Changes in skin color are a common problem. The problem can appear in a form of bright and dark spots or other color changes. White spots on the skin indicate the loss of its pigmentation and they are of very different sizes. Such spots can occur anywhere on the body but most often on the neck, shoulders, upper part of back, legs and forearm. Usually these spots do not cause any pain, itching or irritation but they cause stress and psychological discomfort especially for people with darker skin where the contrast is more obvious.
According to the latest researches the problem is caused by disruptions in the body’s immune system which is a characteristic of autoimmune diseases. Also quite often disease is called vitiligo. This problem affects about 2% of the population. The idea of solutions is to improve the appearance of the skin by the following methods:
- using food to stimulate needed changes in the cells;
- using cosmetics to hide the white spots;
- using corticosteroids and phototherapy to cause re-pigmentation;
- reducing the pigmentation of unaffected area and the skin transplantation.
- The first method: Change your diet
- The second method: Skin transplantation
- The third method: Homemade remedies
- The fourth method: Laser
- The fifth method: PUVA therapy
To prevent white spots on your skin or occurrence of cosmetic defects as well as quick recovery of all types of similar skin pigmentation we should learn as a rule that following spices should be avoided: raw onions, ginger, garlic and pepper. Diet should be very well balanced. We need to learn which elements are responsible for skin pigmentation and how we should make our meals full of needed vitamins and minerals. All vitamins are available in pharmacy but it is better to consume them on the regular basis in the meals.
Needed minerals and basic rules of consuming them:
- Cooper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and iron (Fe) are minerals in charge of quantity of melanin in our skin. This is what we need to create to get rid of the problem.
- You should learn that these minerals are antagonists. Basically this means that excessive intake of just one of them cause deficiency of the other one.
- Thus you should take each of the minerals separately and with breaks between each of minerals courses.
Importance of cooper:
- In case you are lacking cooper (you have cooper deficiency) you will feel fatigue; usually will have dysfunction of the blood formation; diabetes; problems with bone and connective tissues.
- In case we consume enough of cooper we experience that this element provides anti-inflammatory effect and slows down aging processes.
- Cooper actually is needed for our body in order to absorb iron. Cooper makes hair and skin more attractive, removes white spots (also known as vitiligo), our body obtains more freedom of mobility and flexibility.
- Products with the biggest amount of copper are cucumbers, pork liver, hazelnuts, cheese and cocoa.
Importance of zinc:
- Zinc is needed for the optimal functioning of every cell in our body.
- In case of zinc deficit we feel decrease of appetite, weight loss, hyperactivity, dermatitis and hair loss. We more often get sick with infections and cold. The risk of diabetes increases without proper amount of zinc in our diet.
- Following food is rich in zinc: oysters, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, blueberries and nuts.
Importance of iron:
- Iron is absolutely needed in our everyday diet as it is necessary to provide proper level of cellular respiration. Also iron is needed for lymphocytes, blood cells of immune system.
- In case of iron deficiency we will have anemia. Anemia is a symptom of diseases which reduce the level of hemoglobin in the blood. Adults face fatigue and kids problems in mental development in case of lack of iron. Mostly people without proper amount of iron in diet face skin diseases as eczemas, dermatitis or other.
- Source of so-called heme iron (which is in structure of hemoglobin) is meat, mostly kidneys and liver.
- Sources of non-heme iron are mostly plants. Especially rich in it products are beans, buckwheat and other whole grains, parsley and nettles.
- Biggest amount of iron is in raspberries, pork and beef liver, eggs, beans, peas, spinach, oatmeal, and cocoa.
All above mentioned elements are absolutely needed for health of our skin. In case you doubt if you have enough of them you can have your blood checked and you will find out what you are lacking. It is always better to include them in your diet instead of taking tons of pills. Although sometimes we need to take pills or even infusions of minerals if problem became critical.
Warning: Our body absorbs only one type of iron (one chemical type). In order to convert other type into one which can be absorbed we should consume vitamin C. The iron is absorbed from greens well enough as there is enough of vitamin C in them. But beans should be always consumed with vegetables in which there is lot of vitamin C.
One of the methods available on the market is skin transplantation. The basic idea of the method is in transplanting healthy skin surfaces instead of the spots where skin has white spots areas. Usually this method is used to get rid of small white spots. This method allows achieving very quick results. Skin transplantation is usually used in cases when all the other options you tried and failed in treating vitiligo. Usually transplanted tissue loses pigment so it is always recommended special PUVA therapy for donor’s skin. Such therapy improves results of skin transplantation and stimulates the production of pigment.
Vitamins taken together with skin transplantation:
- Vitamin C
As a rule patients lack all these vitamins and need to take them together with the stimulators of immunity. They are all needed for recovery of melanocytes.
Warning: Skin transplantation should be definitely your last chance. Before considering this method you better try all the rest and analyze your diet. Prevention of disease and healthier life style are always easier than curing it.
The thing is that to remove white spots on the skin does not always require expensive procedures or ingredients. These methods are known as methods of not traditional medicine but they are sometimes worth trying.
- To get rid of annoying light spots you should buy in any store kefir of yogurt.
- Implement these dairy products with the cotton pad on the areas with lost pigmentation two-three times a day.
Usually this method is used in case you got sunburns and experience difference in your skin color after that.
Apricot seeds and boiled eggs:
- Take 120 grams of apricot seeds and 2 eggs.
- Boil eggs (in order to make them solid inside it will take approx. 8-10 minutes).
- Mix grinded seeds with boiled grated eggs.
- Implement mask for 30 minutes on the problem areas.
Such mask is recommended for small dry white spots on the face. The best solution is to implement this mask three days in a row.
- Buy dry anise, grind it and mix with olive oil (half liter of olive oil).
- Keep mixture for one month in dark place (without access of sun light or any light).
- Warm up the mixture till you will see first bubbles.
- Cool the liquid and strain it.
- Implement this oil on the skin where you have white spots.
This oil is also recommended to be implemented to both face and body. With some time you will notice that your skin is getting darker and your problem areas become invisible.
Warning: In case you played too much with coloring your skin and now you have some spots which you wish to make darker you should implement parsley. Parsley whitens the skin perfectly. To get the best results you should add some honey and lemon to the blended parsley.
One of the nowadays available solutions against vitiligo is helium-neon laser. This method reduced time you will need to cure the disease incredibly. The principle of the treatment is similar to PUVA therapy but skin is experiencing stronger and more precise amount of radiation.
Disadvantages of the laser method:
- Risk of burns
- High price of treatment
This method even allows to get rid of very old spots on the skin, those which existed for many years.
Advantages of the laser method:
- Removes dark spots of any origin, including freckles. The skin is not damaged and does not require long-term recovery.
- There are no side effects. The procedure is comfortable and does not require special anesthesia.
- Unique laser works as follows: by removing only cells with high (low) content of pigment.
- No risk if infection.
The duration of the course depends on the characteristics of your pigmentation: size and depth. The number of procedures will be determined by doctor personally for you.
Warning: Of course you should not prescribe laser therapy for you on your own. Usually dermatologist can suggest such solution. Now in any beauty salon you can find lasers which are aimed to solve skin problems. It is always better to consult with the real doctor before trying laser on your skin.
The goal of this therapy as you understand is pigmentation of white skin spots. This method does not take that much time. During PUVA therapy is used a medicine (psoralen) which contain chemicals reacting to ultraviolet light. Such process makes skin darker. You should be extremely careful and aware of ultraviolet radiation. This treatment is usually taking place in the doctor’s office. Additionally we should minimize sunlight exposure.
Local PUVA therapy:
- Mostly this method is used for people with small white spots on limited areas of body and for children (5 years and older) experiencing limited number of spots of vitiligo.
- Method is implemented for one or two weeks in the doctor’s office under the artificial UV light.
- Doctor or nurse applies psoralen (medication which is used along with PUVA therapy) on the spots which lost pigmentation before UV light for approximately 30 minutes until skin will become pink.
- Usually dose of UV light is increased by doctor slowly.
- In the end the pink areas of skin are getting “burns” and become of normal skin color.
After each procedure the skin should be washed with water and soap. Sunscreen should be implemented after the procedures as long as your doctor will recommend.
Side effects of PUVA therapy:
- Two most serious side effects of PUVA therapy are: blisters caused by sunburns and darkening (hyperpigmentation) of areas of skin with normal pigmentation.
- You can minimize effect of sunburn by avoiding sunlight after the procedure or scheduling procedure during the winter.
Usually hyperpigmentation is temporary problem and it disappears when you are done with procedures.
PUVA therapy in pills:
- Pills are used for patients with strong vitiligo (white spots appearing more than on 20 percent of the skin) or for people who do not react to UV light therapy.
- It is not recommended to children younger 10 as it increases the risk of diseases of eyes.
- Therapy is usually implemented for 2-3 weeks.
Side effects of PUVA therapy in pills
- PUVA therapy in pills may increase the risk of skin cancer. The risk is minimal but still exists. To avoid sunburn and reduce risk of skin cancer it is recommended to apply sunscreen and avoid direct sunlight 24-48 hours after each procedure.
- In order to avoid such side effect as cataract (or any other eye disease) it is highly recommended to wear protective glasses during 18-24 hours after each procedure.
Contraindications of PUVA therapy:
- Increased sensitivity to radiation
- Cardiovascular diseases
- digestive, urinary and blood forming systems diseases
- Age before 5 and older than 60 years
Laser therapy has much more advantages over the method of PUVA therapy. Transplantation of skin is usually containing PUVA-method as donor’s skin is previously prepared by PUVA method.
Warning: Treatment effectiveness usually increases when the medicines in therapy are additionally containing copper and ascorbic acid. Positive effect by most of the patients was noticed after appointment of course of corticosteroids. Of course every medicine should be appointed only by doctor.