The more I read about successful vitiligo treatments, the more I realise that the same themes keep recurring. Of course no completely successful treatment has yet been discovered. If it had, the drug companies would be going wild and raking in the dosh. However, the approach that I have been taking over the last couple of years has certainly been highly successful for me and supports the findings of the study copied and pasted below. The one difference is that the nutritional supplementation I have used contains a lot more than just B12 and Folic Acid. In the absence of any other compelling success stories, I have to conclude that the best treatment for vitiligo yet discovered consists of certain nutritents (in particular B complex, l-tyrosine, copper and copious quantities of antioxidants) plus sunlight/UV exposure...
Improvement of vitiligo after oral treatment with vitamin B12 and folic acid and the importance of sun exposure.
Acta Derm Venereol. 1997.
The aim of this 2-year study was to test the hypothesis that folic acid, vitamin B12 and sun exposure could be helpful in treating vitiligo. One hundred patients with vitiligo were treated with oral folic acid and vitamin B12 after being informed that sun exposure might enhance repigmentation. They were requested to keep a record of sun exposure in summer and UVB irradiation in winter. The minimal treatment time suggested was 3-6 months but should be longer if improvement was achieved. Clear repigmentation occurred in 52 patients, including 37 who exposed their skin to summer sun and 6 who used UVB lamps in winter. Repigmentation was most evident on sun-exposed areas, where 38% of the patients had previously noted repigmentation during summer months. Total repigmentation was seen in 6 patients. The spread of vitiligo stopped in 64% of the patients after treatment. Folic acid and vitamin B12 supplementation combined with sun exposure can induce repigmentation better than either the vitamins or sun exposure alone. Treatment should continue as long as the white areas continue to repigment. Further studies are needed to determine ideal minimal dosages of vitamins and UV exposure, as well as treatment time.
I'm intrigued to have just read something about nutrition and vitiligo that I don't remember ever having seen before (just as I was beginning to think I'd read and memorised everything!)
It's in an article by Dr Sandy Milgraum, Associate Professor of Dermatology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, East Brunswick, New Jersey (Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com).
He says: "...The body especially needs two proteins, Phenylalanine and Glutamine to manufacture melanin, the pigment in your skin..." I already knew about phenylanaline (and am taking this in Boost - well actually it's l-tyrosine, which is what phenylanaline converts into) but I haven't been taking a glutamine supplement.
I still have about 2% of the way to go in the entire re-pigmentation process, so I'll see if adding l-glutamine to the mix will speed it along. I'll keep you posted!
My name is Caroline.