When you realize you have vitiligo you start looking for a solution, you start thinking about how you can get rid of vitiligo. After your initial research online you learn a couple of things: first, medical doctors don’t know much about the underlying causes of the vitiligo and autoimmunity, in general, and second, there are no cures for vitiligo.
What can be done for your vitiligo? What can you do to get rid of it? There is a range of medical treatments for vitiligo, but none that deal with the underlying causes, only surface treatments that manage symptoms. Lasers, phototherapy, corticosteroids, topical creams and more.
All medical treatments have these core troublesome issues:
- Medical treatments for vitiligo don’t deal with the underlying causes of the disease which leaves you more susceptible to developing additional autoimmune symptoms which can be far more serious
- Medical treatments for vitiligo have side-effects, especially with long-term use
- No medical treatment is designed for long-term use to manage vitiligo which is a chronic condition
For myself, I needed to find another way. I tried the medical treatments and while there was repigmentation, the time it took for the treatments, the out of pocket cost, potential side-effects of Elidel and phototherapy and the need for a long term solution to getting rid of vitiligo required that I look outside mainstream medicine. Dermatologists don’t have a long term solution and insurance didn’t cover all my costs. After 9 months of standard medical treatment for vitiligo, which for me meant UVB Phototherapy and Elidel, and after consulting with a second dermatologist, I left the doctors office behind for dealing with vitiligo.
So what did I do instead to get rid of vitiligo?
Perhaps you start thinking, as I did, that maybe, just maybe there is a way to manage my disease on my own terms. Maybe I can change my diet, or exercise more or take some herbs or something.
It is overwhelming at first but it’s an exciting idea. Maybe my own choices can influence my chronic disease.
For some time I did nothing because of the overwhelm. I just put it out of my mind and decided that it was not worth thinking about. While this was not the best attitude to take, I think it has merit and useful for a time. Then I realized I couldn’t put aside my own feelings anymore. I needed to deal with my insecurities and fears.
The problem with vitiligo is that it is hard on your mental and emotional well being. It breeds narcissism. It breeds co-dependency.
You can’t stop thinking about what other people think about you. You wonder if someone will notice. You think that you are marred, and ugly. It’s destructive if you allow yourself to obsess about your disease. You can begin to define yourself by your fears and concerns. So when you decide to not worry about how you are going to get rid of your vitiligo, when you don’t allow yourself to be consumed with the pursuit of a cure for vitiligo, you are doing yourself a favor. You are not allowing for that narcissism to take hold. You stop yourself from defining yourself by your disease.
But there is more to be done. There is life to be lived. Vitiligo stops us from doing nothing unless we create an excuse to hide from life, to hide from our dreams. Vitiligo can be an excuse to avoid the unknowns that life will present us with. Vitiligo can be a reason to hide ourselves. Vitiligo can be a reason to not reach four our best and richest dreams.
So how do we care for ourselves and our immune systems in a way that pushes towards our best life? How can we address our bodily frustrations with vitiligo and the internal emotional struggle? These are the questions that drove me.
Being aware of the latest developments in skin research and pursuing the ways that you can be healthier and perhaps even actively treating vitiligo is valuable. I didn’t want to just let a disease like vitiligo take over without a challenge. Vitiligo is a sign of a more serious problem in your body that will likely manifest itself in a different and more frustrating way at a later date. I didn’t want a more serious second autoimmune disease like ulcerative colitis or arthritis.
Getting rid of vitiligo holistically isn’t so much about skin pigment. It’s about healing the body, strengthening the mind and encouraging a natural and sustainable way of managing stress and disease. As it turns out, there are far too many approaches to dealing with chronic disease. Fad diets, supplements, phototherapy, all that can be managed by an individual without expensive doctors and expensive treatments.
Getting Help With Vitiligo
I needed help. Thankfully, as I was ready, the teachers became clear. I tried the supplements and diet approach. That approach almost worked too.
Here’s how it went:
- I tried a vegan diet
- I took some supplements recommended to me
- I stopped drinking
- I got sunlight on some vitiligo spots, though not all of them several times a week
And what happened? I repigmented. It took a month or so. Then I went through a very stressful time of my life. My family changed dramatically in one day. I was now dealing with a crisis that had nothing to do with vitiligo, and my diet program stopped working. I lost weight and I lost that weight fast. I lost energy and my skin was not repigmenting.
I couldn’t do the vegan diet anymore. I kept up the supplements for vitiligo but they didn’t work on their own. I also put aside dealing with vitiligo because of the trauma within my family for a good couple of years. I ate in a more or less healthy fashion, but dealing with vitiligo was not the issue.
It wasn’t until a couple years ago that I decided to be the healthiest version of myself. I wanted a complete program to manage myself and my body so that I could pursue my dreams in the best way possible.
That’s when I found mentors to guide me through the process of learning what I needed, what my body needed.
A holistic approach to my life and health is a foundation that I can firmly stand on, deal with the stress of life, deal with my bodies needs and live life fully.
Together with my friend Ryan, I put together an online workshop on vitiligo that outlines my approach to vitiligo, to health and to life. It’s just under an hour.
I don’t know if myself and Ryan can help you with your specific goals with vitiligo. We may or may not be the right guides for you. But I’d encourage you to watch the workshop if you are curious.
Here are some of the things we talk about:
- Wanting to get rid of vitiligo isn’t a goal that’s big enough to produce long term change for long term results
- Each person is different, there is no one size fits all program
- Getting rid of inflammation is more important than getting rid of vitiligo
You can find it here: