Following on from my blog post on my Vitiligo story and how it has started to re-pigment I was featured in a few online publications:
Since being featured in these publications I have been inundated with emails and messages from people asking me what I have done to re-pigment my skin. To make this easier I decided to write everything I did in this blog post, so that I can simply share the link with everyone instead. It is also important to note that what has worked for me may not work for you, we all have different underlying health problems and stressors and lives.
This is me at 15/16 when my vitiligo was pretty bad and spreading fast! I actually forgot just how much Vitiligo I had, until I had to find these photos for some newspaper articles. I had Vitiligo all around my neck and chest, spine, face, arms, legs, underarms… pretty much everywhere!
Growing up as a teenager I always tried to hide my vitiligo, I would avoid the sun, sit in the shade and I would wear loads of fake tan and make up to try and mask it. When I got to the age of around 21 I just decided to forget about my Vitiligo and to get on with life, it was around this age that I went on holiday to Egypt, where I sat in the sun a lot and only wore factor 20 whereas before I was wearing factor 50, this was when I noticed the first signs of re-pigmentation coming back. I had freckles of pigment showing in the white patch on my stomach and I realised that I seemed to be re-pigmenting! I think the reason I hadn’t noticed before now was because I was so so pale and avoided the sun, so my vitiligo just blended in with my normal pigment, whereas after Egypt I had a tan so it showed up.
At first I thought the re-pigmentation was just one of those things, but the more I was sitting in the sun, the more I could see that some re-pigmentation had started to happen. This was when I knew that the doctors had to be wrong when they told me that Vitiligo is incurable. After a good few years of seeing this re-pigmentation happening, I decided to do my own research. It was around this time that I mentioned to my friend how I was looking to re-pigment my skin faster, she told me how she had also started to get Vitiligo and that a herbalist had helped her with both her Vitiligo and PCOS symptoms. I was skeptical about seeing a herbalist at first, due to so many con artists in the world, who tried to make money from Vitiligo sufferers like me, by providing them with false hope.
After a lot of thought, I decided to give the herbalist a try, as I had nothing to lose and if I didn’t see any results I could just stop taking them. I went to see the herbalist expecting to focus only on the Vitiligo but after studying my history and symptoms and my blood tests she discovered that I had underlying problems with my pituitary gland and that I had both adrenal fatigue and PCOS. I have written all about this in my other blog post so you can read about these in more detail there. These problems were caused by stress and I have always been the sort of person to get stressed very easily, I used to be a negative thinker for many years and would get anxious and stressed out about anything. I have had to really work hard on changing my thought patterns, my overall mindset and how I manage stress and life now.
I was given herbs to help with not only the Vitiligo but also my underlying problems too and I also had to change my diet – no wheat, no dairy, no sugar, no bread, no alcohol, low carbs and low meat intake. I also had to take supplements I was deficient in e.g. Vitamins D3, B12, Omega 3, strong probiotics and an antioxidant supplement which had a whole range of things in it. Changing my diet and supplementing helped my body to function properly and to heal, because doing so reduced the inflammation in my body. When a body has inflammation it will find it very hard to heal and inflammation can lead to diseases such as Cancer.
It took a year or so for all of my symptoms and underlying health issues to completely go away, the herbs helped greatly with all of my health issues, however they have only helped slightly with re-pigmenting the Vitiligo more than it already was. I believe this will take a while longer, as my neck is the biggest part of my body with Vitiligo. I came across medical studies using a herb called ‘Ginkgo Biloba’ and how it had helped some people to re-pigment, due to it reducing stress, I found this interesting as I had Ginkgo Biloba in my herbal tincture to help with the Vitiligo. I also looked for success stories of re-pigmentation online and I came across two blog in particular, these were Vitiligo Success Stories and the VitPro blog and after contacting some of the people from these blogs, I noticed that I had many similarities with them, their life, their sensitivity to stress and their diet problems.
In order to try and speed up my health problems I tried the methods shown in all of these blog posts, which included changing my diet, taking the 5-a-day plus and the boost supplements. I also made sure I sat in the sun even more than usual, as it had worked in re-pigmenting my vitiligo so well in the past. I have noticed that when I tan the Vitiligo blends in a lot more with my tanned skin now, it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb anymore. I also notice more re-pigmentation after sitting in the sun.
As you can see from the above photo I have hardly any Vitiligo left, aside from my neck (which is still slowly re-pigmenting) I have one spot only left on my face which has freckling in it, some very faint spots under my arms which are freckling, my spine has re-pigmented by 80% and is freckling, my arms and legs are completely free of Vitiligo.
To summarise, the key factors I believe have re-pigmented my skin are:
- Accept your vitiligo and learn to forget about it and get on with life. Constantly worrying about your vitiligo not going will sub-consciously stress you out. Stick some make up or fake tan on if it bothers you really badly.
- Learn to change your mindset and really work on how you’re managing your stress. Are you worrying about things you have no control over? Are you surrounded by negative, toxic people? Are you a negative thinker? It’s time to change these things. I believe this was the biggest factor in my re-pigmentation.
- Sunlight! I believe the sun has really helped me to re-pigment and whenever I sit in the sun I will usually notice more re-pigmentation shortly after. Make sure you use sun cream, especially because it will take a long time for your skin to be able to tolerate the sun, so sit it in for short bursts and build it up gradually over time.
- Changing my diet I believe has helped not only my vitiligo but also my other health problems. If my diet ever slips, even for just a couple of days, I will notice my skin looks dull and I start getting spots come back, I feel crappy and my stomach bloats out. The change in my diet has helped reduce the inflammation in my body which was causing my problems.
- Most of us are deficient in vitamin D but it’s always advisable that you have a blood test to see if you’re deficient in this or any other vitamins. Strong probiotics are also great if you’ve had a bad diet for year or like me, was on strong antibiotics and drugs for years and years.
- I do believe that herbs have helped me greatly, not just with my underlying health problems and the Vitiligo to an extent, but also in getting rid of my anxiety and stress. This is important if you’re trying to reduce stress in your body. If you’re UK based and require a herbalist, then you can find one here.
If there is anything else you would like to know regarding the re-pigmentation of my skin, please leave your questions in the comments below.