2021 was the year of the Ox, according to the Chinese Zodiac. Amongst other qualities, the ox symbolises diligence, strength, and persistence. We all needed those attributes during 2021, but there are many among us who didn’t show any of those qualities. All is not lost, though, because the list below highlights the worst-case scenario and not the norm. Vitiligo – Time to Reset?
The effects of overeating:
Many people have changed their approach to eating. It has become very easy to excuse bad eating habits. After all, there is the adage “This too shall pass”, which implies that all material conditions (good or bad) are temporary. The frailties of the human condition underpin typical hedonistic tendencies, and the misguided belief that they can control their excesses can be deeply buried and unacknowledged. People often think that overeating is manageable, and they can then diet to get back to normal.
This way of thinking can work for most people but will not for those with Vitiligo. The causes of Vitiligo are unknown but is considered an autoimmune disease, where the body’s own immune cells attack healthy tissue (in this case, melanocytes). Vitiligo causes areas of the skin or hair to lose colour. Food is necessary for sustaining life, so nourish your body with natural, whole foods. A healthy diet will go a long way to managing your Vitiligo. As with any disease, keeping your system healthy goes a long way in managing the condition, and it keeps your weight constant.
Cooking is a unifying activity and a celebratory event. Eating is an integral part of the atmosphere at any social event. December is normally full of social events, where people eat more than they normally do. If this is the case, and you have gained extra weight, try to restrict portions (eat less) and burn more calories with gentle or not-so-gentle exercise.
Give your liver a break:
Drinking alcohol weakens your body’s natural immune system, which is something you should avoid if you have Vitiligo. The long-term effects of drinking alcohol heavily reduce your body’s natural immune system and cause chronic liver inflammation. Unfortunately, the effects of continued alcohol use manifest slowly over time, so people are unaware of the damage until it is too late. Most people don’t have this problem, and drinking alcohol socially is fine, and enjoyable! Make sure you avoid drinking on an empty stomach and aim to drink a glass of water with every alcoholic drink.
Trick your mind with a healthy mocktail! Combine grapefruit and mint, or green tea and add carrots or vegetable juice. Top the glass with a halved strawberry or cherry and enjoy! Make this an event – not just a beverage. Try to include nutrient-dense ingredients, loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. Freshly pressed vegetable juices offer intact enzymes to the human body. They provide a concentrated batch of nutrients that can easily absorb into your system to nourish your cells. Carrots are often recommended by experts for repigmentation. Carrot is a pigment-rich vegetable that also protects the skin against sunburn.
Some of the best mocktails include:
- sparkling mineral water.
- kombucha (fermented beverage consisting of black tea and fruit or honey).
- coconut water/milk.
- fresh herbs (mint, basil).
- pieces of whole fruit or vegetables.
- cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
- carrot juice.
- unsweetened cranberry and pomegranate juice.
Drink water! Set a goal for the day – maybe starting with one glass per day. Fill that glass in the morning and sip it throughout the day. Gradually increase the amount until you are drinking about two litres of water daily. If you are already drinking that, great! Keep it up!
Keep moving forward:
Our bodies are made to move! Being physically active helps to protect your bones, joints, and muscles – which, in turn, helps support your body and aids fitness. Regular exercise is also responsible for endorphin discharge, which performs as a natural ‘happiness booster’. Endorphins may perform a significant function in lessening stress and anxiety, which is important for people living with Vitiligo. Vitiligo sufferers sometimes have low self-esteem and depression. Aerobic exercise diminishes indications of sadness and causes people to feel hopeful and confident.
Exercise also has these added health benefits:
- Enhances your muscle tone and strength.
- Strengthens and builds your bones.
- Optimizes your energy levels.
- Strengthens your heart.
- Lowers your blood pressure.
- Helps decrease excess body fat.
- Makes you look fit and healthy.
- Helps with minor to moderate mental health issues.
Vitiligo and skin trauma:
Understanding that Vitiligo is not a cosmetic disorder, but a systemic disease goes a long way to effectively control and reduce or remove the white patches caused by Vitiligo. Although autoimmune mechanisms are most likely responsible for causing Vitiligo, there is a more localised occurrence responsible for Segmental Vitiligo. This is known as the “Koebner Phenomenon”. The theory suggests that an injury involving both epidermis and dermis may cause Vitiligo.
These injuries include:
- severe sunburn or a burn from another external heat source.
- shaving scratches or friction caused by a blunt shaving blade.
- animal or insect bites.
- cryotherapy – liquid nitrogen or dry ice treatment for warts or keratoses.
- wounds or lacerations caused by needles or surgical incisions.
- grazing or skin abrasions caused by sporting activities.
- pressure sores or friction sores caused by orthotics.
Depigmentation from chemicals may be associated with an initial allergic reaction consistent with allergic contact dermatitis. Research has indicated that chemicals could cause a toxic reaction to melanocytes. Below is a list of potential household items associated with chemical-induced Vitiligo in people who have a predisposition to the disease.
- Harsh or acidic soaps, detergents, and alcohol-based sanitisers – use non-acidic or glycerine-based soaps and keep moisturised after a bath or shower.
- Rubber sandals – rubber causes some people to experience an allergic reaction which can cause Vitiligo outbreaks in those areas.
- Commercial hair dyes – hair dyes containing para-phenylenediamine (PPD) can induce depigmentation of the scalp and hairline.
- Red dye solution (Crocein Scarlet MOO) commonly used as a cosmetic colouring agent for feet – causes a similar reaction to the PPD component in hair dye.
Catch it sooner rather than later:
Vitiligo is a condition that effects 2% of the world’s population. It begins with a few small, white patches on the skin or hair, that may gradually spread and widen to form larger areas. It typically begins on the hands, forearms, feet, and face but can develop on any part of the body, including the mucous membranes (moist lining of the mouth, nose, genital, and rectal areas), the eyes, and inner ears. Vitiligo most commonly appears in people between 10 to 30 years of age.
Cold hands – Chinese researchers recognise the pathogenic factors of Vitiligo being heat in the blood, resulting in disorder of the circulation of blood on the skin surface. Damp environments can affect allergies, which can trigger a Vitiligo outbreak.
Early diagnosis is key to successful and timeous repigmentation of affected areas. Treatment creates a uniform skin tone, restoring natural pigment (colour) to the white patches.
Our Vitiligo Treatment website offers a free assessment to ascertain age, gender, skin tone and percentage coverage. The questionnaire helps to assess physical and mental triggers, climate, trauma, and potential nutritional issues. After filling out the form, you can discuss treatment options with one of our experienced skin care specialists.
It is important to subscribe to the newsletters because this gives you an immediate “connection” to a Vitiligo community. It is a safe environment where knowledge can be obtained, and where you can take advantage of the special offers. This has the benefit of feeling that you are not alone and that there are countless others with the same condition.
You can browse the case studies to find a similar story to your own. It is important to realise that there are cases very similar to yours. You can then follow their treatment journeys to see how they managed their treatment plans. Vitiligo Treatment has an excellent product and success rate in treating Vitiligo, and the Vitilox® product range is now being scripted by skin specialists in Australia, South Africa, and the USA.
Vitiligo Treatment has a very close-knit and experienced team, and our research and development are ongoing. We believe in customising our treatment suggestions to ensure that our patients have the best possible chance of regaining their natural pigment again. We also offer an excellent Vitiligo Camo Cover Cream that will conceal depigmentation areas for those who are embarrassed and have poor self-esteem. Many of our patients who are treating spots or patches on the face or hands use this unique product while using our Vitilox Pigmentation Cream. This makes sure that the Pigment is being restored under the cover cream whilst covering the white spots.
The effects of Vitiligo can be life-changing and can cause stress and anxiety. Make sure you get an early diagnosis and start treatment straight away. Keep your body as healthy as you can and avoid stress if possible. Remember, you are not alone! Some people who have Vitiligo embrace and show their white patches proudly, but most people want to keep the effects hidden. Neither way is wrong!
Drink water and use sun protection, but most importantly, be kind to yourself.
The year 2021 was a year of excesses and excuses – let 2022 be different.
Remember, Vitiligo can be Treated:
Vitiligo can be treated, and it is important to keep perceptions in line with reality! Commitment and adherence to the available treatment options are important when managing Vitiligo. Medications and light-based therapies exist to help restore skin colour or even out skin tone.
Living with Vitiligo can be challenging! After you have been diagnosed, deal with your emotions and find a solution. Get support from a reputable Vitiligo treatment specialist and embark on a specific treatment plan – one that is sustainable for you.
At Vitiligo Treatment we offer a large range of products to help treat most Vitiligo conditions. This is one of the factors that has contributed to our success in Treating Vitiligo.
We do have a combination of products formulated to treat Low, Medium, and High Vitiligo body coverage. Contact one of our consultants or read more on our website for information pertaining to your own Vitiligo condition.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you require any further information pertaining to this article – Vitiligo – Time to Reset? – or require any additional detailed information on our products.
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Published by Vitiligo Treatment