What is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a naturally occurring skin condition in which you will see white spots on skin in large swaths or isolated patches. These white patches result from a loss of melanin (the natural dye that gives our hair and skin their particular colors) in those particular skin cells. Vitiligo patches often expand over time, without treatment. Vitiligo symptoms also include greying or whitening of hair, including the eyelashes, and potentially lightening of color in your eye's retina.
What causes vitiligo is uncertain - our melanocytes simply stop producing melanin, potentially as part of an immune disorder or due to oxidative stress - but exposure to the sun is something of a trigger, since exposed skin is more likely to whiten first. Allopathic treatments do exist, including corticosteroids and psuedocatalase, including a new formulation of psuedocatalase that was recently in the news as a potential cure for vitiligo and for grey hair. However, at this point there is officially no vitiligo cure, only treatment.
Home Remedies for Vitiligo
If oxidative stress is the cause of vitiligo, then natural antioxidants such as green tea, oregano, or other antioxidizing supplements may reduce the white spots on your skin. Additionally, there is some interest in gingko biloba as a potential natural treatment for vitiligo to slow its progression or even create regimentation.1
[YEA] 11/04/2009: Clarece from Norton, Oh, USA: "I have had small white patches on my hands and arms for several years, and over the last year they have gotten much larger. None of the home remedies I tried seemd to work, so I looked at the ingredients in the expensive herbal vitiligo cure formulas and noticed that they all contained the same base ingredient of coconut oil.
I purchased some virgin coconut oil and have been rubbing it into the white areas every morning and before bed every night for the past three weeks, and the areas are all turning pink and filling in."Replies
07/07/2012: Dolly from West Des Moines, Ia replies: "Did it cure it eventually?"
05/23/2013: Nooni from Karlstad replies: "Did you see some results or were the white patches completely filled in after 3 weeks??"
06/12/2013: Prachi from India replies: "Apply the same oil and go for sunbath. That will also help you do the same thing. I was suffering and has just rid off and I have studied about it so will advice you to go with both the remedies and take the sunbath only at the affectd area. Just for 10 mins daily and avoid have bicarbonate stuffs and include juices in your diet."
05/14/2010: Mother Earth from Ks, Us: ""There may be a genetic connection between the skin condition Vitiligo and other autoimmune diseases, including autoimmune thyroid conditions such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis and Graves' disease.
Vitiligo is highly associated with other autoimmune diseases, including thyroid disease , pernicious anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, lupus Addison's disease, and adult-onset autoimmune diabetes."
This info is from the new England Journal of Medicine March 22, 2007."
EC: Link to the abstract: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/356/12/1216
11/07/2012: Lou from Tyler, Tx replies: "It is now believed to be linked to gluten intolerance and/or celiac's disease."
01/10/2009: Becky from Columbus, GA,USA: "My daughter is three years old and she had small white patches when she was born, her dad is from the Phillipines, I am from america. the white spots have gotten bigger and more abundent. The doctors havd tried everything possible and can't get rid of them. Does any one know of anything that might work?"Replies
02/11/2009: Raj from Chicago, USA replies: "Your daughter may have Vitiligo and it can be treated with two treatments. Your doctor can prescribe Protopic ointment and also she can take 2 "Neem" capsules per day. Neem is use for treatment of many screen diseases and it is also known as blood purifier. The Protopic has successfully done re-pigmentation of white patches in 2-3 months and it is non steroid medication. Neem may take up to six months before you can see any result."
02/22/2009: Sara from Philadelphia, PA replies: "Please go through these links and you will have answer to your daughter's condition. Also for a steady treatment program, topically apply carrot juice to the patches 3 to 5 times in a day and give her half cup to full cup of carrot juice regularly for 40 days without any break religiously. Please do email me after 40 days about the progress and if needed further course of treatment."
02/27/2009: Sara from Philadelphia, PA replies: "Let me add to this that you can email me for a report and more information on Vitiligo."
04/02/2009: Gilda from Tegucigalpa, Honduras replies: "Applying noni fruit juice to the skin and drinking 1/2 cup to 1 full cup can also aid in combating this disease."
04/04/2010: Mandi from Groton, Ct replies: "Hi,
I have been diagonsed with vitiligo. have seen some white patches on face and hair. Has anyone been treated successfully with vitiligo. Dr has given me V-tar for application to the affected area once a week for 10 weeks."
08/19/2012: Lou from Tyler, Tx replies: "Google vitiligo and celiac's disease. There is a connection to vitiligo with gluten intolerance."
03/16/2013: Sarah from Toronto, Ontario replies: "My 4 years old daughter was diagnosed with vitiligo 8 months ago and I am applying Elidel only since January but has not find any satisfactory improvment yet. Will the carrot juice recipe work for her too?"
08/24/2013: Lou from Tyler, Tx replies: "I believe I read that Elidel has been linked to skin cancer."
08/01/2004: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand: "...Dr Reading, an Australian doctor who cured a hundred Lupus [SLE] patients by [among other things] taking them off all grains except RICE and CORN. Dr Wright discussed the connection between a Lancet article recently reporting a link between the genetic marker HLA-B8 and 17 diseases with what he had learned from Dr Reading. All but one of the 17 diseases [Celiac Disease] arethought to be autoimmune diseases. Dr Wright deduced that if dietary restriction of gluten cured the one gene-linked disease known to have an external cause that perhaps all of the gene-linked diseases had an external cause and that it might just be gluten sensitivity!
I would bet on it!!
Here is the list of the diseases linked to the gene that might respond to restriction of gluten containing foods. My advice is that ANY patient with one of the following diagnoses be taken off ALL grain and ALL dairy products until their involvement is ruled out.
Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
Chronic autoimmune hepatitis
Insulin dependent (type 1) Diabetes mellitus
Pernicious anemia [100% also suffer total lack of stomach acid]
Dr Wright recommends the tTG test for gluten/gliadin sensitivity, a measure of tissue transglutaminase and supposedly the most sensitive test now available. Information from a website is included below for your convenience.
Other tests are the endomysial antibody test [EMA] for short lived antibodies and the antigliadin antibody [AGA] test for the longer lived IgA and IgG antibodies.
Be sure the patient has consumed gluten containing foods right up until test day or the tests might show negative even in gluten sensitive people."
Hydrogen Peroxide and Borax
09/04/2011: Cassandra from Halifax, Ns: "I have Vitiligo & have been trying his recipe for curing it using borax and hydrogen peroxide. Since I know KP is more often than not a parasitic condition, and I know the mentioned chemical combo is used on dogs and cats for demodex mite infestation, Ive applied the solution to the sides of my face and backs of my arms each night before bed. I dont rinse it off. So far it has been extremely effective! Not much has happened with the Vitiligo spot, but I will keep you posted on both!
P.S I also drink 500ml of hot water and ACV every morning upon rising."Replies
09/26/2013: Delfina from UAE replies: "Is this effective? My daughter has vitiligo for 6 years located at the neck and now its at the side of her face. Nothing cures it. Any suggestion will be much appreciated. Thanks a lot."
02/12/2012: Kellie from Syracuse, Ny, Us: "Hi. About a year ago my boyfriend's eyelashes on only one eye turned white. 6 months to a year later he started to notice white patches on the skin of his genitals and his legs. I read a few things on here trying to figure it out but I have no idea what it is or how we can cure it. Any help would be very much appreciated!"Replies
02/12/2012: Kyle from Fukuyama, Hiroshima, Japan replies: "Kellie, your boyfriend should have a doctor examine him to verify that it isn't anything serious. I think he'll probably get a diagnosis of vitiligo. I am 41. My vitiligo started in my 20s, but it was on a part of my body that most people would never see. So I didn't care. (Neither did my wife. ) But in the last couple of years the white patches came out on my fingers and hands. They grew until they covered, say, 1/4 of my hand area. After some research I got a copper bracelet with strong little magnets implanted. Cost about $25. My white patches started filling in with my normal skin tone. It was fairly quick, but also very gradual. About 6 weeks after wearing my bracelet, one of my students blurted out (in the middle of a lesson) "What happened to your hands! ?" She meant, where did the white patches go? Three months on, and my hands (and privates) are normally pigmented. Also, my blood pressure is lower. And my arthritis is about 97% better. Copper deficiency seems to have been the problem. Absorption through the skin was my solution. Vitiligo can be a blessing because copper deficiency can also result in higher risk of stroke, so I'm glad to have found the problem and dealt with it early. 25 bucks, cheap!"
02/12/2012: Debbie from Melbourne, Australia replies: "Kyle, I was thinking this sounded a copper deficiency as well. White/gray hair is a sign of copper deficiency. Copper is very hard to find in our diets. Try and find copper supplements in health food stores.
I might start wearing a copper bracelet to bed each night and see what happens. I wonder if wearing a copper pendant would be beneficial as well."
02/14/2012: Tom from Tampa, Fl/usa replies: "I developed a white spot on my back that ended up covering 1/2 of my back over a 3 year period. I was given a sulfur/copper based lotion to apply morning and night. Within 2 months or so all my color returned and I've never had it return. I was in the military at the time and the doctor said it was a fungus under the skin that destroys the pigment. I returned home after 4 years and my sister had developed the same problem from getting sun burned. Her's was across her whole back and was starting up her neck. I was able to go to the store and find a product off the shelf and she used it and it all went away. But I'm sorry I don't remember the exact name. It was a yellowish orange heavy liquid in a 4/5in tall dark orange plastic bottle. It smells very bad, just what you would expect from liquid sulfur."
07/07/2012: Mrs A from Towson, Md replies: "TO KYLE, WHERE DID YOU BUY COPPER BRACELET? THANKS"
10/29/2012: Lou from Tyler, Tx replies: "Not sure if Kyle responded, but I got a copper bracelet at Amazon.com."
12/16/2012: Terri from Tampa, Fl replies: "To Tom from Tampa -- do you remember the name of the store in Tampa where you bought the sulfur/copper based lotion for your vitiligo? Thanks!"
02/12/2012: Margaret from Macon, Georgia / Usa: "Hi Kyle could you let me know where you bought the copper bracelet with the magnets in it?"
10/26/2011: Margaret from Macon, Ga. / U.s.a.: "Has anyone tried any of the remedies for vitiligo that really works. I've tried several and I can't tell anything is helping. Please let me know so I can try them. I'm desperate for a cure."Replies
11/09/2011: Patti from Dallas, Tx replies: "Hi Margaret,
I have had vitiligo for 26 years. 3 years ago I found out that I have celiac disease and have been on a gluten free diet since. My vitiligo stopped spreading after going gluten free so I decided to see if I could regain my pigment. I found a great doctor that has helped.
I go to UVB phototherepy three times a week and use clobetasol cream (steriod) on my white spots. In 6 months time I have regained 100% of my pigment on my face, and probably 60-75% of my pigment on my legs, arms, hands and feet.
I truly believe that the vitiligo is caused by nutritional deficiencies.... And it's not always because you're not eating healthy..... For example if you're celiac, you're body is not able to absorb the nutrients from your food and therefore you will suffer from nutritional deficiencies. I also believe that you MUST find a doctor that is truly interested in vitiligo. I went to many doctors in the past that simply said there was nothing they could do.
My advice is find a good doctor, try going gluten free and eat a diet of fresh fruits, colorful vegetables, fish and chicken. It is working for me. It's taking a little more time that I'd like, but it's definitely been worth it!"
05/06/2012: Pat from Dallas, Tx, Usa replies: "Is it possible to get the name of the doctor you used in the Dallas area?"
07/24/2012: U from Dallas, Tx replies: "I am interested in obtaining the name of your doctor in Dallas, as well."
08/19/2012: Lou from Tyler, Tx replies: "I would also like the name of your doctor in Dallas."
05/17/2011: Debbie from Roselle, Il: "Hi Ted,
What do you recommend for vitiligo? I have had it for 30 years and for some reason it's spreading rapidly. Would oil pulling help? What oil would be best? Are there other protocols I can do? Thanks, Debbie"
06/04/2010: Ellen from Wilmington, Nc: "I have small white spots on my arms and legs. I'm 56 and like to be in the sun. However, after I tan, the white spots are very noticeable. They are not a bother but looks awful with my tanned legs and arms. Anyone else have this problem and what can make them go away?
06/04/2010: Francisca from Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France replies: "Hi Ellen, I am 52 and I have had them for years now. They have got a bit worse and you are right, they don't look nice, with me especially those in my legs. I have seen several dermatologists but no one really has an answer. I have tried VCO but it didn't help at all. I am also hoping one day I will find an answer. For the time being, no luck though! I like to be in the sun and spend all my young years in Portugal but I am not the type of person who sits in the sun all day. In my childhood we use to go to the beach for one month but other than that we lived in a flat and didn't play a lot outside. Maybe someone can advise something.... My skin has got a lot drier with the age, especially my legs. My lower legs get less dark all over, you see that the feet are a bit darker and then from the knees upwards. I am afraid that one day I will lose all color. The doctor told me that it is not viltligo though, no idea how she knew that!"
06/04/2010: Kim from Chicago, Il replies: "Hi Ellen. I was told by a dermatologist that my white spots are age spots. Certain people with fair skin will get the reversed action of typical age spots being dark. I'm not sure how to handle this but, the doctor told me to dab make-up on the spots if they bothered me. (???) Good luck!"
06/04/2010: Cindy from Cochrne, Wi replies: "my brother had white spots and areas on his hands and legs that just went away when he started treating for candida. hope this helps."
06/05/2010: Sara from Sacramento, Ca replies: "Good Morning Cindy,
Hope you are doing well. My Niece is suffering from white spot on her legs for 12 years now. She is 21 years old. I am just wondering what did your brother use to treat his Candida. Did he use any alternative medicine, if so what is his recipe? Thank you so much and have a good day.
06/06/2010: Karen from Sealrock, Or replies: "Greetings Ellen, my adopted brother came from Korea when he was 7 yrs. old. He had white spots the size of dimes all over his dark skin. Mom gave him a diet high in B vitamins. He now ate ate brown rice instead of white, lentils,and foods high in "B". She also gave him supplements of a variety of vitamin "B's" and vitamin "C" at least 3000mg a day & they went away. He then had lovely dark skin as it should be. Perhaps it all took several months I can't remember. But they all went away! Best to you."
04/04/2011: Helen from Houston, Tx, Usa replies: "I have white spots, small rund dots, sort of like large white freckles. On a different discussion group someone said they are fungus, and so are brown "age spots. " Use a topical anti-fungus, or clear the whole body of fungus.
Experimentally I slathered a mild "black salve" on one forearm. The white spots seem to be gone from that arm, although I can't be sure until I get a summer tan. Unfortunately the US gov't has apparently banned the sale of any ointment containing bloodroot, you have to buy the ingredients (or a kit) and make your own."
04/04/2011: Francisca from Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France replies: "I have never heard of bloodroot but I have the same skin problem, white spots all over and with the summer starting I am getting really stressed out. Moreover they started on my legs and have been moving upwards really fast so I am afraid that one day I will have them on my face. Right now the ones on my breast are quite ugly. Doctors have no solution for this but then they don't have many solutions, have they? In any case it is not vitiligo, not in my case. The stains are small and stay small just I have quite a lot. What kind of topical anti-fungus would you use? A natural doctor gave me a iodine based liquid but it didn't seem to do much so I stopped using it."
02/15/2012: Earthly One from Toronto, Ontario, Canada replies: "I am a dark-skinned man that had light, cream-coloured patches covering most of my torso (i.e. chest, abs and back area) for the past 16 years. Everytime I went in the sun, the cream-coloured patches would tan and repigment, but I was unable to maintain the pigmentation once I was no longer in the sun. I finally realized that I must be Vitamin D deficient as the Sun contains vitamin D or I had a hormonal problem (as vitamin D really is a hormone). I decided to internally consume large amounts of vitamin D daily (approx 20,000 I. U. ) and mix 20, 000 I.U. 's into my body cream and externally slather on my skin daily so to mimic the Sun's rays. My pigmentation has remained for the last little while. I am wondering if vitiligo is more of a nutrient deficiency too. I also avoid chlorinated-municipal water (bathing & drinking) as I believe the chlorine (i. e. bleach) has something to do with "bleaching out" my pigment... Just a thought."
02/15/2012: P from Middle Of, Fl replies: "Hey! Sharing your thought; my son has vitiligo as well. the first time I noticed his patches he was a pre-schooler, I noticed during the summer time at the pool. I wonder if it was the chlorine?
But I always said he was malnutritioned because during my pregnancy I was morning sickness all day every day for 9 mo straight, hardly ate the best due to feeling ill, as a child my son had A.D.H.D and now its just A.D.D. Now that we live in florida the patches are more profound, he however is really light skin and as he gets darker under the sun, those patches stay white!
Anyway, getting to my point.... I read that women get morning sickness because they lack vitamins and minerals especially vitamin k (i didnt start taking prenatals until my 7th month), he was born with jaundice and pretty much was healthy child but had emotional issues..... I also read that kids with A.D.H.D also have nutrient deficiency and same goes for vitiligo!!!! And it makes sense to me now!!!!
I also read he might lack copper, but I doubt he lacks vitamin D.
Therefore, that's why I share your thought as well!"
02/16/2012: Francisca from Zug, Switzerland replies: "Hi Earthly One, I don't have Vitiligo but I have light spots almost all over my skin. Being a Southern European it is not really a nice sight. They began on my legs and went up and up. I think that I am very deficient on Vit. D, especially because the summers where I have lived for the past number of years are quite a bit shorter than what I was used back home. Also my eyes started to get very dry and I think that that got a lot better when a few months ago I supplemented with Vit. D and linseed oil. I am going to buy Vit. D tomorrow once more and will see what happens! I so wish my skin would get better..... But it only gets worse and by now, because of the age I also have brown spots! Soon I will look like a leopard!"
05/27/2009: Luckyalways from New York, USA: "natural remedies for vitiligo: hello i just stumbled upon your site and i want to know that is there any natural remedy for vitiligo my two sisters have it and the elder one is having it for 20 years since she was 6 years old she was given some steroids but since she was so young we stopped it we also applied some natural medicine i dont remember it was a brick like color paste but it cause blisters on her so we stopped treating her but now my 12 years old sister is also having the same condition so i wanted to know if there is any natural remedy for this i heard somewhere that cottonseed help or maybe black cumin seeds is this true please suggest some natural remedy for them thanks"Replies
05/29/2009: Kenya from Peekskill, New York replies: "I used this to heal my daughter from vitiligo. Crush PABA and Vitamin C pills in a small amount of mayonaise and apply to affected area. It worked great (she only had a small area of white skin). I'm sorry but I can't remember the exact number of pills or exact amount of mayonaise because it was over 13 years ago but I got it from a book so the remedy is still out there."
06/04/2009: Preet from New York, USA replies: "Hi I've read somewhere (there was this story by parents about how they healed their little girl), basically changed her diet (all natural foods, organic, fresh water, fresh air etc) along with vitamins and minerals. You can search online and you might find it. I tried but could not find it again.
All the best! Preet"
05/25/2010: Lou from Tyler, Tx replies: "The story is called Emily's vitiligo."
07/22/2009: Karen from NY, New York: "Hello Ted and Earth Clinic, My son was also diagnose with this condition and the doctor said it was caused by fungus. My son was prescribed Miconazolnitraat which I am hesitant to use as he is 4 years old and the condition is on his face.
So far the cures that I have tried on EC have helped my family. However I have a question. Janet from NJ asked for a natural cure for her 10 year old daughter. You mentioned borax, H202 and baking soda. I have also noticed that baking soda is used with ACV and lemon juice. Why are these chemically made items considered and used in natural cures? I do not have specific doubts but just curious as i would not initially associate any of these item with a natural cure.
Your response will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you. Karen"
EC: Karen is referring to the following post by Ted: http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/vitiligo_questions.html#Question_1665
09/02/2009: Veronica from New York, Usa replies: "I have a question for karen regarding her son's vitiligo diagnosis of being a fungus. can you please tell me how the doctor came about with this diagnosis and if he did any type of blood test? I have a 10 yr old daughter and her doctor has not done anything but keep on prescribing meds that have not worked and has not said anything about possible fungus. Your feedback is greatly appreciate it. I will only try on her natural remedies as i dont want to keep on putting creams on. anyone please let me know"
11/02/2009: Nita from Somerset, Ky replies: "My daughter also has this condition and her doctor said it is tinea versicolor-a skin fungus. If the hair growing in the white patches still has color then the pigment isn't gone. We rub virgin coconut oil on the white patches and are now seeing normal skin color returning! Hope this helps."
08/15/2011: Lou from Tyler, Tx replies: "Not sure if this will work for everyone, but I was reading about how to get shower tiles clean (caused by mold/fungus) and I read that if you mix lemon dishwashing liquid, vinegar and hot water together it will clean a shower. So, I decided to try it on my vitiligo. I made up a batch in a large plastic bowl. I used a loofah and scrubbed the darker areas. The skin became tacky (like the fungus was dissolving). Then I took a normal shower with citrus lime soap and shower gel. It seems to make the darker skin lighter. I had an ER physician comment on how good it looks last week! My skin feels softer too. I read that you need to use clean washcloths instead of scrubbies on the areas when you shower to prevent passing the fungus around. The idea is to loofah away the fungus and lather up with clean wash cloths. Rinse away!
Another idea is to try an anti-fungal bath.
Lavender: 4 drops
Geranium: 1 drop
Tea Tree: 1 drop
Fill your bath tub, then add the essential oils. Add 1 - 2 cups of sea salts, mix well. Soak for a minimum of 20 minutes. Be sure to dry your skin well, especially between your toes and other cracks, where moisture can be trapped. (If you have a prescribed medication, apply after you are completely dry.)
I would follow up with virgin coconut oil or a lotion containing vitamins AC&E and COQ10. At least it will improve skin texture."
08/16/2011: Francisca from Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France replies: "Hi Lou, I don't really have vitiligo but I have more and more white stains on my skin (they don't join to form a big patch though) and would love to get rid of them but I don't think that it would work by getting my normal, darker color away but by getting the white stains to tan again or to get a normal color again so I suppose your idea wouldn't work on me? Because if I try to get rid of the brownish skin around the white patches I will have a whiter skin all over my legs while I am a tanned Southern European."
08/22/2011: Lou from Tyler, Tx replies: "I read if you get black pepper essential oil and mix it with a carrier oil (coconut or sesame, etc.) it can help with repigmentation of white areas. Kelp is also good to take in capsule form. I also read that rubbing the skin with juice of basil leaves and lime juice helps the white patches, although another site said it was for skin lightening. The juice of celery leaves also contains psolarens. Someone said that Neem is good - capsule, soap and cream - sold in health food stores. I know Neem cleans the blood."
08/22/2011: Lou from Tyler, Tx replies: "Two dermatologists refused to give me a skin biopsy here. One said that I could try to rub grapeseed oil all over my body. Grapeseed oil is antifungal. I recently read an article about hydrogen peroxide not breaking down in the liver and converting to H20. The H202 (hydrogen peroxide) is also found in the skin layers, which does something to the langerhans cells, causing the melanocytes to die. (It's all too confusing for me. ) Anyway, I read that catalase breaks down the H202 and converts it to H20 and this calms down the autoimmune response. Pineapple (the real thing) contains catalase. I also read about a pineapple and shelled raw pumpkin seed cleanse using distilled water that gets rid of parasites (which I believe don't help the situation). Three days on this and no tooth brushing supposedly gets rid of the little critters. Google it."
08/19/2012: Lou from Tyler, Tx replies: "Looks like there's a definite connection between vitiligo (and other autoimmune diseases) to gluten sensitivity and celiac's. Stop eating flour, wheat and bread products. There are also hidden sources of wheat in some sauces. Cereal too."
06/03/2012: Sharon from Bellmore, N.y.: "Hi, thanks for a wonderful website. I was wondering has any one had success with Teds suggested vitiligo treatment ( borax taken topically and orally).
Also is Ted still available ? I emailed him but no response. thanks, sharon"Replies
11/28/2012: Marc from Miami, Fl replies: "I wonder if these remedies work as well, so many people seem to have the remedy for Vitiligo. So far i've heard the cure is:
UVB Light, Hydrogen Peroxide, Skin Steroid Creams, Coconut Oil, Noni Fruit, Borax, B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Baking Soda, Chaana beans, Astragulus, White Atractylodes, Peony, Ginko, folic acid, Etc....
The list goes on and on, but has anyone really been cured?"
03/06/2013: Nancy from Weber City, Va replies: "I have white due scapes and sores, when it healed, it left white spot. Help!!!"