The truth is there’s only one simple fact about vitiligo: it’s complicated! If it wasn’t complicated, research would have uncovered the cause - and the cure - by now. If #MichaelJackson couldn’t buy the expertise or resources to solve the mystery of this condition, and if the raised profile and increased funding it has received since his death and in the years of research preceding it, has not yet resulted in a major breakthrough, I think it’s fair to say that vitiligo is a tough nut to crack.
It’s tempting to think that vitiligo is all about the skin because that’s where the visible changes occur. But, in my opinion, that would be a big mistake. The skin, of course, is the largest organ in the human body and it is the only one (except for the eyes) that you can actually see from the outside! Think of it as the surface of a deep river. Its appearance varies according to what is going on underneath. Below the surface there is a complete #eco-system in which the health of each organism is dependent on the health of the others. The “symptoms” on the surface of a damaged river eco-system might include dead fish, other lost species and, ultimately, green and stagnant water. The symptoms on the surface of a damaged human eco-system can include dryness, roughness, sores, rashes, pallor, redness, broken veins and either hyper- (brown spots) or hypo-pigmentation (vitiligo). Whilst the symptoms are easy to identify, the exact reasons why the delicate balance of an eco-system becomes disrupted are much more difficult and complex to pin down.
I believe that the reason a cure for vitiligo is proving to be so elusive is that it is not a disease. It is a #symptom – a symptom of a disturbed internal "eco-system". Just like a cough or a rash, it can signify one (or many more) of any number of different underlying physical disorders. It is simply one of the ways in which the human body signals that all is not well under the surface. Worse still, once you have it - just like a cough or a rash - it is easily exacerbated by all sorts of influences and substances that would otherwise be relatively harmless to a human being.
I am conscious of the fact that my own #success story does not represent a universal cure. I have almost totally recovered my lost pigment (which, after spreading for 50 years, covered about 80% of my skin) and the recovery, thankfully, appears to be permanent. I am still seeing nothing but gradual improvement after 4 and a half years. However, I am certain that my sustained recovery is only due to the fact that I continue to use the nutritional protocol that triggered my repigmentation in the first place. This intervention has virtually cured the symptom (the white patches) by restoring the balance of my body’s eco-system. But, without it, my gut (literally – see this post) tells me that this balance would be lost.
Some vitiligo sufferers report similar success with my particular protocol, others have had positive results from other approaches, and many more have never found anything that works for them. This supports the view that the causes of vitiligo are varied and complex. However, it seems self-evident that anything a person can do to improve their overall health is going to reduce the severity of their symptoms, whether those symptoms be coughs, rashes or white patches. So, the best we can do – until a universal cure is forthcoming – is to feed our body with the sorts of foods that will support a balanced internal eco-system and avoid contamination (internally and externally) from substances that could compromise that balance.
I have written in detail elsewhere on my site about my nutritional treatment. So in my next few blog posts I will look at some of the external and environmental factors that may play a part in either triggering the onset of vitiligo or making an existing case worse. Knowledge is power. And knowing what can mess up your physiological eco-system can give us the power to avoid those things and give ourselves a better chance of total recovery.
A vitiligo blogger since 2011. My name is Caroline. I had vitiligo for nearly 50 years before finding an effective treatment. I created this blog to share my experiences with others affected by this skin condition.