Alternative Treatment Options for Vitiligo

Commonly referred to as a condition of white patches developing on the skin, vitiligo is one of the more serious skin conditions. The white patches are caused due to the absence of the skin’s pigment, called melanin. This pigment is primary responsible for rendering the human skin its characteristic hue. Patients with vitiligo develop a severe deficiency or absence of melanin-producing cells called melanocytes.

Reasons for Seeking Alternative Treatment Options for Vitiligo

Many vitiligo sufferers favor alternative treatment over conventional medicines for treating their condition because:

  • Conventional treatments, like use of allopathic medications, are known to have limited effectiveness. Once the medication is stopped, chances of the symptoms resurfacing cannot be ruled-out.
  • Using cortisone-based drugs isn't possible for every individual since these drugs often induce side effects.
  • Continued usage of high-potency drugs create the fear of becoming dependent upon the medications.
  • Alternate treatment options have a slower but comprehensive approach, neutralizing apprehensions about dependency, side effects or long-term effectiveness.

Herbal Treatment for Vitiligo

Two kinds of herbal treatments have emerged as the most preferred, alternative therapies for vitiligo: Chinese and Ayurvedic herbal treatment.

Chinese alternative medicine recommends using the powdered or tablet form of herbs extracted from:

  • Wolfberry fruit
  • Knotweed root
  • Safflower
  • Chuanxiong rhizome
  • Tribulus fruit
  • Chinese angelica root
  • White/red peony root
  • Xanthium
  • Rehmannia root

Ayurvedic herbal treatment is a more extensive, therapeutic approach wherein herbal medications are used for curing the cause of vitiligo rather than treating the symptoms. Ayurvedic treatment often involves purgatives or colon cleansers to ensure cleansing of the internal organs. Ayurvedic medications combine herbs with various heavy metals in a dried, grounded form. The medication regimen is further combined with massages done with herbal oils or acupuncture sessions to ensure that the body fluids and nervous system are functioning appropriately.

Homeopathic Treatment for Vitiligo

The homeopathic approach is based upon the theory that all external manifestations, particularly skin conditions, are the result of deep-rooted or systemic causes. Thus, it aims to detect and cure the disease in a more holistic manner to negate chances of a relapse.

Some common homeopathic compounds used to treat vitiligo are:

  • Phosphorus
  • Silicea
  • Kali Carbonicum
  • Arsenicum Sulfuratum
  • Nitricum acidum
  • Natrum Muriaticum
  • Hydrocotyle Asiatica
  • Syphillinum

Adjunctive Therapies for Vitiligo

Adjunctive therapeutic approach is fast engaging a lot of attention wherein a primary therapy, like the use of prescription drugs, is combined with secondary aids to gain better results. For treating vitiligo, this means combining prescription, herbal or homeopathic medications with:

Cosmetic Protection

This goes beyond the use of sunscreen. Skin specialists help to configure a practical and effective make-up that camouflages the white patches. The dyes or stains used here aren’t over-the-counter products. These products don’t wear-off even when exposed to direct sunlight. This approach is often referred to as cosmetic treatment, but it is essentially a secondary, medical aid.

Patient Counseling

This is seriously recommended when the patient shows signs of developing anxiety or depression due to vitiligo patching. Vitiligo is largely regarded as a hidden precursor to other autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Heightened anxiety levels can further hamper the immune system and make it more susceptible to other diseases besides worsening the symptoms of vitiligo.

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