All you need to know about Vitiligo






What are the topics that we are going to discuss about Vitiligo?


I wish to spread the knowledge of Vitiligo after having my patient treated successfully. This blog will discuss the general facts about Vitiligo, the treatments offered, the herbal medicine that can be beneficial in this regard, and some tips that are useful for tackling Vitiligo to a great extent.



What is Vitiligo?


It’s a disease that is suffered by about 0.5% to 2% of the people around the world. Men and women are equally affected by this disease, implying that no one is debarred from it. Interestingly, it is an autoimmune disease, and one-third of the people around the world who are having this disease also have an autoimmune disease from which they have been suffering for a long time. Some autoimmune diseases are thyroid issues like Graves’ disease, Hashimoto disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Type 1 Diabetes, and many more. This significantly depicts that the person having this type of disease is experiencing some imbalance in the immune system. This may be due to the fact that in a disease like Vitiligo, the immune cells attack melanocytes. These cells live in the skin tissues and secrete the substance called Melanin. This Melanin is responsible for giving pigment to the skin. Melanin is secreted to protect skin from the sun's harmful rays, thus playing a vital role in the process.





Fig 1: Patient suffering from Vitiligo

What are the treatments that are offered to people having Vitiligo disease?


There are specific treatments that have proven to be quite effective in the case of Vitiligo. The most common treatment is applying creams that have steroids or any other substance that instigates inflammation processes in the skin. Another method of treatment is by using PUVA. PUVA (Psoralen Ultraviolet A Radiation) or photochemotherapy is a type of ultraviolet radiation treatment that is Combined with the substance Psoralen. Psoralen is derived from a herb called Buguzhi Fructus Psoraliae in Chinese, and it comes from a category of herbs known to tonify yang. The treatment is executed by exposure of the affected skin to radiation. This process increases the production of Melanin in the skin. It is a long-term process and requires constant radiation therapy to see effective results.





What are the herbal medicines that a Vitiligo patient can take?


Apart from Bu Gu Zhi in Chinese medicine, another treatment uses a herb called Ginkgo Biloba that increases blood flow in patients, invigorates the blood, and increases blood supply to the tissues. Other names of herbs tonifying blood include Chuan Xiong, Dang Gui-Angelicae Sinensis, Sheng di Huang/Shu di Huang, (Rehmannia). Some cold herbs that influence the inflammation process in the skin are Jin Yin Hua and Lian Qiao- Fructus Forsythiae. These two cold herbs are usually used together as they have similar properties.




Fig 3: Ginkgo Biloba



Fig 4: Chuan Xiong



What are some of the tips or diet recommendations for Vitiligo patients?


Apart from this, it is recommended that Vitiligo patients lower the intake of protein from animal products like meat and dairy products. Also, these patients must avoid packaged foods industrially processed and shift their eating habits towards fresh vegetables and fruits with lots of antioxidants along with vitamins. It is also seen that the food products that have gluten in them might harm Vitiligo patients significantly. Hence, it is recommended to encourage a more gluten-free food diet as it has shown improvements in some patients. Moreover, rice is also a perfect source of carbohydrates for Vitiligo patients.


Fig 5: Rice


It has also been recommended that a Vitiligo patient must opt for stress management techniques like meditation, yoga, going for long walks, or any such stress-relieving activities where the patient can unwind themselves. Many studies today indicate a positive association between exercise and mood, therefore, physical activity of any kind is beneficial. It may also involve art and creativity or doing something that a person likes.




Fig 6: Yoga



It is important to note that the person having Vitiligo disease must cover their affected skin areas with a cloth or sunscreen to not be exposed to direct sunlight.


Summary


Vitiligo is a disease with no short-term treatment that produces predictable results and the results are highly variable from person to person. Only long term treatments are effective. Hence, proper treatments and healthy habits must be adopted in order to get constructive results. 0.00 What are the topics that we are going to discuss about Vitiligo?

0.44 What is Vitiligo? 1.37 What are the treatments that are offered to people having Vitiligo disease? 2:14 What are the herbal medicines that a Vitiligo patient can take?

3:14 What are some of the tips or diet recommendations for Vitiligo patients?