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Thoughts on Managing Vitiligo Naturally

My experience with vitiligo started when I was nineteen years old. I was in my second year of university, struggling to meet academic expectations, and unhappy with my relationships at home.

Ultimately, trying to meet my parents' expectations for my academic career and failing to reconcile the mixed feelings that I had about being a pastor's kid of a new church created more pressure than I was capable of handling.

During this angst-filled time, I distinctly remember days when I would lie face down in bed and wish that I could get sick in some way so that there would be less expectations for my life.

I guess on some level, I thought that if I became ill, my parents would feel sorry for me and show me that it was okay if I didn't fulfill their hopes for my life.

After several months of constant stress, worry, and self-pity, I woke up one day and noticed a small patch of white skin under my right eye.

I didn't think too much of it until a few days later, I noticed another white spot on my neck.

A few weeks and several new spots later, a visit with our family doctor and a dermatologist led to a diagnosis of vitiligo.

Over the next several years, unaware of how my diet and emotional stress were causing steady progression of my vitiligo, I went on to lose about 25 percent of my skin color.

Fortunately, my studies led me to a field of promoting health via healthy living called natural hygiene. Over time, I came to an understanding of autoimmune illness, which helped me formulate a plan to address vitiligo through natural means.

Here's what everyone with vitiligo should know:

Your melanocytes (pigment-producing cells), unless irreversibly destroyed, are always ready and willing to restore pigment to your skin.

In order to restore color to areas of your skin where your melanocytes are still functional, the key is to make sure that your diet and lifestyle (including emotional stress) don't continuously undo the re-pigmenting work that your melanocytes are constantly engaged in.

If you read through my articles on the root causes of autoimmune illness and natural ways to prevent and reverse autoimmune illness, you'll have the knowledge you need to follow a diet and lifestyle that minimize the inflammation that characterizes the loss of skin color in people with vitiligo.

To briefly summarize these dietary and lifestyle measures, they are:

  • Eat a plant-centered diet - the bulk of your food choices should be vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains that your body doesn't have trouble digesting.

  • Ensure adequate intake of vitamin B12 and DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid that strict vegans tend to be deficient in).

  • Ensure adequate vitamin D status through diet and sunlight exposure and supplementation if necessary.

  • Avoid intake of dairy products and flesh meats.

  • If you choose to eat some animal products, stick with small amounts of organic eggs and wild fish. Closer to raw is best. Lightly cooked is acceptable.

  • Strive to be emotionally balanced. Work at being a master of managing emotional stressors.

  • Get high quality sleep as often as possible. For most humans, nine to ten hours of restful sleep every day is an optimal amount.

These measures give your melanocytes all the support that they could ask for to produce pigment in areas that need it, as well as to minimize new bouts of inflammation that can create more loss of skin color.

But there is one other essential stimulus for re-pigmentation: sunlight exposure.

Your melanocytes produce pigment (melanin) in response to sunlight exposure, as melanin serves to protect your skin against burning.

The trouble with this requirement for re-pigmentation is that for someone with vitiligo, sunlight exposure is hard to tolerate physically and emotionally.

On a pure physical level, the challenge is avoiding sunburn because areas with no pigment are unprotected against ultraviolet rays.

For this challenge, I recommend being ultra conservative with sunlight exposure - just a few minutes at a time - and increasing intake of red beets, carrots, and dark green vegetables - these pigment-rich vegetables appear to provide some level of natural protection against sunburning from the inside-out. Just be careful not to overdo it with the beets and carrots if you have a problem with your blood sugar-regulating mechanisms, as these root vegetables are rich in natural sugars.

Emotionally, sunlight exposure can be challenging because it leads to greater contrast between areas that still have pigment and areas that have lost pigment.

And because some melanocytes in de-pigmented areas may no longer be functional, there's no guarantee of full re-pigmentation with sunlight exposure, which means that getting lots of sun can help stimulate some re-pigmentation, but at the cost of having the vitiligo that remains to be more noticeable.

As someone who has lived with vitiligo for almost 20 years, I know full well that the emotional component of living with vitiligo can be a huge challenge; it's not an exaggeration to say that it can be crippling.

Because you look different, particularly if you have darker complexion to begin with, having your vitiligo be more noticeable with sunlight exposure increases the number of stares that you get on the street. It can affect what you wear, your confidence level, and how you interact with others.

Because everyone's situation is unique, I don't think there are any sure-fire ways to deal with and overcome the emotional challenges of living with vitiligo. My belief is that all of us have to create our own journeys and make choices and realizations on our own timetables.

Though my vitiligo has been relatively stable for many years now and I do experience some re-pigmentation here and there during the summers, I would be lying if I said that I never feel self conscious about it.

At the same time, I can say that I'm deeply grateful for all of the experiences and realizations that I've had because of my vitiligo.

Developing vitiligo was the main stimulus that caused me to learn about experiencing optimal health through healthy living - I'm grateful in knowing that I'm coming close to accessing my full health and life potential because of my daily choices.

Having vitiligo has deepened my capacity to empathize with others who suffer with anxiety about their appearance or any other perceived disability.

Having vitiligo has given me the gift of being able to almost instantly identify and appreciate people who have extra compassion for others. I think it takes especially kind souls to treat others with vitiligo or some other unique physical trait as though nothing stands out. I'm not writing about being apathetic to another person's appearance at first glance. Rather, I'm thinking about this special gift that some people have, this gift of communicating warmth, acceptance, and genuine care through their friendly gaze. And I believe that living with vitiligo has developed my radar for such people.

Really, I could write many pages on how having vitiligo has made me feel more human. It's forced me to mature in ways that I may not have without it.

During the first few years, I remember being humiliated whenever someone asked me about my vitiligo. For example, one day while having lunch with a good friend and Matt, my friend's adorable toddler son, Matt suddenly paused his chewing, looked at me intently with cupcake icing covering his lips, and asked, "what are those white spots around your mouth?"

Matt's question, perfectly innocent and appropriate for an inquisitive 3-year old, paralyzed me. I was too embarrassed to answer.

As the years went by and I grew to accept that I shouldn't be ashamed of my vitiligo, I realized that people who ask about vitiligo - especially young kids - just want to know more about it; rarely is there intention to cause embarrassment.

These days, whenever children ask me about my white spots, I typically ask them if they know of any animals that have white spots, say, those that emit "moos" or dogs that live at fire halls. As soon as their eyes answer yes, I explain that I'm the same way, that I have white spots here and there, but that they don't hurt, that that this is just the way that I am, just like some animals. And as soon as they understand this, I see in their eyes that I am nothing unusual to them - I'm just Ben, Joshua and Noah's daddy.

Adults really are the same as children in this regard. Even those who stare at first and appear to be a bit uncomfortable, wondering if what I have is contagious - once they see that I'm comfortable with who I am, it seems that they become more comfortable with who I am.

When I was younger and not as comfortable with my vitiligo, I think that others could feel my self consciousness, which may have contributed to them being extra conscious of my unique appearance.

I suppose my point here is that natural management of vitiligo should go far beyond nutritional considerations. In almost all cases, even those involving young children, my belief is that there is a significant emotional component. To work at curing vitiligo without taking time to consider the many life lessons that it presents is to miss out on some serious marrow, I think.

Which brings us to one final life lesson that I've learned from living with vitiligo, one that I'll end this post with:

"...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

Thanks to my good friend, Chet Day for putting good old Shakespeare back into my head this morning. :)

If you would like to share any thoughts on vitiligo or anything related to the main themes in this post, please feel free to add to this discussion via the comments section below.

Thanks for reading.

 
 

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Just wanted to share that I

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Just wanted to share that I stumbled upon a blog which details the use of fresh ginger slices to treat hypopigmentation scars, and those from vitiligo. Its address it gingerhypopigmentation dot blogspot dot com, and I've been trying this for the past few weeks now. This method, as mentioned in the blog, was advocated by an old chinese man practicing alternative medicine from his home. It says that ginger teaches cells to begin producing melanin spontaneously. Well just thought I'd share and see if this works for anyone here! =)

Vitilago

Hello

My vitilago started in university due to the stress of getting good grades and trying to support myself financially. I have noticed since then that my vitilago disappears and only reappears during times of great stress. When I am stressed two small white patches appear at the corners of my mouth.

I also suffer from lichen planus and that too only appears during times of great stress. To rememdy both my lichen planus and vitilago I changed jobs even though that required me to take a pay cut. I decided that my health was far more important than any job. I also noticed that flax seed oil helped too. I have a tablespoon of flax seed daily, a green shake and I try to eat raw foods.

Hi, I was wondering what the

Hi, I was wondering what the results of your trial with ginger treatment were...I have a little boy who's had vitiligo since he was a tiny baby, and it seems to be getting worse recently. I would much appreciate your sharing your experience with this. THANK YOU.

You should be careful with

You should be careful with Ginger supplementation...especially so since you are talking about a small child. Too much Ginger can impair the blood's ability to clot.

Vitiligo

My son had a severe eczema since he was 4 months old. We tried everything, a homeopathy, naturopathy, but nothing seem to work. Then one day I met a lady from Punjab, India, who recommended a treatment from there. This doctor in India has his own hospital and is treating patience with all kinds of skin problems, including Vitiligo. I did his treatment for couple of weeks and my son started to get better from eczema from day 1. The doctor gave some sort of cream to apply and some liquid medicine (it's called Hicope) for eczema. The liquid medicine is only for kids 2 years and older. Anyway, my son is now 2 years old and free from eczema. I would highly recommend this doctor for bad acne, eczema, or Vitiligo problems. The only problem is that his medicines can't be shipped. There is no website either. You need to either to go India and visit the doctor or have someone pick it up from there. Here is the address:
Dr. Surinder Singh
Rangi Hospital
Vill. Gopalpur, PO. Dehlon
141118, Ludhiana, Punjab
Email: rangihospital@gmail.com
Hospital LAN line: 011-91-161-285-0066

Managing vitiligo naturally and individually

Thank you Dr Kim for sharing your experience with having vitiligo.

It's evident that you understand all the aspects that having this 'flavor' of autoimmune disease has on someone. By describing the emotional stress that was your trigger and emphasizing that nutrition, lifestyle,and quality sleep are critical to our bodies pigmenting process you illustrate that we do have some control...some input on how this disease will affect us.

And I agree with you that the emotional challenges of living with vitiligo are unique to each of us that are dealing with it -- it's our own journey on our own timetable...that couldn't be a truer statement.

Your writing is heartfelt...and I appreciate your sharing your thoughts.

Sincerely,
Jann Breslin

Vitiligo/Melasma

Dr. Kim~

Your openness and sincerity are such special gifts. The honesty in your words have such healing qualities; I believe its from this very place of openness that shifts occur so our own healing can occur. God bless you for having the courage to share so openly.

I have had issues with melasma on my face for the past couple years - so dark and widespread that I questioned whether it was in fact vitiligo. As a woman, it has felt like a mask of shame on many occasions. I've searched high and low for the reasons.

I personally believe that I did damage to my filtering organs (liver and kidney) in my early 20's when a doctor prescribed Accutane for a short period of cystic acne. It's my belief that these organs have been compromised ever since, and so my toxins (excess hormones such as estrongen, cortisol, envirotoxins etc.) are filtered through my skin.

I wondered your opinion for the best approach to strengthening the filtering organs. Also wondering if having anemia can contribute to
melasma or other skin issues.

Again, many thanks for your faith and wisdom~
Estee

i have vitiligo had it since

i have vitiligo had it since i had the children may be the change of being pregnant did this i dont know but i was told once from a good friend who is from india that people from his country have it and that alcohol can make it worse this can be true as alcohol is known to kill cells and deficiency.i have a few times had a quite a bit of alcohol in my time and later scratched my skin till it bleeds which is a sign in vitiligo but now i hardly have alcohol and i hardly scratch now, so i hope that with my information helps to put some light.

Spots on Hands and Feet

I am an African American who began to see many light spots below my knuckles to just past my wrist, and bigger spots on top of my feet. I take blood pressure medication and wonder if the undiluted vinegar I drank 2-3 times a day may have triggered this condition. The spots began to appear about 6 months ago. I work inside alot and probably don't get as much sunlight as I should. I just want these spots to go away. People are starting to ask what's wrong. Thank you for sharing, Dr. Kim. Any specific recommendations would be appreciated.

Vitiligo

Dear DR. Kim,

At age 48, I started to develop Vitiligo on both upper areas
of my arms and on my private area.
Also the hair in that area has turned white.
My biggest problem is that I constantly itch on my arms and
all over my body.

Briefly Dr. Kim,

I'm currently 53 yrs old. In 2001, I was diagnosed with
Minimal Chance Disease-Nephrotic Syndrome.
The last 8 years of my life has been horrible.
I take Prednisone every day and Cyclosporine-100mg/daily
My body itches every night like crazy.
I tried every over the counter cream and also prescription
creams-nothing helps.
Do you think there is special diet that I should be on to
assist me in getting better again?

Sorry to burden you with too much.

Thank you,
Zach

vitiligo/pruritis treatment options

Please consider seeing a dermatologist who offers narrow band uvb treatments. this treatment can help re-pigment skin and also helps with pruritis (itching) that is likely caused by your renal condition.
the treatments are quite short and performed 2-3 times per week for a 6-8 week period with treaments generally tapering to 2 times per week, and finally once every 7-10 days indefinitely (for the itching).
two companies - national biological corporation (http://www.natbiocorp.com) and daavlin ( http://www.daavlin.com) makes home and professional use units. if you want to purchase one for home use, you will need a prescription from your doctor. i hope this helps.

Vitiligo

Hi Dr. Ben kim,

I've been subscribed to your newsletter for some time, but this particular article caught my eye. You see, my sister is a make-artist who has created her own line for people who have a hard time getting adequate coverage. In fact, she works a lot with clients who have vitiligo. I'm sorry this condition has caused you pain, and I hope natural therapies and good nutrition help improve your skin condition. If you would like to know more about my sister's make-up line and how it may help you while you are healing, you can go to her website at: http://www.lindaseidelpro.com.

You've helped so many people, I just wanted to give something back to you. :) Thanks for all that you do!! Sincerely, Janis Rafael

Vitiligo

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Well Dr. Ben,

All I can say is, and I hope this comes out right....but I am greatful that you came down with vitiligo. Because, because of this very cosmetic situation, we, and there are many of us....have the wonderful, kind, caring and genuine benefits from the whom you became due to this 'situation'.

I so love all your your e-letters. I read them all word for word. I love how you love your wife and kids, and I love how you have no problem expressing when you have made errors and how you corrected them.

You are a truly down to earth, caring human, and that is very hard to come by nowadays. And also, I am sure that you look quite fine, and we all have bumps and moles and spots and think that they are horrible....well, we are all self concious about something. And really, I don't think that half of what we fear people care about. And if they do......well, they have other issues that makes them just miserable and they pick on people.

So, THANK YOU SO MUCH, for being you, just the way you are. Spots or not. Just think, spots are not so bad...stripes would be a little harder to explain...:):)

I have red moles. One big one under my eye! But no doctor will take it off because red moles are harmless. And it is not small. And the kids well, they don't know what to think of it, but they are used to it. And so am I now. Heck....it has been there for a long time and now it is part of me. So, I guess if someone hated me for that mole, then they weren't worth being friends with. However, no one has ever said anything about it, so I guess, like you say, the fear is mine.

Thanks so much again, and you are well loved by your subscribers.

Sincerely,

Dana

Vitiligo

Being half breed Native American, I experienced vitiligo two times in life. Maybe three.

I had eye surgery at age 3. My straight hair curled after surgery with extensive sedation. I still remember vividly "going under" to this day.

I had major foot surgery at age 12. I was under sedation 4 hours . . . more than expected. I sunburned ever since.

From 1985 - 1996 I took allergy shots in both arms, which are now pure white patchy with dark patches.

Now I avoid the sun because I burn so easily. I know sun is good for me, but, I'm post-menopausal, don't tolerate heat and sun is heat.

I'm not emotionally or culturally sensitive about the white patches, just aware.

It's a funny combination.

Blessings and health to all with the same situation. LISA

Dear Dr Kim Thankyou so much

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Dear Dr Kim
Thankyou so much for sharing your experience. I also have the condition. It can be very distressing but I am starting to see the positives too - it certainly has made me much more aware of diet, stress, sun exposure etc, and increased my compassion and priorities in life. My vitiligo started during a period of incredible stress, and has been accompanied by brief bouts of other autoimmune symptoms at times. I find that meditation (Sahaja Yoga) helps enormously in getting the immune system under control. The white patches have more or less stabilised.
Thanks again
Graham

Vitiliago/MELASMA

Thank you for your story and information regarding vitiligo. It is very interesting. Ironically, thousands and thousands of people suffer from a condition that is opposite of Vitiligo. A condition called MELASMA. Through my studies, I have found many many websites and blogs dedicated to this disfiguring, self confidence stealing condition. It's an over pigmentation of skin cells. More women than men suffer from this, mostly on their face. This Could be hormonal, however, nothing seems to help. Diet, supplementations, topical treatments give little to no relief. Do you have any insight on this matter?
Thank you!

opposite of vitiligo

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I have rarely seen cases of vitiligo, but I have seen large dark patches on some people. What is the difference betweent the two? It seems to maintain the same idea of growth in patches, but it is dark instead of light. Perhaps it stems from auto immune issues too? Curious

we become what we are ...

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Dr. Kim,

No coincidence your dealing with with vitiligo led you down a path that changed your life forever. Congratulations on "observing where you are" and letting it take you into healing and not depression and bitterness. I grew up with Crohns disease and Ankylosing Spondylitis which altered my path into the study of meditation. Now, after many years, I teach meditation and mindfulness to others and could not be happier. Our pain becomes our teacher - if we just listen. Thank you for listening and becoming a healer.

Don

Help for Vitiligo

Thanks for this informative article on vitiligo. While sunlight exposure is useful I would have to say that there was no information on compounds that allow the sunlight to work better AND produce more meaningful results than sunshine alone. I don't believe that sunshine ALONE is terribly useful.

Of course, the diet has to be good to support the immune system while calming down any auto-immune problem. That's a given. In addition, the useful compounds like Ammi Visnaga should be applied before appearing in the sun for a few minutes. After just a few days, you MIGHT see the color coming back. A small quantity of copper as a dietary supplement may also be useful, about 2-4 milligrams per day with food. Just be sure to also take 10-15 milligrams of zinc to balance it out AND at a different time than the copper. Also, be sure to NOT take too much vitamin C as it depresses copper. No more than 3,000 milligrams and separate from the copper. While the evidence is not good for copper reversing vitiligo, it also has not been well studied. It does play a crucial role in pigmentation (and prevention of aneurysms!), so it is good to consider. My vitiligo occured after an extremely serious physical attack on me caused an auto-immune response four years ago. Months later, the vitiligo occured. I was able to stop it and mostly reverse it using the methods mentioned above: copper, ammi visnaga and a super healthy diet based mostly on organically raised foods.

Vitiligo

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Thank you for sharing about this. I've only seen pictures of you and never noticed any spots, just a very warm and happy smile.

I have had bouts with ezcema over the years and as you described with vitiligo, my bouts tend to flare when i'm under a lot of stress. Certain foods sometimes seem to trigger it, too, chiefly dairy, but i'm usually eating those foods at the same time as the stress, so can't tell if it's a contributing factor. At unstressful times, i've eaten dairy, and have had no eruptions.

I've seen people with vitiligo, but didn't realise that's what it was. My husband had acne as a teenager, and he has some acne scars on his face. They're not very noticeable, but when i first met him, he was very self-conscious about them. I understood how he felt as i used to get ezcema on my face a lot when i was a kid, and his assessment of his scars made me realise that we often see our blemishes as much bigger or more serious than how many others see us.

I don't know who said this originally, but a friend sent me this in an email. Not exactly related to vitiligo, but a great outlook:

"Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved."

autoimmune disease and B12

It's vital that people with vitiligo and autoimmune diseases make sure they are not tissue and cell deficient in vitamin B12. A Urine MMA is the most accurate test for this. People don't like shots but they are the best way to make sure there are no failures in the metabolic pathways that can occur when taken orally versus the direct route (shots) of getting the B12. It is wise to add this to your screening tests if you get them as it is an inexpensive test. Vitamin B12 is critical for neurological function and avoiding dementia. People with low B12 levels are more likely to become demented.

Thanks for the article.

I agree with the emotional component but I am not sure that it is so easy to fix these problems with nutrition, sleep, balancing emotions and exercise. Some of them are really tough such as MS and RA. I work in integrative care and have my own difficulties with these issues and they are complex involving toxicities, deficiencies, and/or food intolerances as well.

Bravo

Thank you, Dr. Kim. It takes a lot of courage to be that open.

I just want to share what a homeopathic healer once told me - that vitiligo has its roots in emotional disturbance and that people with vitiligo "are not comfortable in their own skin". And that the emotional problem must be healed before physical healing can occur.

Thanks

Thanks for all you articles Dr Kim, I feel as though they really progressed my understanding on health. This recent series has been particularly good.
Your own account on vitiligo has really hit home with me, because I have had not to long ago a case of severe acne on my face and body. I can really emphasize on the self-consciousness you described in your article. I remember with not to much fondness of when I was at my lowest, the incredible sense of shame and self-loathing that I was feeling at the time.
I too found natural hygiene because of my affliction; and was surprised to find that all the pills and lotions in the world couldn't achieve what a healthy lifestyle and diet naturally gravitated towards. Nowadays I only have rather mild facial redness and some hyper-pigmentation to contend with, but I'm noticing that even these are visibly fading after recently going up a gear in terms of diet.
The only real problem left is the residual emotional effects, I still retain my self-conscious outlook and paranoia almost with the smallest of things. I hope that these too will fade in time.
This article has really inspired me though, reading about you own battle has really made me re-think my own situation in the light of your Zen-like positive mindset and unflinching resolve. :)
Please continue your fine work Dr Kim. Thank you.

vitiligo

I have had vitiligo for nearly 20 years. I have recently realized that the disappearance of the pigment in my skin is related to how I felt as a child in my family and as an adult. I felt invisible and not very important. I believe that my skin was the outside manifestation of how I was feeling internally.
My hands have repigmented nearly 85% and the areas not repigmented fully are light but not white. I feel that it has been a combination of psychological work as well as dietary choices. I avoid wheat and nightshade vegetables. I also eat raw cow dairy or goat/sheep cheese although not that much.

Thanks for sharing this with

Thanks for sharing this with us. Years ago I met a lady with the same problem but several years later she was healed and returned to normal. I really don't know what she did besides having christians pray for her. There may be more to it than I know. But I do know she had it on her face, hands & arms.

Looking different - inside and out

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As you mentioned in your email link to this blog, "This post is for people who have vitiligo, people who know others with vitiligo, and for anyone who has struggled with low self esteem over any life issue."

Although I do not have vitiligo, with the recent passing of Michael Jackson, I was curious to hear what you had to say about this skin condition. However, it was your poignant discussion of the emotional side of illness which struck a cord with me and I am sure many others.

In the previous 10 months, I was diagnosed and treated for brain cancer with radiation therapy followed by nasal and cranial surgery. Surgeons entered my skull through my forehead. When the bandages were removed I came face to face with Frankenstein: I was left with 50 staples from ear to ear where the skin was cut back like a flap and then put back. Although I attended a “pre-op” class for brain surgery candidates, nothing could prepare me for what I saw in the mirror. Being bald, my road to recovery from a "public spectacle stance" has been as challenging as the overall trauma from the treatments and surgery. To add to the mix, I have had esotropic strabismus all my life with 2 minor corrections.

I can relate to your words of people staring. With esotropia, if I am talking to a person or persons and one of my eyes is off doing its own thing – they “uncomfortably” look away. The "self esteem" challenges are very real. It has been very difficult to be a "patient" patient recovering from cancer. As my sister-in-law helped me to say, “This is a real (expletive deleted) moment in my life.” There is no definitive handbook on getting back on your feet after cancer or managing awkward things that make us appear different. We often suffer alone not realizing that it is more universal than we think.

Entering adulthood and the workforce/career world, I pushed my Ophthalmologist to see if more could be done to correct my eyes. Although he had been my surgeon since I was 6 months of age, his words left me distraught: "Choose a career where you won't have to deal with people face to face". That was 27 years ago.

The things that don't break us - make us. Since then, I have only worked with people face to face in various industries and have lived in several countries along the way. I relate to the development of “empathy” and “compassion” you acknowledge in your journey – spin-offs of the challenges you met head on through the years, willingly or not. When diagnosed with cancer, my proactive attitude caught some friends and family by surprise. I responded, “Now is not the time to sit on the curb and cry – I have to things to do.” Some days I’m not sure where that tenacity comes from.

Over the past couple months, I have grown used to people in my neighbourhood staring at the healing scar. “Sneaking glances” of horror have gradually been replaced with smiles and nods. In some ways, “we've” all grown through this experience because I have chosen not to hide. Thank you for sharing your story Dr Kim! (Happy to note: Pathology and MRI results post-op show I am clear of all cancer.)

Vitiligo Diagnosis

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Hello Dr. Kim,
Thank you for your very positive article about vitiligo. I was recently diagnosed with this condition and needless to say I have been very distressed about it. I am hoping I will eventually come to terms with it and arrive at some peace, but at this point I am not there yet. I am a 40 year old woman and was very shocked to receive this diagnosis. I have a few white spots right now, and I am living in fear and anxiety as to how it will progress. As a young girl, teen, and woman, I always took great care of the way I look. To contend with this challenge in my life now is very distressing. However, I am going to take this day by day. I have to for the sake of my family. They need me to be strong. Strong like I have always been prior to getting this diagnosis. For the first time in my life, I am experiencing depression. I've seen other people suffer from it, and wondered why they could not come out of it. Now I understand full well the impact depression has on one's soul. I keep returning to your website for help and answers and I have received some comfort knowing how you had dealt with the same condition. I find that the more people I talk to about it, the easier it gets. In some way, I am grieving. I am now thinking, how can I take vacations with my family to a sunny destination? I will now have to take extra care in so many situations.
Again thanks for sharing your experience. I hope at some point I will get to your level of acceptance of this disorder.

vitiligo

After reading your thoughts on vitiligo I felt the need to reply to you. You see, I have had vitiligo for 21 years now and it has progressively gotten worse over the years. I have struggled with the fact that to care too much about what you look like is vanity and therefore makes me exempt from having an opinion on this - that to care too much about what i look like could suggest that I am shallow and what matters on the outside is not important. well I think we have a right to care what happens on the outside and this does not make us shallow or vain. Also, I think it is equally important that the people in our life, the ones closest to us, acknowledges this fact and expects we will have issues around this from time to time. But always reasurring us we are ok no matter what our skin colour.
I challege anyone to wear my skin for one day, then maybe they will understand our journey. This being said, I think perhaps acceptance that we can't always be strong and that sometimes we need support may help with the depression a little. Good luck!

Vitiligo solution

I'm 40 yr old woman who had vitiligo for 12 years. Mine spread rapidly throughout my body, with depigmentation on joints, under eyes, hair, etc. I tried oral and light medications to no real avail. People used to make hurtful comments before, during and after treatment,... and this was tough. Eventually I started to make a natural treatment which has been a blessing to me. You only need to read this review in the link below... you have nothing to lose.

www.naturalvitiligotreatmentsystems.com

Begin a new life, you deserve it …Good luck!

Really this is awesome

Thanks for the advice , im doing the treatment that you recommend. My vitiligo is disappearing , only with 3 weeks of treatment. Thanks a lot! I'm writting this with tears in my eyes, really thank you!

This i curing me!

Thanks dude, its working very well, the treatment is a bless!!!!

vitiligo

I've had vitiligo since I was 5 - it was just on my feet for years until I reached my teens then developed on my breasts which was mortifying - trying to feel comfortable with my body and the way I looked as a teenage girl with the added problem of pale nipples. I am now 32 and have 3 children. My vitiligo has gotten worst with each child and is now over most of my chest, my calves, hands, feet, elbows, breasts, genitalia and a bit on my face. I live in New Zealand where it's very sunny and have been burnt quite a bit on my chest area. Do you know if there is any correlation between vitiligo and skin cancer? I always use suntan lotion but it does burn very easily. I too became interested in Natural Health when I was 21 whilst investigating vitiligo. I am half way through a naturopathy degree that has been put on halt while my children are pre-schoolers. I also wanted to know more about permanent damage to the melanocytes. Is there any way to know whether permanent damage has been done or not? Years ago I heard that eating liver can help vitiligo. Has anyone else heard of this? I'm a bit torn between feeling that I should be vegetarian and yet loving meet and feeling that I should maybe eat more organ meats. Many thanks.

Another New Zealander with Vitiligo

Hi, this is really a message for Kathryn! I have just been doing some googling about eating liver to help treat vitiligo and I came across your comment...... and you are a New Zealander like me!! I am a 34 year old female living in Auckland and I have 1 child with another on it's way. I have had vitiligo since my teens but it really only got bad after I got married 4 years ago....

I would be keen to get in touch with you as I know a lady I play tennis with who is Maori and had vitiligo when she was young but now has only a spot in her chin the size of your little finger nail. She said to me that eating raw liver is supposed to be good for vit. She ate that plus had some treatment but not sure what that was, unfortunately.

Jo

Hi Kathryn, I have a 12 year

Hi Kathryn,
I have a 12 year old daughter with Vitiligo in Auckland, NZ and am trying to get in touch with others for support. Are you aware of a NZ support group.

vitiligo

I've had vitilogo all my life. I was taken to a doctor at about 4-5. He said it would leave during puberty. It did but came back with a vengence at menopause. So it must be hormonal plus. I get many little brown spots after being in the sun. I noticed they disappear in the winter and when I washed the back of my hands diligently with soap. Adelle Davis says in her nutritional books that cool water washes off D , hot water more and with soap it is all gone. She also says do not wash for 4 hours after being in the sun because you wash off the natural oils which absorbs D into our bodies. I have been taking 5000 units of D3 and a handful of Cod Liver oil caps every day and I am getting brown which stays in the winter. I also do not get cysts anymore which is genetic in my family. So is vitiligo. I also found that people with this, tan more than others -which gives much more contrast, unfortunately.
I have not found a cosmetic which will not rub off but it does cover it quite well - Color Stay by Revlon.

Search Dr Simoncini - he is curing cancer with bicarbonate of soda!!!He says it is a fungus.
Another man is using soda with maple syrup. The sugar is needed by fungus to grow but the soda goes with it and kills the cells-like a lure in a fly trap!

vitiligo

I'm keeping track of my treatment progress by taking weekly pictures of the spots. The more I progressed in the treatment I've noticed pigment dots appearing and spot borders closing in.

My vitiligo pictures gallery

The treatment I'm following consists of topical steroids, nbUVB and vitamin supplements.

vitiligo

Dear Dr. Kim,

Thank you for being willing to share your thoughts regarding the journey of vitiligo. I'm half Lebanese, live in the desert climate with my husband, and work as a licensed psychotherapist. I've had vitiligo for about 12 years, seen Dr.Pearl Grimes in Los Angeles, taken every vitamin & supplement I can find, and sometimes just feel overwhelmed by the situation. I certainly see people with much, much more devastating health challenges & feel almost foolish complaining about my depigmentaion. But tonight I took a long, hard look at my elbows & armpits, and had a good cry.

The changes I've made in simple things such as the clothing I wear, the exercise I feel comfortable doing in public, the way I sometimes try to hide my hands when new clients come to my office, etc., etc.- are sometimes difficult to calculate. I believe the emotional toll on my self-confidence has been the most obvious. My vitiligo kicked into high gear over a short time when I divorced, lost both my parents in less than a year, and sent the younger of my two children off to college. I absolutely agree with you that sleep is crucial, as is a clean diet. I wonder what other treatment is out there & do believe my vitiligo has made me even more empathetic to clients who come to my office feeling despondent. Once again, thank you for posting your experience with such candor & compassion.

Vitiligo

I have had vitiligo since my late 30's, am now in my 50's & YES, I don't feel comfortable w/ my vitiligo, especially on my hands so I use Sally Hansen Light Glow spray, blends in perfectly, waterproof & stays on all day - no one knows I have vitiligo! I am fortunate I don't have it on my face & I am not dark skinned! In the summertime, I spray the Sally Hansen Light glow on my legs, if I wear shorts in public, but I seldom wear shorts in public, so this isn't a problem for me. My vitiligo is not wide-spread, only some on my hands, knees, a few spots on my shins & feet. It hasn't spread for many years, thank God! I have started a regiment of NON gluten foods & very little dairy just a couple of weeks ago & noticed the white areas aren't as WHITE!!! I also take Vit B-12 & Folic Acid & try to keep a stress free life as much as possible.

Why be embarrassed by people looking at your vitiligo when there are means to minimize or not even noticeable. Call it vanity or whatever you want, but I feel better as a person w/o someone staring or asking rude questions.

Hi, My best friend has

Hi,
My best friend has Vitiligo and now after all the research I've done, I realize that it could be because of her poor diet and stress. She has a very unhealthy diet (fast food everyday,processed/packaged foods,soda,chips,sugary snacks, etc.). She also NEVER gets enough sleep and is always staying up until 12-5am and then getting up at 7am for school. I am also really worried about her because she gets sick very often. There's never a time when she doesn't at least have a headache or a stomach ache. She even had to get her appendix out a few months ago and almost died because it was almost too late. She continues to eat unhealthy every day even though I try to help her change her diet. My whole family juices raw vegetables and fruits every day and we eat healthy and rarely get sick. I know how amazing it is to be healthy and feel energized, so i want to help her but she's not letting me. Her family is very overweight and they have the same diet as she does, but it doesn't effect them as badly as it effects her. Eating healthy and taking high doses of vitamins would help her Vitiligo as well as her overall health, stress levels, and sleep. I'm really concerned-i don't want my best friend in the emergency room all the time anymore. Does anyone have any advice on how i could help her? Please, it would mean a lot.
Thanks for reading,
Jillian

KINDRED SPIRITS - VITILIGO

I can't believe how much your narrative sounds like a page, a chapter from my own life - a book even... It's like we share the same soul...

I always thought it odd that my emotions were different to others - and had to try very hard to tame this volitile beast and keep it at bay --- many times it would take a life of its own and become a roller coaster ride into oblivion... We are indeed kindred spirits --- my vitiligo went away for years and resurfaced a about three years ago - it came back with a vengance... but even during the years when I appeared to be normal, I lived as if thought I was still fully covered by my calico-mottled shell --- I was an introvert... Most of my teens was spent in my bedroom, then church and back - it was only in my early twenties when the vitiligo receded that I began to socialise - well I couldn't stay indoors much when I moved to a beach town --- the atmosphere was charged and was intoxicating and I often found myself inebriated by this new found addiction to life... But I was a hermit crab in this coastal belt and when the fun and sun was over, I always receded into my shell...

I am now 39 - never married --- I used to be a perfect shade of chocolate - but now I am as much vanilla as I am cocoa... I love my shorts and Ts and would often go to malls not covering my vitiligo - the stares are getting to me now - especially the awkward innocence of kids turning to their parents to quite blatant inquisitiveness as to why 'that man' looks like that - some even things my skin is dirty - some thinks I have been burnt --- so at one stage I used cover up make up --- but when my confidence came back --- I got rid of the make up --- I guess the self esteem issues loop from time to time...

Thank You for your article --- it is very re-assuring to see my own life through someone else's experiences --- thank you for the human element and not making vitiligo a mechanical discussion. Thank You for putting yourself into my experience... I feel like I've been sitting in group therapy and I could speak about me to someone like me...

God Bless...

vitiligo

i too have been suffering from vitiligo and this is the greatest challenge i ever have been facing in my life.i really feel embarassing when i go to new places and meet new friends.moreover i really get disturbed by the innocent questions raised by small kids about it.

vitiligo cure?

i have been suffering from vitiligo for 30+ years.
Since 3 months I started a treatment as follows:
1 Application of Bavchi (babchi) oil followed by some minutes sun exposure as tolerated.
2 Taking Arogyavardhini Vati tablets (2x2)
3 Taking Khadirarishtam (2 ts in water x2)
4 Taking Mutlivitamins
5 More important applying UVB lamp to the affected area.
I am seeing real progress as the spots are repigmenting.

Thanks

Hi there, i am Priya and i have vitiligo too. To be honest pretty bad. But due to the blessings I have. My annoying but wonderful family, supportive friends and peers. I even forget that i have it. And trust me i have it pretty much every where visible. But yet in the comfort of love and my self confidence a tragic situation like this can still be so manageable. So i completely agree with you when i say that confidence and just your mentality can make all the difference. I don't know about the whole life style thing but im definitely going to do further research. I think i would like to definitely peruse a career in researching about vitiligo. Your blog has truly touched me. I have never read something quite beautiful and heartful. Thank you.

gluten and vitiligo

I came across information about a study done at the University of Maryland. They have proven that vitiligo is connected to gluten. Not linked but a definite connection. An autoimmune response is caused by leaky gut syndrome which stems from gluten intolerance or celiac disease. My vitiligo began more than ten years ago,and followed a diagnosis of thyroid disease. Many believe that all autoimmune diseases are a result of leaky gut syndrome. I went gluten free last summer and had repigmentation in some areas. The combination of Sun and diet seems to work best so when winter hits the progress slows and reverses especially on the hands. This year I will get a lamp made for vitiligo and excema to hopefully continue recovery. I get a lot of Sun as I own a mowing business, and have severely burned my hands to the point of deep blisters. It may be hard to believe but this burning brings back pigment. And of course it fades in the winter. I am now slathering on coconut oil at night to see if this works. Hope this info is helpful.

 

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