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Vitiligo is a skin condition in which certain types of skin cells die or do not work correctly. This results in patches of the skin losing their color. In most cases, the extent and location of these patches are unrelated to any other disease and cannot be explained by injury to the affected area of the skin. Vitiligo can occur on any part of the body but often appears on sun-exposed areas such as the face, neck, hands (especially around knuckles), ears, lower lip, chest, and genitals. Some people with vitiligo may lose color only in a few places; others may lose it from most of their bodies.
The exact cause of vitiligo is unknown, but it’s sometimes associated with autoimmune diseases as type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes), pernicious anemia (a lack of vitamin B12), myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness), and thyroid disease. Vitiligo is not contagious or infectious. A genetic tendency may exist for vitiligo to run in some families.
What is vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a skin condition characterized by patches of skin with decreased or absent pigment. Peeling, cracking, and scaling may occur on affected areas of the skin if exposed to prolonged sunlight. Some people may develop vitiligo later in life due to an injury or emotional distress, but this is uncommon among children. Vitiligo does not cause any health problems apart from changes in skin color. However, many people who have vitiligo feel embarrassed about their appearance and may experience psychological difficulties.
What causes vitiligo?
The exact cause of vitiligo is not known, but several factors appear to be involved. Researchers believe that some triggers damage cells that produce pigment (melanocytes). It seems that melanocytes may be especially sensitive to something in the environment. The damage may result from an autoimmune reaction when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its cells.
What are the symptoms of vitiligo?
The most common symptom is a patchy loss of skin color. The face, wrists, hands, arms, feet, legs, and genital areas are often affected first. Vitiligo usually appears on areas of skin that are exposed to the sun. Stress at home or work can worsen vitiligo by temporarily increasing inflammation (redness and swelling) around pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. New patches may appear as long as life stresses continue.
Vitiligo usually affects people between 10 and 30 years of age. If it develops earlier, it suggests a family history of an autoimmune disorder such as diabetes. If it appears later in life, there may have been a triggering event such as sunburn, emotional distress, certain medications, thyroid disease, or skin trauma.
What are the treatment options for vitiligo?
It depends on the number and location of patches. Vitiligo affecting less than 10 percent of body surface area may be treated with creams containing corticosteroids. These medications help prolong remission by suppressing inflammation in the skin. Therapy is continued until the pigment returns to normal or for six months after repigmentation begins. There are also natural ways to treat vitiligo. For example, there are many creams for vitiligo available in the market.
What is the prognosis for vitiligo?
The color of patches can vary from person to person. Some people have repigmentation (regaining of color) over several years or decades. Others do not see any color change or may lose more skin pigments with time. Vitiligo does not get worse after it has begun, but its progression cannot be stopped. Sun exposure appears to cause new areas of depigmentation. If you have vitiligo, avoid excessive sun exposure and always apply sunscreen when you go out in the sun.
Is papya good for vitiligo?
Yes, it is! Papaya helps cure pigmentation issues, including vitiligo. It also helps in removing suntan. Papaya is a tropical fruit that has rejuvenating properties. It assists in the proper functioning of the stomach, helps counter fatigue, and boosts immunity levels in your body. The presence of two types of papain enzymes – one helps in digestion while the other repairs damaged skin tissues – work together to contain several health benefits for your skin, hair, and overall well-being.
What are the benefits of papaya for vitiligo?
- Works as a Sunscreen:
Sunburns are the leading cause of vitiligo. If you have fair skin, it is recommended to stay out in the sun for only 10 minutes. In case you get a sunburn, cover up immediately and apply some papaya paste to help soothe your skin from the effects of the burn.
- Contains Natural Vitamins:
Vitamin A is crucial for healthy cell reproduction and stimulates pigment production in your skin which helps reduce marks caused by vitiligo. It also contains Vitamin C, which provides antioxidant protection against free radical damage. Both these vitamins help prevent further spreading or worsening of vitiligo patches.
- Prevents Premature Aging:
Papaya has anti-aging properties and assists in forming elastin and collagen, both of which are essential for healthy and glowing skin. Cellulite is prevented due to the alpha hydroxyl acids present in papaya that help remove dead cells to reveal firm and toned skin under your epidermis.
- Provides Essential Minerals:
Papain enzyme helps break down proteins such as those found in vegetables, grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds to make digestion easier. The high levels of potassium present in papaya assist in keeping the electrolytes balanced. It also contains magnesium and phosphorus needed for bone development.
- Contains Healing Enzymes:
Two enzymes present in papaya fruit are said to be among the most potent digestive agents known. Papain enzyme, derived from the latex sap of the papaya tree, is a proteolytic or protein-digesting enzyme that helps increase absorption of nutrients and reduces inflammation.
- Boosts Skin Health:
The antioxidant vitamin C contained in papaya aids your body’s connective tissue health. This provides relief from wrinkles and other signs of aging, including sagging skin, fine lines, age spots, and loss of firmness.
- Helps Fight Cancer:
Carotenoids found in papayas have been identified as being anti-carcinogenic. The antioxidants present fight free radicals and reduce the chances of cell mutation in your body. So in the future, it can help prevent the risk of skin cancer in people suffering from vitiligo.
How papaya helps in vitiligo?
Papaya helps in treating vitiligo. It contains a powerful enzyme- papain, which helps in digesting proteins effectively. So when you are consuming papaya, it will eat up all the dead cells of your skin and rejuvenate them with new cells. Also, vitamin A present in papaya is good for skin health, thus removing vitiligo patches. You can either eat raw pieces of fresh or ripe fruit or apply its paste directly on the affected area to get rid of vitiligo fast.
How long does it take for papaya to help treat?
Within two weeks, you can see positive results if you apply fresh fruit juice to your affected areas twice daily. You can feel itchiness and discomfort in the affected areas, but that is normal for this treatment.
How to use papaya to treat vitiligo?
- Have papaya juice:
Get anyone papaya fruit, check for ripeness by pressing at its stalk gently. The papaya should give in if it is ripe and ready to eat or use. Cut the top of the fruit length-wise so that you can see the seeds inside, scoop them out using a spoon carefully. Now take this fruit into your hand and place your fingers at its center; apply gentle pressure to force out the juice from the fruit directly on the affected area. Could you leave it to dry naturally? You can also drink fresh juice daily morning on an empty stomach for better results.
- Apply papaya paste:
You will need- half papaya (ripe), two tablespoons of gram flour (besan), one tablespoon of raw milk, one tablespoon of raw honey. Rinse the papaya under water, cut it into halves. Take one half and make a smooth paste in a mixer grinder by adding besan or gram flour. Now take this mixture into a bowl, add pure honey to it and mix well. Apply this paste on your affected areas 3-4 times daily before sun exposure for two weeks; you will see significant changes within that period.
- Apply green papaya leaves:
Take some green papaya leaves, then wipe them with a clean towel, free from dust and clean thoroughly. Crush these green leaves gently, so they release their juice out of them, now apply this crushed juice directly on your skin on the affected areas, leave it to dry naturally then you can wash it off after some time.
- Massage your skin with papaya:
Take a teaspoon of olive oil and add ten drops of lavender essential oil into it; mix well. Apply this blend on the affected area 5-7 times daily; massage gently using fingertips instead of the hand as it may create rashes on the skin around the patches, which is painful.
- Eat fresh papaya fruit regularly:
Consume 2-3 pieces of ripe or raw papayas daily in your meal or as a snack item to get rid of vitiligo faster from your body without any side effects.
What are the other fruits which can help to prevent papaya?
You can use pineapple the same as you do with papaya. Just have a cup of pineapple juice daily morning before bed; apply freshly made pineapple paste on the affected areas. Also, eat fresh pineapple pieces occasionally for better results.
You can apply banana peel directly to the affected skin. Take a ripe or raw banana and slice it into round shapes; you can also grate them to form fine pieces, now take these pieces and place them on your face for 15-20 minutes daily before going to bed at night.
Lemon contains citric acid, which works as a natural bleach and helps remove dark patches from the skin’s surface, thus eliminating vitiligo patches slowly but effectively. You can either use freshly squeezed lemon juice or drink fresh warm water with one tablespoon of honey added into it daily morning empty stomach to get rid of vitiligo fast for good results.
- Apple: Apple will help you detoxify your system, which is the primary cause of vitiligo. It allows you to cleanse your blood & liver and can restore your skin’s natural pigmentation. Have one green apple daily before going to bed at night time for good results within a week.
- Orange:Orange juice has more antioxidant properties than lemons; use orange juice like lemon juice for better results.
- Carrot: Carrots are rich in vitamin A, C & E, which are effective in preventing the dark patches from appearing again on the affected area, but it takes some time to show its effects, so have fresh carrot juice daily or eat raw carrots occasionally before going to bed at night.
- Tomato: It is also perfect for removing vitiligo patches from the skin; make a paste by grinding tomato with water and applying it to your face. But this treatment is not suitable for sensitive skin types, so be careful while applying it or use tomato juice instead of pasting it.
In case you do not see any difference in your vitiligo patches, it is better that you consider seeing a homeopathy doctor. Homeopathic treatment for vitiligo is one of the natural and safe ways to get rid of vitiligo patches. You can also meet a dermatologist to get rid of your problem. Homeopathic treatment for vitiligo treats the root cause of the problem and increases a person’s immunity; once it is done, your skin will start to get its natural color back. Homeopathic treatment for vitiligo also helps remove the other skin problems that may coexist with vitiligo, like stress, acne, and other skin problems. Vitiligo cannot be cured completely; however, it can be significantly controlled if homeopathic treatment and home remedies for vitiligo are followed regularly as advised by your doctor. For more information, you can book an appointment with a homeopathy doctor through OHO Homeopathy!