What is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is an autoimmune skin condition that currently affects 1% of Americans. Small spots or larger areas of skin may be affected. Vitiligo is caused by many factors, some of which are genetics, accumulation of toxins, bacterial overgrowth, food sensitivities, nutritional deficiencies, mental-emotional stress etc. With vitiligo, the immune system attacks the melanin-producing cells called melanocytes, and this process causes areas of the skin to lose their pigmentation.
Vitiligo can negatively impact a person’s confidence and self-image, especially if it affects areas that can’t be hidden such as the face and hands. Conventional treatment for vitiligo involves ultraviolet light therapy, which can be very effective in improving the appearance. However, with conventional treatment only, the internal autoimmune process is still remains because the underlying causative factors are not being addressed. An integrative approach to vitiligo treatment is necessary to not only improve the appearance of the skin long term, but also address the root cause and prevent progression and development of other autoimmune diseases. An integrative treatment approach to vitiligo would include a naturopathic medicine approach in combination with conventional treatment.
What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a comprehensive approach to holistic medicine that uses natural therapies along with nutrition and lifestyle changes to correct imbalances and assist the body’s natural ability to heal. With vitiligo, it involves not only focusing on improving the skin, but strengthening the body as a whole. A naturopathic approach can help to reduce the overactive immune response and prevent further spreading, so permanent improvement is experienced when conventional treatments are discontinued.
Integrative Vitiligo Treatment Approach
The first step in a naturopathic treatment approach is to identify what is causing the immune system to be overstimulated, which can be tested in a variety of ways. Once the trigger(s) have been identified, natural therapies such as lifestyle changes, detoxification, nutritional supplements, herbal medicines etc. can be used to re-balance the immune system and support the body’s natural healing capacity. Lastly, conventional therapies are integrated in order to repigment the skin. Once an autoimmune condition is developed, it is always there, but naturopathic medicine can help to regulate the autoimmune response, stop spreading, and prevent development of more autoimmune conditions in the individual.
An integrative approach to vitiligo that encompasses naturopathic and conventional therapies is needed to fully address the condition internally and externally. A dermatologist can provide you with treatment options to improve the appearance of vitiligo. A naturopathic physician can help you identify & address the root cause in order to stop spreading and provide lasting improvement.
Dr. Peter helps patients with vitiligo improve their skin health from the inside out. Schedule an appointment or contact Well Ahead Health Solutions for further inquiries. Virtual appointments available.
The information contained within this blog is for educational use only and is not a substitute for seeking the advice of a license medical professional. Always consult your health care provider before implementing health information found online or starting a new supplement regimen.