Interrupting the domino effect
As you will know if you have read my blog before, I am not a scientist. So I tend to draw everyday analogies between the technical information I read and concepts that are more familiar to me. Hopefully, these comparisons are helpful to others whose scientific studies also ended when they left school.
My view of #vitiligo is not that it is “an incurable skin disease” but that it is a symptom of a domino effect occurring inside the body. Research suggests that the root cause (the first domino to fall) is at the genetic level. However, until the boffins find a way of reprogramming the three rogue genes thought to be responsible, we do at least have multiple options for interrupting the sequence of events leading up to de-pigmentation at some point along the line of dominoes. This is possibly one reason why different remedies apparently work for different people.
If we accept that each domino that topples is a threat to the health of our entire body (a systemic issue) then it makes sense to try to stop the chain reaction, either as early in the process as possible (in order to limit systemic damage), or else to interrupt the process at as many different stages as we can (i.e. prop up several of the dominoes at once). This may not constitute a “cure” in the widely accepted sense of the word but if it improves overall health and reduces or eradicates the visible symptoms (the white patches) then that is surely good enough for the time being.
Vitamin and mineral supplementation, herbs, diets and other lifestyle changes, topical treatments, phototherapy and surgical procedures have all been variously reported to bring about a halt or reversal of pigment loss, a fact that supports the theory that vitiligo is multi-factorial.
This has made it difficult for scientists to find a one-size-fits-all cure but, on the other side of the same coin, it presents us with multiple opportunities to arrest the onset of symptoms at any one (or more) of the stages that lead up to eventual de-pigmentation. In other words, if we look at the considerable body of therapeutic evidence that has built up over the years, we can use as many of the helpful (and safe) therapies as we need to in order to put up roadblocks at sites along the route between point A and point B (point A being the first domino: our original predisposition to vitiligo, and B being the eventual appearance of white patches).
Taking a multi-pronged approach to a multi-factorial condition seems to me to be a logical thing to do. It also allows for the likelihood that the exact combination of physiological events leading up to pigment loss may well vary in relative importance from one individual to the next. For example, not everyone with vitiligo experiences the same degree of reaction to physical or mental trauma. Not everyone with vitiligo experiences itching or visible inflammation at the site of new lesions. And not everyone with vitiligo experiences noticeable digestive symptoms. So the value of focusing on any one of these issues will most likely vary from one person to the next.
The fact that there are many approaches that can, and do, improve vitiligo - and that some of these approaches can be used in combination as multiple "roadblocks to de-pigmentation" - has become a guiding factor in my choice of topics for this blog and also in my choice of new additions to Vitiligo Store.
The latest, and potentially the most exciting, in a number of recent additions to the site is the partner product to Vitix Gel: Vitix tablets. I was asked recently if I recommended them and was surprised to realise that I was not even aware of them. So I read up on their ingredients and supporting evidence and have started trying them for myself.
The tablets are designed to work - ideally, together with the gel - to reduce oxidative stress inside the body, whilst the gel does the same topically. (I first tried Vitix Gel about a year ago and found that it helped to re-pigment some patchy pigment loss that had reappeared on my chest following a particularly nasty sunburn. Ever since this sunburn I had noticed that this area was not as resistant to burning as it previously had been and frequently felt itchy and inflamed, even when protected from the sun by clothing. Significantly, this problem has resolved since starting to take Vitix tablets. I have only been taking them for a week so far and noticed a difference from the very first day. It is too soon to tell if they will also help even out the freckled skin tone that I now have in this area but if all they do is continue to prevent itching and irritation and allow me to stay in the sunshine for a reasonable period of time without feeling as if I am burning I will be happy.)
From what I have read about the formulation of the tablets, they are clearly aimed at interrupting the domino effect I referred to earlier at the inflammation / oxidative stress stage (a distinct, but compatible, approach to Boost capsules which appear to work by replenishing depleted nutrients involved in the pigmentation process itself). Based on a melon extract called Extramel-v, which contains high levels of the antioxidants SOD and catalase, this is the first formulation I have come across that that contains both primary and secondary antioxidants (in fact I didn't know there was such a distinction). According to the literature (below), SOD and catalase are the primary antioxidants and act at source on the production of free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in order to limit cellular damage. The secondary antioxidants are vitamins C, E, B9, B12, Selenium, Copper and Zinc. Evidently, the primary antioxidants eliminate free radicals by a continuous action (non-stoichiometric action) so that secondary free radicals are not given the chance to reappear. And the secondary antioxidants eliminate secondary free radicals using stoichiometric action. (Another two-pronged approach!)
So I am grateful to the vitiligo friend who asked my opinion of Vitix Tablets. I will keep you posted on my own results and hope to hear that this information has helped others too. After all, the dominoes in our picture at the top of this blog may need to be covered with white spots but, in my opinion, we most certainly don't.
My name is Caroline.