to vitiligo. The make-up does not help a lot, and you are still disappointed-not to mention depressed- every time you look at your skin or feel the other people staring at you! What you don’t know is that you can improve your condition or even treat your vitiligo by following specific steps.

Myth Number One: Avoid the sun (…but go for radiation treatment…)

The Truth: The sun emits radiation, consisting from electromagnetic rays, including ultraviolet A or UVA and ultraviolet B or UVB. These are the same rays that you’ll be asked to pay for radiation treatments! Specifically, PUVA (psoralen UV-A) and UV-B therapy have been used to treat psoriasis and other skin disorders including vitiligo. According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information,

 Phototherapy with photochemotherapy (PUVA) involves systemic or topical administration of chemicals known as psoralens and administration of ultraviolet light in increasing dosages…PUVA is also used in the treatment of widespread vitiligo with moderately good results, though it is being surpassed by ultraviolet B (UVB), which is equally or slightly more efficacious with fewer side effects. PUVA induces repigmentation by varying mechanisms such as stimulation of melanogenesis, immunomodulation and activation of growth factors..

Undergoing PUVA and UVB treatment comes with the same efficacy and the same dangers as if you expose your skin to the sun!

So, if that’s the case, why do you have to pay for this? You have the radiation you need for free!

How the mechanism of melanogenesis works naturally

Every time you are exposed to the sun, you are also exposed to UVA radiation. UVA rays penetrate the lower layers of your epidermis and they trigger the cells called melanocytes to produce melanin.

The pigment melanin is produced in melanosomes by melanocytes in a complex process called melanogenesis. The melanocyte interacts with endocrine, immune, inflammatory and central nervous systems, and its activity is also regulated by extrinsic factors such as ultraviolet radiation…

Your body produces melanin to protect your skin from burning. Initially, the exposed area becomes red and then this redness darkens. This is why you have this brown tanning during summer and it is absolutely normal process. Here it comes my question to dermatologists…Since the radiation therapies work  pretty much the same way as the natural exposure to the sun, then, why do you suggest that your patients pay for radiation treatments while the same time you recommend that they cover vitiligo patches with sun creams? How on earth are they supposed to help their body produce melanin if they cover their vitiligo with SPF50??? Money moves the earth even if it is at the expense of others…, perhaps?

Health experts recommend 10 minutes of everyday sun exposure for fair skin and 15-20 minutes for darker skin- without sun creams of course! This time is enough for your body not only to produce the necessary melanin but also to produce the necessary vitamin d. And NO dermatologist can support that vitiligo patients are  going to suffer first degree burns, or skin cancer if they go out to the sun for ten minutes!

Myth Number Two: Corticosteroid creams treat vitiligo

The truth: I am not a doctor but many would say that topical corticosteroids bring more trouble to some patients than they help them fight vitiligo. Considering the fact that there are many skin types, which have different reaction to chemicals it is strongly suggested that you discuss the potential side effects with your doctor before you apply topical corticosteroids and in no case use them without medical supervision! The most severe side effects that have been reported from patients are: skin thinning, stretch marks, bruising and tearing of the skin, enlarged blood vessels, localized increased hair thickness and length

Vitamin-based diet can improve vitiligo

Absolutely True! You need to understand that the only way to run a healthy life is to maintain a robust immune system. Your immune system is your host defense system, which deals with any kind of infection, disease and toxin in your body. If something goes wrong with it, you become ill. Now, to boost your immune system and help it deal with its own “malfunction” you need to follow a healthy diet.

Step one: visit your doctor for a checkup and ask for blood work. Check everything (cholesterol, blood glucose, iron, calcium, electrolytes, etc.). Check if there is any vitamin deficiency. Recent researches have shown a close relationship between the onset of vitiligo and the deficiency of vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin A and Copper . Do thyroid blood test (many patients of vitiligo have a problem with their thyroid gland.) No matter what, DO A FULL CHECKUP! 

Step two: If the exam results show any medical issue, your doctor will give you the right guidance to deal with it. Be that as it may, following a healthy diet is vital for your condition. After a lot of talking with vitiligo patients and holistic health practicioners from all over the world, who tried different approaches to treat the disease, it seems that the most efficient way to moderate vitiligo patches is a combination of the following vitamins:

Vitamin B12 or even better a supplement of B-complex. Each B vitamin is essential to body function with B12 being particularly important to the formation of red blood cells and DNA and the metabolism of proteins.

Carrots, eggs, green tea, green leafy vegetables, salmon, apricots are natural sources of beta carotene. Beta carotene is converted into vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant which enhances your immune system protecting your body against free radicals that are the main cause of chronic illnesses. It is comonly accepted in scientific community that a defeciency of vitamin A leads to poor eye health, respiratory infecctions, premature skin damage and autoimmune responses!

Anise seeds, celery, parsley and figs are the best sources of psoralen. Psoralen in PUVA (psoralen + UVA) therapy is applied directly on the skin to sensitize it to UV radiation. In simple language it means that your skin will absorb more UV radiation with the help of psoralen. However, many physicians claim that psoralen itself has photocarcinogenic properties and the combination of psoralen with the UVA radiation leads to a higher risk of skin cancer, the same effect as if the patient had been under the blistering sun for hours. The controversial matter i mentioned before…On the one hand, doctors tell patients to cover their vitiligo patches with high SPF to protected from sun radiation and, on the other hand they send them for PUVA treatments…???? So, it is up to you whether you’ll take that risk or not.

Gingko Biloba preferably taken in pill supplement for the correct dosage. The fact that Gingo Biloba has been repeatedly proven to work for vitiligo patients is based on the break down it causes to free radicals and skin peroxides which are know to destroy melanocytes. A study published in the journal Clinical and Expiramental dermatology in 2003 showed that Gingo Biloba not only can stop the depigmentation of the skin but 10 patients out of the 47 who took part in the experiment showed complete to significant repigmentation!

Black cumin oil applied on the white patches twice a day for as long as it takes. You will find a detailed analysis of black cumin oil properties in my article

Copper. Copper is a mineral which role is to help your body form hemoglobin and collagen which are important for skin health. Great source of copper is beef liver, almonds, dark chocolate and mushrooms.



10-15 minutes of everyday sun exposure of the affected areas are enough to help your body produce melanin naturally AND the necessary vitamin D! If you use sun creams you block this natural process, so for those 10 minutes simply enjoy the sun with no fear.


What to Avoid

  • Smoke and alcohol deteriorate your skin condition a great deal. The best solution is to quit both of them NOW.
  • Sugar and fats. I think you know pretty well how excessive sugar and fats destroy health cells and cause a myriad of health problems.

There is not official implementation of such treatments from doctors. In my view, it is the reluctance of some dermatologists to try different approaches other than expensive treatments, which has led patients to experiment using natural ingredients to re-pigment their skin. Some they made it, some others still try. Vitiligo is one of the most difficult skin disorders. What works for someone, may does not work for someone else! DON’T GIVE UP! Following a vitamin-based diet won’t do any harm! On the contrary, it will enhance your immune system and may help you deal with other problems as well. Give it a try! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain! Claim back your life! Checkmate vitiligo! 


Sotia Bella