I came across this fascinating article by James J Nordlund today. It’s 3 years old but the information is certainly not out of date. I find that a lot of #vitiligo information that can be accessed online is repetitive and too superficial to be really helpful so it’s refreshing to read some lesser known facts and findings.
One point that leapt out at me from this article was that anyone with vitiligo is likely to be much more sensitive to contact with certain chemicals than the general population. In particular, phenolic chemicals (which are widely used in detergents and personal care products) are likely to cause melanocytes to die and therefore turn the skin white.
This leads me to think about some of the most common sites on the body for lesions to occur and whether or not these might be linked to regular contact with certain products containing these phenols. A few obvious examples would be the underarms (could deodorants be contributing to the development of white patches here?), pulse points where perfumes and typically applied, and hands (which come into contact with soap more frequently than the rest of the body) as well as moisturisers and makeup.
Of course, trying to decipher ingredients listing on products to see if they contain phenols (or any other chemical nasties) is a nightmare. So I am now more convinced than ever that the safest way to go is 100% natural and organic wherever possible. The goodguide.com contains more information about phenols, and thelesstoxicguide.ca has some useful details on other potentially harmful ingredients in everyday products.
Finally, for any vitiligo sufferers who are using the same nutritional treatment as me to re-pigment, 100% natural, #organic makeup is also available from the same site as the supplements and is also becoming more widely available in the high street. One word of warning though - don’t be fooled by brands that call themselves organic simply on the basis of having one or two organic ingredients in them. These might also contain phenols, parabens and any number of other chemicals too. So look for 100% natural and organic.
My name is Caroline.