What I’m Doing to Treat My Vitiligo
Updated March 4, 2015 – You can see photos of my progress here.
Supplements I’m Currently Taking
I am currently on a Nutritional Balancing Program, so I take a number of supplements that are specific to my individual needs. Included in these are Zinc, Vitamin D, PABA, B-Vitamins (including extra B-12 methylcobalamin since I have a genetic mutation that makes it difficult for me to methylate B12), fish oil, and probiotics. I DO NOT take copper. I think the zinc has been very instrumental to my progress.
I have taken the Merry Clinic Treatment Program – which I started on August 10, 2013. It’s designed to treat and control vitiligo by balancing your immune system from the inside while stimulating re-pigmentation of the skin from the outside. I stayed with this treatment for about 5 months, and it did seem that my spots slowed down, but they continued to spread.
I have also heard good things about Kalawalla – it was actually recommended to me by my holistic doctor. He told me that one of his colleagues was having good results with his vitiligo patients. I thought I’d mention it here if any of you would like to give it a shot. You can read more about it here.
I ultimately decided to stop the Merry Clinic and go with Nutritional Balancing.
Sunlight and Skin Oil
I’ve decided that it’s about time to get serious about getting some sun on my spots. I’ve been off and on with it, and I didn’t see any results so I stopped. But now, I am suddenly getting lots of freckling! I know I probably should have stuck with the sun exposure from the beginning, but I was confused and lost. So many things I read said to stay out of the sun. So if you’re reading this, get yourself some good protective skin oil (like Dr. Wanakee’s below) that also increases the photo-sensitivity of the skin – and get some sun on those spots!
I have been sitting in the sun consistently for a couple of weeks now, at least three times a week for 15-30 minutes at a time – whatever I have the time for.
Up to about two weeks ago, I had been using Vitiliax skin oil with sun exposure to start regaining some pigment with pretty good results as you can see here.
However, I ran out of the oil and decided to instead use Dr. Wanakee Hill’s boosting oil and cream. (NOT an affiliate link).
I’ve gotten REALLY good results with hers! You can see in the picture to the left, all the little dark pigment spots starting around the edges of the white spot on my shin and also in the middle of it. And in the picture to the right, you can see that it has started to fill in.
I will continue using Dr. Hill’s oil and lotion from here on out. Plus, hers contains some good protective oils that help protect your skin from sun damage (as I mentioned above), so you can sun your spots without worrying that you are harming yourself ;).
I have also grown VERY fond of TheraNeem’s entire line of skin creams, soaps, and lotions. I have terribly itchy skin, especially in the wintertime that NO lotion can relieve.
This ThereNeem is unbelievable. It stops the itchiness instantly and give your skin a nice, tight hydrated look. I have to be honest – since neem is an anti-fungal, it smells kinda funky – has a bit of a garlicky after-smell. The vanilla cream(affiliate link) has the best smell and works the best. It’s my favorite!
The really fantastic thing about neem is that it is very high in Quercetin. Quercitin has both antifungal and antioxidant properties. It actually can protect the skin from UVB damage – which is great if you are sunning your spots.
What I’m Eating
I am no longer following the Paleo Autoimmune protocol, but I do something very similar called Nutritional Balancing . Click here to read about the FREE program. I have also discontinued green smoothies.
1. No Dairy
I have eliminated all dairy products from my diet, with the exception of grass fed butter and raw milk cheese. I have also limited the amount of animal protein I consume, which means I eat poached egg for breakfast, and a 3oz portion of chicken, turkey, or beef for lunch and dinner. I also limit my red meat consumption to no more than twice a week so that I don’t raise my homocysteine levels.
High quality protein is important for the proper function of the thyroid, and also red meat specifically helps prevent the accumulation of copper – which leads to copper overload and is an enormous problem today. I am trying to get my copper overload under control as we speak (one symptom of copper toxicity in women is PMS anxiety and migraines). So since these are my issues, I know I need high quality protein to heal. Which brings me to my next point…
There is a lot of talk about vegan diets possibly being helpful to vitiligo, but I will never go vegan. Vegan diets are problematic for a number of reasons, but the main problems in relation to vitiligo are that vegan diets are very low in zinc (since animal protein is the main source of zinc). Zinc maintains gut wall integrity and prevents leaky gut, is essential for proper immune response, is anti-inflammatory, helps prevent copper accumulation in the body, and helps maintain healthy skin. You can read a great article on why vegan diets aren’t all they’re cracked up to be here.
2. No Gluten
This is a controversial one. Some feel there is a definite connection, and some feel there is not. Xichao Mo is not convinced there is a a connection, and he was able to reverse his vitiligo without avoiding it. Also, Caroline H. did not completely avoid gluten, and managed to completely repigment despite continuing to eat gluten occasionally.
However, Dr. Wanakee Hill stresses the importance of avoiding gluten when you have vitiligo because of the connection between vitiligo and celiac. There’s also stories like this one that show a definite link between gluten and vitiligo. Because of this, I have personally chosen to avoid gluten.
One thing about gluten that I have recently learned is that a person can have an issue with gluten itself, but also gluten causes a secondary allergy due to the gut wall damage it causes. So this means that you can start becoming allergic to many different things…which was what was happening to my three year old son. He doesn’t have vitiligo, but I keep him away from gluten for these reasons. He was becoming allergic to everything, he almost couldn’t eat without breaking out in a rash or hives. But once I eliminated gluten all of that went away.
Food allergies are often implicated in vitiligo, so it’s something I really pay close attention to.
3. Lots of Cooked Vegetables
Vegetables, specifically cooked vegetables, are absolutely vital for your body to detoxify, and most of us don’t get nearly enough. They are also very high in folate, another nutrient those with vitiligo are shown to be deficient in.
I juice 6-7 carrots daily, which gives me 10-12 oz of juice. Carrots are high in antioxidants that protect the skin from sunburn, which is very helpful with re-pigmentation. Also, juicing extracts all of the vitamins and digestive enzymes into an easy to drink liquid. The primary advantage to doing this is that it requires absolutely no digestion at all. Your body can just immediately absorb the vitamins and nutrients it needs. You can read my article about carrot juice here.
I am currently focusing on detoxing my liver, kidneys, and skin. For liver, I drink carrot juice daily along with coffee retention enemas. For my skin, I use an infrared sauna for 30-40 minutes before bed. I also brush my skin with a dry skin brush when I wake every morning to help lymphatic drainage.
Eliminate Chemical-Laden Cosmetics/Toiletries
I have eliminated almost all chemical-laden cosmetics and toiletries. I now use coconut oil as my body lotion and Truly’s natural deodorant with coconut oil. It’s fantastic! I’ve tried the “natural deodorants” like Tom’s of Maine and Nature’s Gate, but I always stink by the end of the day. You can also make your own very similar version, it’s very easy to do. Here’s the recipe I used.
When I need to wear make-up, I just wear mascara and a natural lip gloss like Burt’s Bees. As far as foundation, you can try Aubrey Organics mineral foundation or any of 100% Pure’s products. I hear good things about them. The good thing about eating really healthy is that it tremendously improves your complexion, often to the point that you don’t need much make-up at all.
I had already been using a natural laundry detergent for years, so I didn’t have to change much here. No more fabric softener…instead, I just add vinegar to my final rinse to dissolve any soap residue that may be left on my clothing.
Exercise is very important for healthy blood circulation. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), blood circulation is a problem for vitiligo patients. I workout 3-4 times per week with barre workouts. They are my favorite because they are moderate in intensity and low-impact. Overexertion or high intensity exercise can be very stressful to the adrenals and thyroid, and can be counterproductive to healing your vitiligo, so keep it light and refreshing.
I no longer wear a copper bracelet on my arm due to the fact that I have copper overload in my system.
*Note: This page contains a few affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you decide to purchase an item through my links (you will not be charged extra if you do decide to purchase in item). This helps me pay for the cost of this blog so that I can continue writing it for you. I’m telling you about these things because they work for me, and I genuinely think they could be helpful to you also. Thank you for your support!