Many of us know that vitiligo surfaces as a result of a decrease in the production of melanin in the human body. However, the exact cause of the skin condition is still unknown, which only makes it difficult for the medical fraternity to come up with an effective cure for vitiligo. Many experts believe that vitiligo is caused by a tissue-specific autoimmune process, which prompts the body to attack its own cells causing damage. However, such “cause” theory is often challenged by the family history of and nutritional deficiency found in those living with the skin condition.
In such scenarios where no one treatment of vitiligo can be deemed effective, Naturopathy is gaining prominence as an alternative method to surgical procedures and topical solutions for vitiligo. Naturopathy for vitiligo as a holistic solution, helps individuals find food “triggers”, improve digestive and immune function, reduce stress in addition to supplementation of antioxidants. For the best result, it is essential to consult a Naturopath.
How does Naturopathy or Natural therapy for vitiligo work?
Natural therapies assist in the management of vitiligo by finding out what is driving or triggering the skin condition in the first place. For some, it may be an imbalance in the digestive system, for others, it could be stress. Some of the treatment methods covered under Naturopathy for vitiligo after finding the trigger include:
Elimination of food allergens
Elimination of common allergenic foods such as dairy, soy, corn, fish, citrus, eggs, wheat, and peanuts are encouraged to be eliminated by naturopaths. As a common method, naturopaths first remove the allergens listed above for two weeks then introduce one at a time every three days to note any changes. To check allergies, intolerance testing is performed to check for IgG immune-mediated reactions in allergies or other subtler immune reactions in people with sensitivities to food.
People undergoing Naturopathy for vitiligo are encouraged to reduce foods in the diet that promote inflammation and cause an imbalance in the immune system. These red-coded foods usually include high saturated fats such as dairy, meat, and poultry and foods cooked in oils high in omega 6 such as sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, soybean oil, and margarine. A diet rich in essential fatty acids to reduce inflammation such as cold-water fish, walnuts, nuts, seeds, chia seeds, and flaxseed oil is prescribed.
If stress has been found to be a trigger, Yoga or meditation exercises are suggested to help people with vitiligo release tension. Based on the prognosis, the use of herbal teas of passionflower, chamomile, or lemon balm is advised throughout the day for calm and clarity. Foods that are rich in Vitamin B and magnesium are also suggested to support a healthy nervous system.
Exposure to Sunlight
Exposure to sunlight in moderation is also tried under naturopathy to help the melanocytes to regenerate given that many studies point out the vitamin D deficiency in people with vitiligo. One study even found significant improvement in people with vitiligo with high-dose supplementation. However, it is of utmost importance to consult a GP before considering supplementing with high doses of vitamin D.