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The doctor told me to start staying out of the sun. But I don’t want to do that, because I love the sun. Every morning, I can see it coming up over my apartment building, lighting up the night sky and shining down on all of us. The light’s so warm and comforting on my face as soon as I wake up, and it calms me down whenever I’m feeling stressed out or worried about things at work. It makes me feel like everything will be okay in life if we never lose sight of those white dots shimmering down from space, those stars where tiny minor planets revolve around them, giving us a new day every 24 hours.
But what does the sun have to do with my vitiligo?
I’ve been reading a lot about it because the doctor told me to stay out of the sun. But I can’t stop going outside for several hours every day, so what else am I supposed to do? Sit in my apartment and listen to other people laughing and playing around on their balconies while I’m stuck inside by myself? That’s no way to live. But the sun can cause damage.
My skin doctor explained to me how the sun could harm me:
1. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation: Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is part of the spectrum of sunlight that reaches us from the sun, and exposure to it can cause different types of damage.
2. Sunburn: The risk here isn’t just for your skin, either; sunburns can also hurt your eyes and even flare up some eye conditions like uveitis or iritis.
3. Suntan: These days, I spend a lot more time wearing long sleeves and pants than shorts and tank tops. But this could make my body produce too much melanin, causing me to get darker – kind of like how people with freckles might eventually look like they have vitiligo.
4. Risk for skin cancer: Over time, exposure to UV radiation increases the chance of developing deadly melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. People with lighter complexions and hair or blue eyes are at higher risk; however, even people with darker complexions can develop these cancers if they get a lot of sun exposure.
5. Increased susceptibility to other illnesses: Sun exposure may allow more germs like colds or flu viruses into your body through the pores in your skin, causing disease.
6. Premature aging: That’s right; exposing your skin to the sun’s ultraviolet rays for extended periods may lead to wrinkles, fine lines, and an uneven complexion.
How to protect yourself from the sun if you have vitiligo?
1. Cover up your skin: Always wear a high-SPF sunscreen with at least 15 percent zinc oxide or titanium dioxide whenever you’re outdoors, regardless of the season. If I’m not going to be outside for more than 5 minutes, I make sure my face is covered up by wearing oversized sunglasses and a hat.
2. Try sunscreen alternatives: Sunscreen isn’t the only way to protect your skin from the sun; other options use minerals such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. These products build a physical barrier on top of your skin that reflects UV radiation away before it can cause any damage. This includes mineral-based cosmetics like foundation, blush, and even eye shadow. So if you want to stay safe in the sun but still feel beautiful and confident, look for these kinds
3. Get vitamin D safely: If you go outdoors, even if it’s cloudy, make sure to get some sun on your arms and legs every day. But always do this in moderation – don’t take more than 10 minutes out in the sun without covering up. If I have vitiligo on my arms or shoulders or back, I will cover them up before sitting outside for too long, but I try to spend some time in the sun every day.
4. Discuss treatment options: With poor wound healing and immune suppression, many patients with vitiligo are at increased risk for skin cancer, so it is essential to speak with a medical professional about this if you have questions or concerns.
5. Cover up: If you want to get out in the sun, make sure your face is always covered up by wearing sunglasses and a hat. Also, wear long sleeves and pants or an SPF of 30 or higher; this includes shorts, tank tops, and other summer outfits.
6. Choose broad-spectrum sunscreen: Sunscreen can help reduce the risk of developing skin cancer; make sure it’s broad-spectrum, meaning it protects against UVA and UVB rays.
7. Do not stay out in the sun for too long: It is recommended to get 10-15 minutes of sunlight exposure every day to give your body Vitamin D; however, you should not spend more than 5 minutes in direct sun without covering up your skin or wearing sunscreen with at least 15 percent zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
8. Carry Umbrella: If you plan on spending more than 5 minutes in the sun, make sure to cover up your skin with sunscreen and sunglasses, but carry an umbrella too because it can help protect your skin not only from UV rays but also rain.
9. Do Not Take Sunbathe: If you are trying to get tan, try doing it in a place like Australia or Southern California, where there is a minor threat of getting skin cancer. Also, don’t take sunbaths (going out for more than 15 minutes without covering up) or use any indoor tanning beds.
10. Use Sunscreen With High SPF: Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 or higher at least 20 minutes before going outside will help reduce the damage caused by UV radiation.
11. Use a wide-brimmed hat: If you want to get tan, try wearing a hat that has a large brim. It will help deflect the sun rays away from your face and neck.
12. Stay Hydrated: As I mentioned before, sunscreen alone won’t protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays, which is why it’s also important to drink plenty of water (8-10 glasses every day), eat fruits and vegetables that are Use a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face, neck, and ears.
13. Vitamins A, C, and E: Eating certain foods in high quantities may help protect the skin from UV damage. These include foods rich in antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, and E.
14. Wear Sunglasses With Appropriate UV Protection: Wearing sunglasses with an appropriate UVA and UVB protection is another defense against sun damage, which means choosing lenses labeled as offering 100 percent protection against both types of light rays.
15. Take Care When Going Outdoors: As mentioned before, it’s essential to take care when going out by protecting your skin from the sun with sunscreen and wearing sunglasses. However, if you notice any new or changing patch on your skin, be sure to see a dermatologist as soon as possible.
Vitiligo is not something that can heal on its own or go away overnight. It takes time and effort, but you can have a fantastic outcome on your skin with the right treatments. Remember always to wear sunscreen when going outside at any time so you are not at risk for further damage to your disease!
Here are the different ways vitiligo is treated:
Physical treatments for vitiligo include:
1. Dermabrasion is a surgical procedure in which the skin is lightly rubbed with a rotating wire brush, diamond crystals, or an ultrasonic device. The treatment removes layers of pigment from the face and lightens it. It may also remove additional layers of the top layer of the skin, relieving chronic inflammation. Dermabrasion can be done to treat patches anywhere on your body, including your hands and feet.
2. Tattooing- Sometimes, doctors will use tattooing to cover large areas of discolored skin because it’s simpler than applying makeup every day and results in better coverage than other makeup methods, such as creams and lotions.
3. Pigment implant- In this method, a doctor replaces lost melanocytes with healthy ones that have been exposed to ultraviolet light from a laser. By doing this, the pigment cells will be stimulated and produce more melanin. Light therapy substitutes ultraviolet radiation treatments because it’s safer and less likely to cause burns or scarring.
4. Radiation therapy: This treatment uses ultraviolet B (UVB) and blue-violet (BV) wavelengths of light that are delivered by an artificial sunlamp or unique lamps to treat small areas of vitiligo, such as your face and hands. Although these types of tanning beds may increase your risk for skin cancer, they are an alternative to sunscreen.
5. Phototherapy (Tanning Beds): These lamps produce ultraviolet wavelengths of light that help stimulate the melanocytes and make them more responsive to the body’s natural stimulation by sunlight. It is a highly controversial therapy because it can cause eye damage and skin cancer, but some people respond well to this treatment and see improvement in their vitiligo over time. Also, it would help if you used sunscreen with high SPF when using tanning beds for phototherapy as often as possible.
6. Cosmetics: Sometimes, doctors will cover affected areas on your face or body with makeup or creams that contain hydroquinone, dithranol, tretinoin, corticosteroids, or vitamin D. More recently, dermatologists have started to use cosmetic tattooing to cover large areas of the skin with permanent makeup, which is an option for dark-skinned people.
7. Skin grafts: A skin graft replaces lost tissue caused by vitiligo with healthy skin taken from another part of your body or by using skin harvested from a cadaver. This type of transplant requires surgery and may require multiple surgeries to obtain enough skin to cover all of the affected area(s).
8. Laser therapy: Different lasers are used to treat vitiligo, including Alexandrite, diode, pulsed dye, Q-switched ruby, and NdYAG lasers. These high-intensity light sources destroy the melanocytes in the affected area and stimulate or restore pigment production. This process will repeat itself multiple times, so you may need to undergo multiple treatments after each treatment session
9. Natural remedies: Some people use natural remedies to help treat vitiligo because they don’t want to try any of the other treatments that may be invasive or expensive. These natural remedies include using essential oils, vitamin D, and lemon juice. Vitamin D is also known as cholecalciferol and can be obtained from fortified milk, cereals, fatty fish (like salmon), soybeans, egg yolks, and cod liver oil. Lemon juice consists of citric acid, which has bleaching properties, so it’s often used in homemade creams for vitiligo.
10. Homeopathic treatment for vitiligo: Homeopathy involves using small amounts of natural substances that can cause specific symptoms in healthy people (like the skin turning white) to stimulate improvement in conditions relating to vitiligo.
Benefits of using the homeopathic treatment for vitiligo:
–Homeopathic treatment for vitiligo is straightforward and can be considered a complementary therapy
-This approach to medicine does not involve taking any medication, so homeopathic remedies are generally less expensive than prescription medicines or ointments (like Triamcinolone)
-Some people claim that homeopathy is more effective in treating certain skin conditions, such as dermatitis. Also, it is
1. It’s inexpensive and natural
2. There are no side effects, so it can be used on any stage of vitiligo
3. It has no contra-indications
4. Less costly than other treatment options
6. Only one course is needed for complete results, no recurrence
7. Safe to use alongside conventional treatments
8. Patient satisfaction is high
9 It reduces the suppression or masking effect of conventional therapy.
If you have vitiligo, you can do a few things to prevent the appearance of new white patches. Sunscreen and hats can be worn to protect your skin from sun damage. Also, suppose your immune system is not functioning correctly (like in the case of autoimmune diseases like lupus). In that case, sunlight does more harm than good for your body, so it’s best to avoid excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays. Also, it is good to take medical help from a homeopathy doctor to get rid of vitiligo permanently. For more information, you can book an appointment through OHO Homeopathy!