Discoloration of Skin Caused by Vitiligo

Some skin conditions cause extreme pigmentation, and others de-pigmentation. One that results in the latter is vitiligo. With a broad array of causes, symptoms, and treatments, discoloration of skin caused by vitiligo can be disturbing because its signature white patch can show up in prominent places like the face and arms. These patches don’t physically hurt but can cause much emotional distress if not properly treated.

Most Common Areas Affected

The three patterns of discoloration due to vitiligo are: generalized (all over the body), segmented (on only one side of the body), and focal (in only one or two isolated spots). Although this condition can cause premature greying of the hair and even loss of color in the retina, most common are the white patches of skin, found on the following parts of the body:

  • Hands and arms
  • Feet
  • Face and lips
  • Armpits
  • Groin
  • Around the mouth, eyes, nostrils, nose, or navel
  • Around the genitals or rectum
  • Inside the mouth (in dark-skinned people)

4 Causes of Skin Discoloration

Vitiligo HandAlthough doctors are not 100% sure why de-pigmentation occurs, you likely fall into at least one of the following four categories if you have it.

  1. Genetic Predisposition – About 30% of people who have vitiligo can trace it back to another relative. But being related to someone with it does not guarantee that you will have it – or pass it on. This is because the other 70% have no genetic ties to the condition whatsoever, and there could be so many other factors, starting with #2, for instance.
  2. Autoimmune Tendencies – If your body is already compromised by a disease or condition that weakens your immune system – or if you already have another autoimmune disease – you could be more susceptible to this skin condition, which by general consensus is considered an autoimmune condition.
  3. A Single, Traumatic Event – There are different kinds of trauma, from the physical to the emotional. Consider childbirth, which is a combination of the two. But an event as seemingly insignificant as a sunburn could also be a trigger.
  4. A Stressful Lifestyle – While one stressful event can be a trigger, consider a stressful lifestyle as more of a slow boil. It accumulates, and the more stressed you feel about the spots themselves, compounded with all the other stresses, the worse they will become.

A Natural Treatment Approach

Dr. Ben Kim is an excellent source for natural vitiligo treatment. Not only is he an advocate of creating a less stressful life, but he practices it himself, since he also suffers from the discoloration. Rather than spending a lot of money on doctors’ creams and procedures that aren’t guaranteed to work, Dr. Kim suggests changing your lifestyle. This includes but is not limited to how you eat (lots of fruits and vegetables and less dairy and meat), getting plenty of sleep, practicing meditation, and taking vitamins, such as B12, B-complex, C, and D.

While a lifestyle change in and of itself can seem daunting, the wonderful news is that this helps encourage pigmentation for those who have always lived with the skin discoloration, to those who suddenly noticed white spots on the skin after too much sun at the beach. As many different people as are affected can find as many different ways to create positive results for them.