A review of Vitix and Viticolor
I am usually wary of products that claim to treat #vitiligo. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that there is an increasing number of so-called “guaranteed cures” out there on the internet that have very little to do with helping people and everything to do with parting them from their money. So, I have found it generally pays to err very much on the side of skepticism.
That’s why I was pleasantly surprised to spot a couple of products recently that looked like genuinely well-conceived and moderately priced items designed to fill two important vitiligo needs, namely 1) to help recover lost pigment and 2) to provide cosmetic colouring to depigmented skin.
These products are called #Vitix (a #topical treatment) and #Viticolor (a faux-tan-cum-camouflage gel). Manufactured by a French pharmaceutical and dermatological company Laboratoire Dermatologique ACM, Vitix appears to be based on sound research and makes no unrealistic claims. Quite the reverse, in fact… the product literature clearly states that “There is, at present, no 100% cure” and that “there are no treatments that can prevent vitiligo developing again.” (In my experience, the only way of achieving that is through #nutrition.) The boldest claim the makers of this product make is that it “increases the probability of achieving satisfactory repigmentation by 50%”, a reassuringly modest claim compared to many that are bandied about online.
I have never used a topical vitiligo treatment myself (except for one disastrous encounter with a Chinese herbal concoction which left me badly burned) and am curious as to whether it could help even out the remaining mottled areas I still have on my hands and feet, where my repigmentation – though virtually complete everywhere else – is still quite uneven. When I asked the UK suppliers if they would like me to review these two products they kindly sent me some samples to try and some further information on them. So I will be giving them a go over the coming weeks and months and will report back on the outcome after that.
In the meantime, I will give you my first impressions, which are very positive. Most topical treatments I read about are either designed to calm lesions down using steroid hormones (like corticosteroids) or else purposely to irritate them by increasing the skin’s sensitivity to UV light (like psoralen) so it’s refreshing to find that Vitix has been formulated to take a different approach, namely to reduce the excess hydrogen peroxide typically found in vitiliginous skin by increasing catalase levels. This principle is at the heart of Dr Karin Schallreuter’s Dead Sea treatment and seems to me to make a lot of sense, given that the oxidative stress theory as to the likely mechanisms involved in vitiligo is so well established.
So, instead of trying to restore colour by soothing inflammation or by irritating the skin into producing pigment, Vitix claims to act “locally on the epidermis by creating an environment ideal for the cells responsible for producing the pigments responsible for skin colour (melanocytes)”. This concept appeals to me because it seems to fit with everything I have learned about the antioxidant status of vitiliginous skin and it strikes me as a logical extension of the approach that I used to regain my lost pigment. Whereas I used nutrition to raise my levels of catalase and other antioxidants from the inside, Vitix promises to do the same from the outside.
Of course, having so little vitiligo left on which to test this product might make it more difficult for me to gauge results but I will take before and after pictures and keep careful notes of any changes that occur and pass my feedback on once I have given the product time to work.
The product itself, by the way, is a gel in which the active ingredient is delivered by means of little microspheres that feel slightly gritty when first applied but which then seems to dissolve away soon after. It seems easy and pleasant enough to apply and does not smell or stain. It can be used alongside UV treatment (whether medical or sunshine) and under camouflage.
Finally, for this post, I want to comment on the other product, Viticolor. This may seem like the less important of the two products because it is not a treatment but a purely cosmetic item. However, as anyone whose vitiligo causes them distress will know, anything that can help a person feel comfortable in their own skin and forget about their white patches is a godsend. Not only that, but this product can, according to the literature, be used during treatment, including during phototherapy. So it may be a way to deal with the increased contrast between vitiliginous and normal skin during UV treatment. I have only tried this product once so far and made the beginner’s error of applying too much and ending up with the partially depigmented areas on my hands sporting a much deeper tan than the surrounding normal skin. So, my tip on using Viticolor would be to use it very sparingly the first time, especially as it only seems to come in one shade that has to work for everyone, so the idea is to build it up very gradually over several days and then just top it up once or twice a week once you have built up your ideal depth of colour.
So, that's it for now... I will keep you posted :)
My name is Caroline.