Vitiligo, also known as leucoderma, is a disease in which white patches appear on the skin. This happens when the melanocytes (cells that provide color to the skin) get destroyed due to disorder in the immune system (1). Vitiligo can affect different parts of the body, including eyes and mucous membrane (2). There is no specific cause of the disease, and it can be due to genes, sunburns, self-destruction of melanocytes, cytokines damage, etc., and it can affect the person of any age (3). How to prevent vitiligo is a major concern. There are several ways to treat the problem. You can use home remedies as well to get rid of the problem. These remedies are much cheaper than the medicines and therapies prescribed for the same. Try them out to cure the disorder.
Home Remedies for Vitiligo
Papaya helps lighten the skin color as it is a natural bleaching agent (4). Regular consumption of papaya juice benefits the body by relieving melanin cells.
- Additionally, to aid the healing process, cut the fruit into pieces and rub the pieces on the white patches.
2. Red Clay
According to a study, it is found that the clay increases the collagen fibers in the skin (5). Red clay, a natural clay, is obtained from the ocean, and these types of natural clays are used for deep cleaning and revitalizing the skin (6, 7).
For the treatment, mix a tablespoon of ginger juice with 2 tablespoons of red clay. Rub the mixture on the patches every day, until you notice improvements.
3. Reduce Stress
The majority of the skin diseases arise due to anxiety and physiological stress (8). It affects the overall body and can aggravate the disease, as some studies reveal (9). White patches on the skin can be treated to an extent by reducing stress and practicing some exercises, yoga, or meditation.
Copper is antibacterial in nature which can help alleviate the skin infections (10). It was found that the level of copper is low in the patients suffering from vitiligo (11). Therefore, to eliminate white patches from the skin, one must supply copper to the body. Food rich in copper like cocoa, prunes, whole grains, nuts, dark leafy greens, etc., must be included in the diet to cure the skin disease (12).
- Alternatively, store water in a copper pot overnight and drink it daily. This will boost up the healing by producing melanin cells.
Walnuts are the best among all the nuts as they contain omega-3 fatty acids and alpha linolenic acid (13). Since walnuts contain important compounds like juglone (which is generally used for the cosmetic colorant), they are used to cure several skin disorders (14, 15). Simply take some of the nuts and grind them to make a fine powder. Add some water to make a thick paste and apply it on the patches 3-4 times a day. Let it stay for 20 minutes before washing.
- Apart from that, you can rub honey on the infected area and leave it for 30 minutes or a little more. Later on, rinse with warm water and do not apply soap as that would draw out nutrients from the body, making your skin dry.
Note: Use organic honey as it would contain fewer chemicals and more of vitamins and minerals.
It is important to provide essential minerals to the body to eliminate the disorders. One such mineral, viz. zinc is found to be effective against vitiligo (17). Therefore, consuming foods rich in zinc can improve the condition to a large extent. You can consume pork, lobster, beef, crab, whole grain, yeast, legumes, etc. (18). Apart from this, you can also eat chicken, oyster, and other zinc-containing food products.
8. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is great for skin health as it protects the skin from free radicals, sunlight, and even increases the level of collagen (19). It is also effective for vitiligo, as some trials reveal (20). Vegetables like tomatoes, broccoli, and kale can be taken to supply the vitamin to the body. Additionally, fruits such as grapefruit, orange, and strawberries can also be included in the diet (21).
9. B Vitamins
B vitamins like folate, folic acid, and B12 are essential for the body, and the deficiency of these can lead to vitiligo (22, 23). Hence, supplying the body with adequate amount of vitamin and folic acid can improve the disorder (24). You can eat beans, cereals, fruits like melons, banana, etc., to maintain the proper balance of these nutrients in the body (25).
It has been established that there is an imbalance in the levels of antioxidant in the body when you are suffering from vitiligo (26). It is, therefore, essential to maintain a balance and provide adequate antioxidants to the body. Pomegranate is one of the best antioxidant foods as researches reveal (27). It also hydrates the skin and stimulates collagen production (28). To treat the skin disorder, eat the fruit daily.
- Or, just take a handful of pomegranate leaves and grind them to make a fine powder. Add some powder in a cup of water and consume it twice a day for good results.
11. Black Cumin
Black cumin, or commonly known as black seeds, have been used traditionally to treat many skin ailments. It is one of the best remedies for vitiligo cure. For the treatment, just apply the oil to the affected areas daily (31).
- Additionally, you can also grind the seed to make a powder. Mix vinegar in it to form a paste. Apply this paste on the white patches regularly until satisfactory results are obtained (32).
Turmeric has been known for its antiseptic and healing properties from ancient times (33). It is an active ingredient in homemade face packs because it makes the skin blemish-free and healthy. Many studies have been conducted to know the effect of turmeric in vitiligo (34). Positive results were obtained, but more research is needed (35).
All you need to do is, combine 5 tsp of turmeric to 250 ml of mustard oil. Apply the paste on the patches twice a day.
- Alternatively, you can combine turmeric to a paste of Indian lilac leaves.
- Or, it can also be combined with sesame seeds. Just grind the two in equal amount and apply on the spots. This will prevent vitiligo from spreading and promote the production of melanocytes.
- Another option is, just soak some turmeric sticks in water for 9-10 hours and boil it later on. Strain it and apply the water with mustard oil on the affected areas, regularly.
Cashew or “Anacardium occidentale” is one of the best natural remedies for vitiligo cure. The oil, extracted from the seed, is used for the treatment (36). Just apply the oil on the depigmented areas, and massage gently so that the skin absorbs the nutrients. Do this every day for visible outcomes.
Roast some fig powder and add water to make a paste. Apply it all over the white skin and wash off after some time.
- Besides this, eat the fruit daily to speed up the healing process.
- Additionally, you can grind a handful of fig leaves to form a paste. Apply it on the affected area to reduce the pigmentation.
Ginger is enriched with lots of components that give it the medicinal properties. Owing to these properties, it is used in numerous home remedies. It is also used for the treatment of vitiligo (39). It possesses excellent antioxidants; that is why, it is advised to consume ginger if suffering from this disorder (40).
To use it for vitiligo, juice a medium-sized piece of ginger (fresh) and mix it with lemon juice and water. Consume this juice twice a day.
- Alternatively, you can rub ginger paste or its pieces on the discolored skin.
- Or, you can also apply powdered ginger to the patchy skin.
16. Black Gram
It is also known as vigna mungo and is used for the treatment of leucoderma (41).
To use it, simply grind black gram to make a fine powder. Mix it with some water to form a thick paste. Apply this paste on the affected skin. Wash it off once it dries. Continue practicing this method for 4-5 months for visible results.
It is the compound that is the source of vitamin A and is found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It is required to treat several disorders like Parkinson’s disease, heartburn, psoriasis, vitiligo, etc. (42). Consume the foods rich in this component to accelerate the healing process.
18. Pepper and Clarified Butter
Black pepper contains an element called pepperine, which has healing properties. It works by boosting the growth of melanin cells (43). What you need to do is, heat 10 grams clarified butter and add 10 peppers to it. After some time, strain the mixture to discard the peppers. Consume the solution. Do this every day to regenerate the lost cells.
- Apart from that, apply it on the affected areas and wash off after some time.
Cabbage juice is an effective home remedy for treating vitiligo. It contains phenolic compounds which are used for PUVA therapy for the treatment of vitiligo (44). Apply the juice on the patches and let it stay for 10 minutes. Use lukewarm water to wash it.
- Another way of using cabbage is, boil some cabbage in water and use this concentrated water to rinse the affected areas.
Herbal Remedies for Vitiligo
20. Basil Leaves
The holy basil is the best herb when it comes to the therapeutic value. It has been used for centuries for the treatment of skin-related issues as it exerts anti-aging effects (45). The holy basil works great in curing leucoderma (or vitiligo) (46, 47). Just extract the juice from basil leaves and add lime juice to it. Apply this concoction on the patches regularly, to cure them.
21. Ginkgo Biloba
The leaves of ginkgo biloba tree are used for medicinal purpose. It is beneficial in curing the vitiligo disease (48). This herb cures the condition by repigmenting the cells of the skin (49). Just smear the extract of ginkgo biloba on the affected area three times a day daily, for satisfactory results.
22. Mama Cadela Roots
This is one of the known herbs for skin depigmentation treatment (50). The root of the herb is generally used as a cure for vitiligo (51). You can prepare a solution at home to eliminate the problem and decrease the white patches.
Firstly, boil mama cadela roots for 10-15 minutes. When done, strain the extract in a bottle. Rub gently on the skin every day, until you notice improvements.
23. Calotropis Procera
This is yet another herb for vitiligo treatment at home. Calotropis procera is bitter in taste, and each and every part of the plant contains some or the other medicinal property. It has been used for the treatment of several ailments like leprosy, piles, etc., including vitiligo (52). Just prepare a paste of the herb and massage it over the affected portions regularly to get relief.
Chinaberry or Persian lilac is known to have numerous therapeutic properties and is used for the cure of many maladies. The leaves and fruit of the herb are basically used for the treatment (53). Just eat the fruits to cure the disease.
- Additionally, prepare a paste of the leaves and apply it on the white patches daily.
25. Pyrostegia Venusta
The herb pyrostegia venusta, also known “Ker Gawl,” is basically found in Brazil. It has many properties that make it useful for several ailments. Studies have shown that the tonic and infusions prepared from the herb can be used as a natural treatment for vitiligo (54). Consume it daily to reduce the white patches.
Khellin proves to be a beneficial home remedy for vitiligo (55). Another trial showed that there was more than 75% improvement in the conditions of the patients (56). It can be taken internally for the cure (57).
Note: Consult an expert for the right dosage.
27. Cow’s Urine
To use these ingredients as a treatment for vitiligo, mix equal quantities of Indian lilac, bakuchi powder, cow’s urine and cow’s dung, and make a paste. Apply the prepared mix on the white patches every day to see the difference.
28. Psoralea Corylifolia (Babchi)
The is one of the best-known herbs for decades as it has countless uses. Every part of the herb is used as a medicine for one or the other disease, and has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties (59). The effectiveness of the herb for the treatment of vitiligo has been proven by many studies (60). Consume this herb daily for the visible results.
- Alternatively, soak seeds of tamarind and psoralea in equal proportions in water and grind them to obtain a paste. Apply it on the white patches to reduce their appearance.
Note: For dosage and safety measures, consult a doctor.
29. Lemna Minor (Duckweed)
Lemna Minor, or duckweed, has been used traditionally for many problems of the body and skin. The herb also has the potential to treat vitiligo as it reactivates the melanocyte cells in the skin (61). The leaves of the plant can be dried and eaten with soup.
- Or, grind the leaves and apply its juice to the infected area.
- You can also mix the ground leaves with some honey and rub on the patches.
The herb has been used for the treatment of the disease as an ayurvedic medicine (62). To prepare the mix at home, combine equal quantities of black pepper, dried ginger, piper longum, and leadwort root (crushed). Steep these in 20 liters of cow’s urine for 15 days. Now, to consume this, for every 30 ml of the mix, add 60 ml water to it. Drink it twice a day regularly.
31. Cassia Fistula
Cassia Fistula is known by the name golden shower tree and is one of the best herbs for several skin diseases, including leucoderma (63). Consume the herb daily until you notice improvements in the condition.
32. Cassia Obovata
Cassia obovata is well-known as a great hair colorant. However, it can also treat vitiligo completely. For this, just consume the powder of the root of cassia obovata daily, for at least 90 days (64).
33. Millettia Pinnata
Millettia pinnata, or pongamiya pinnata, is native to Southeast Asia and Australia. It is anthelmintic and alexipharmic in nature (65). Its seeds and seed oil is used to treat leucoderma, as some studies suggest (66). Just rub some oil over the white patches of the skin regularly to cure the disorder.
- Use sunscreen of SPF 30 before going out.
- Drink a lot of water every day.
- Mild moisturizers should be used on the skin to protect the skin from dryness and scars.
- Try some yoga postures like gomukhasana and viparitkarini asana.
- Refrain foods like tea, coffee, alcoholic beverages, and condiments.
- Say a big no to highly seasoned dishes.
- Those suffering from vitiligo must not get a tattoo. It may further aggravate the situation.
- Restrict the intake of lemon, grapes, soft drinks, and fish in your diet.
- Vitiligo may get aggravated after swimming sessions as the skin reacts with chlorinated water.