How much do we know about Vitiligo?


Vitiligo is a continual and long term skin problem that produces white depigmentation patches that develop and enlarge only in certain sections of the skin. These white patches appear because the patient has very little or no skin cells - called melanocytes - which are the cells in charge of producing the skin pigmentation, called melanin, which gives the color of the skin and protects it from the sun´s UV rays.

It is impossible to predict how much of the skin can be affected. In the majority of cases, the affected areas remain affected for the rest of the persons life. Because vitiligo leads to a change in skin pigment, many sufferers are concerned about how their skin appears and, as a result, they become self-conscious about exposing the skin in public.

The current thought is that vitiligo represents a group of different disorders with a similar outcome: the appearance of white patches on the skin. The convergence theory states that stress, accumulation of toxic compounds, infections, autoimmunity, genetic predisposition, altered cellular environment, and impaired melanocyte migration can all contribute to the initiation process of vitiligo. Autoimmune mechanisms likely underlie generalized vitiligo, while a more localized phenomenon (i.e. the altered activities of sensitive nerves in the skin) may be responsible for segmental or focal vitiligo. Vitiligo may develop at the site of physical skin trauma; this is known as the “Koebner phenomenon.”

Vitiligo is significantly more prevalent in young women (= 30 years of age) than young men. The peak in females occurs in the first decade of life. Male peak prevalence is in the fifth decade of life.

Vitiligo is a disease that presently cannot be cured, but successfully managed with many different approaches. Treatment for vitiligo is difficult and prolonged. It is typically a combination of the UV light and topical drugs. Although there is no therapeutic full solution yet, high repigmentation percentages, mostly on facial and neck, can be achieved. Existing therapies are less effective on trunk and limbs, and poor on the acral parts of the extremities....

Drugs currently prescribed for vitiligo have a limited ability to slow or reverse the progress of the disease. Temporary repigmentation can be achieved in 2/3 of patients but it requires a combination therapy, which is not available in some places, at a considerable time and cost expense.
If you are living with vitiligo disease, it is important to understand how homeopathic remedies may help to improve the look and feel of your skin temporarily. In most cases, vitiligo disease cannot be cured but the skin can be temporarily treated with ginger root based products.

Ginger root is a natural plant that is found in most natural and homeopathic stores, and can even be found in your local grocery store. By creating a moisturizer, using a couple of tablespoons of ginger root combined with equal amounts of honey, you can create a type of emollient that will balance out the look and feel of your skin.

With ginger root products, patients with vitiligo disease find that their skin undergoes changes attributed to the increase in blood flow and the stimulation of the skin that ginger produces. With these changes, the area of the skin where pigment may be missing often develops a reddish undertone and appears darker for a temporary period of time.

Of course, instead of purchasing ginger root and making your own emollient, many dermatologists and skin care companies can provide professional strength homeopathic products for your skin that contain ginger root. Before using any of these products, however, be sure you are consulting with a dermatologist as to how the application should be used for your particular healthcare needs.

Natural remedies for a variety of skin diseases are effective and typically produce benefits over time. For adults with complications involving vitiligo disease, ginger root products may hold the key to temporarily improving the skin especially at times when you have concern about exposing the discolored skin in public....