Vitiligo, Research and Information on Different Vitiligo Treatments
Your skin cells have pigment molecules called melanocytes that impart colour to your skin. Vitiligo is a pigmentation disorder, in which these melanocytes are destroyed leading to white coloured spots, streaks or patches appearing on different parts of the body. The areas mostly include the face, fingers, hands, wrists, body folds, and sites of injury. Mucous membranes (tissues lining the inside of the mouth and nose), the retina (inner layer of the eyeball) and areas around moles are other commonly affected sites. Normally the hair that grows on the affected patches of skin also turns white.
Although scientists and researchers have not yet zeroed on any definitive cause of vitiligo; there are several theories purported as triggering factors
- Autoimmunity: This is by far considered the most evident reason to develop Vitiligo. In this case, vitiligo patients develop antibodies that directly destroy melanocytes causing loss of pigmention.
- Genetic Predisposition: Another widely accepted view is that people with vitiligo inherit a three gene group that makes them susceptible to depigmentation.
- Stress: Doctors unanimously agree that overt unhealthy stress is the root cause of several diseases and could be a triggering factor for vitiligo as well.
- Toxin accumulation: Several researchers have indicated that increased accumulation of toxins could lead to melanocyte destruction.
- Miscellaneous factors: Some doctors also opine that skin injuries, sunburns, mental distress and physical Illnesses could increase vitiligo susceptibility in some patients.
Vitiligo is a progressive skin disorder. In typical cases, it starts as a small spot and then extends symmetrically or randomly to cover larger areas of the skin as more pigment cells get destroyed.
The pattern of the disorder is atypical and varies in size, shape, intensity of the loss of color and in the profile of their distribution. It may at times become a chronic skin condition or as in some cases regress on its own.
Vitiligo Treatment Options
Popular Medicine declares there is no sure shot cure for vitiligo. However, a lot of symptomatic measures are available that attempt to arrest depigmentation. Some of the popular ones include:
Corticosteroids are the first line of treatment and they are used topically, orally or intravenously to arrest the spread of depigmentation and also restore pigmentation. Although considered to have a 75% success rate, they are not the most preferred treatment since they have non-uniform effectiveness; and long term use may cause atrophy of the epidermis leading to skin shrinkage and the appearance of purplish-red striae. Other potential side effects include systemic absorption, glaucoma, suppression of the hypothalamo-pituitary axis, as well as Cushing’s syndrome and growth retardation in infants and children.
Light therapy is another treatment protocol that utilizes certain wavelengths of ultraviolet light to induce melanin synthesis.
Laser Treatment involves using targeted phototherapy at a wavelength of 308 nm to induce repigmentation. It has a 50% success rate but is associated with side effects like hyperpigmentation, skin burns, and folliculitis.
Since a maladaptive immune response is one of the major reasons of vitiligo, Holistic doctors believe that an approach addressing this concern will definitely go a long way in achieving repigmenation. There is a lot of research ongoing in the field of natural medicine to unearth potential natural ingredients that may help restore the colour back into your lives again.
In fact, plant remedies have seen a recent resurgence resulting from several factors, such as effectiveness of plant medicines and lesser side effects compared with modern medicines.
Key Ingredient Highlights
- Bakuchi (Psoralea corylifolia):
This is an ayurvedic herb that is traditionally believed to help stimulate melanocytes to synthesize melanin. Studies suggest that bakuchi possesses immunomodulatory, antioxidant and hepatoprotective properties, which may prove valuable in treating skin condition like vitiligo. 1
- Katuki (Picrorhiza kurroa):
This ayurvedic herb is traditionally believed to possess natural immunomodulatory and antioxidant properties that may help modulate the immune response and improve skin heath.
- Acacia catechu:
This Ayurvedic herb is traditionally believed to possess active constituents that balance the energy elements in your body and has rejuvenative properties. Clinical investigation has shown that Acacia catechu is a valuable alternative in treating skin disorders like vitiligo. 2
- Bishop’s weed (Ammi majus linn):
This natural ingredient is traditionally believed to benefit the health of the urinary, respiratory and dermatological systems. Clinical analysis has indicated that the seed contains furanocoumarins, which stimulate pigment production, when skin is exposed to bright sunlight. Experimental evidence showed that vitiligo cases treated with this extract promptly responded and completely recovered or greatly improved within a short span of time. 3
Investigations including Homeopathic ingredients like Arsenicum sulphuratum flavum, Arsenicum album, Nitricum acidum and Syphilinum showed that vitiligo patients given these classical homeopathic treatments had significant improvement in their condition. 4
These are just some of the many herbs that are successfully employed to restore skin health. Biogetica integrates traditional wisdom with research backed evidence and formulates multidisciplinary kits with ingredients that are traditionally believed to enhance the body’s melanocyte production cycle and support the restoration of normal skin colour.
Our kits include:
- Ayurvedic herbs: A combination of herbal extracts like bakuchi, katuki, acacia, pippali, etc that are traditionally believed to possess natural immunomodulatory and antioxidant properties. These polyherbs potentially promote melanogenesis and melanin transfer to the skin.
In fact a clinical trial on our pigmento formulation reported that 60% of Vitiligo patients in the initial clinical evaluation of Pigmento showed repigmentation. 5
- Homeopathic Attentuations: Potentized combination of advanced bio-resonance homeopathic remedies that are traditionally believed to stimulate the body to improve melanin production, stall depigmentation and restore archetypical skin functions.
- Nutraceuticals: Supplements that provide essential nutrients to provide nourishment and contribute to cell and tissue regulation to restore their altered homeostasis.
Vitiligo is a distressing skin condition that brings with it considerable psychological stress and embarrassment, which is often more painful than any physical pain. The condition thus, besides being a medical problem, also becomes a social stigma. Our mission is to provide holistic solutions that work on the physical, energetic, mental and emotional planes of human existence Please visit www.biogetica.com for expert advice, personalized recommendations and natural effective solutions now.
Dr Vijay Kamat graduated from K.L.E. society’s Shri B. M. Kankanwadi Ayurved Mahavidyalaya, Belgaum, India; one of the oldest Ayurvedic institutions in India. He is a prestigious member of the Ayurvedic Association of India. He possesses deep ancestral and research-based knowledge of plants, and is passionate about bringing age-old secrets of Ayurveda within the reach of a common man. In keeping with his passion, he is presently leading the medical team of Biogetica – a collective of Doctors dedicated to natural medicine. Together, they work to bring evidence-based natural healing solutions to the world.