Don't let anyone tell you that there is no effective treatment for vitiligo or that topical treatments and phototherapy are the only choices. I am certainly not the only person with vitiligo to re-pigment with the help of a diet rich in antioxidant supplements. The following abstract is taken from a case study conducted in 2002.
"Low levels of antioxidant enzymes (catalase) have been demonstrated in the epidermis of vitiligo patients. Clinical trials with antioxidants as an adjunct to UVB phototherapy have shown encouraging results. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of oral antioxidants as an adjunct to photochemotherapy. Thirty patients of stable vitiligo, not on any treatment fort month were included in the study. Fifteen patients were treated with photochemotherapy alone and another 15 were treated with photochemotherapy and oral antiodixants (1 capsule od). Two index lesions were assessed in each patient, priorto treatment, 1 month and 3 months after treatment. Average area was calculated by Computer Aided Design. Patients were monitored for side effects to photochemotherapy and antioxidants. Percentage decrease in the area of index lesions was calculated after 3 months. No statistically significant difference was noted between the two regimes. No side effects specific to antioxidant therapy were observed. Antioxidants as an adjunct to photochemotherapy offer no distinct advantage and antioxidant therapy is free of adverse effects."
I am not a scientist but it seems to me that this case study (and others like it) strongly indicate that the causes of vitiligo can be addressed through dietary means. My white patches started to re-pigment a few weeks after starting to take supplements containing massive doses of antioxidants. This progressed without any phototherapy. However, a course of UVB (which I began several months later) appeared to speed up the process. I discontinued the UVB at the end of my alloted course and have continued to re-pigment ever since (it's been over a year now). Logic tells me that taking antioxidants orally is what supplies the body with the nutrients necessary to create normal pigment and UV light just stimulates the process. Logic also tells me that the key factor here is not the UV light, but the dietary change. In other words if you discontinued the UV therapy but continued with the antioxidant intake, you are most likely to retain your improvement. But if you continued with the UV and stopped the antioxidants, the vitiligo would probably return.
My name is Caroline.