Not all spots on your skin are due to vitiligo, a condition involving a decline in the melanin-producing cells in your body. Most spots are due to sun exposure or fungal infections that may cause the skin to lose its pigmentation in certain places.
“Vitiligo is more likely if you have autoimmune disorders like type 1 diabetes or thyroiditis or there is an excess of free radicals in the body – typically manifested as inflammation, pain, and fatigue.”
The patches may also turn white, scaly, or paler than the surrounding skin. They can be mildly itchy in some cases but are usually harmless. However, the emotional and mental trauma over this condition makes them a thorn in the side of those afflicted.
Here are some easy home remedies to get rid of white spots on your skin and restore your original color.
1. Apply Turmeric And Mustard Oil
A remedy using mustard oil and turmeric is said to help with leucoderma or vitiligo.1
- Pound down 500 gm of fresh turmeric and soak it in 8 kg water overnight.
- In the morning, heat the mixture, reducing it to 1 kg water. “Apply this daily to the white spots – once in the morning and once in the evening – for a few months.”
- Strain this out and mix with 500 gm of mustard oil.
- Heat this mixture further to evaporate the remaining water.
- You will now be left with a pure mustard oil and turmeric mixture.
So how does this work? Turmeric is antibacterial and heals skin. It is also a known disinfectant and antimicrobial agent, making it useful for fungal white patches.2 Mustard oil serves as a perfect foil by fighting bacteria and fungus. It also moisturizes the skin.
2. Nibble On Neem Leaves Or Apply Neem Oil
Like turmeric, neem is also a good antifungal and antibacterial agent that can work against fungal white spots. It has also been used to treat vitiligo. In one study, 4 g neem leaves were given to test subjects thrice a day, before mealtimes. This regimen was followed by people with vitiligo for a year. A herbal cream with neem was also used, though other research indicates that neem leaves can work perfectly fine on their own.
“Eating neem leaves and applying neem oil on the white patches help, but complete healing might take a year. Be patient.”
In just 90 days, 25% of the patients said they had complete relief from vitiligo symptoms. With no side effects, this may be a remedy worth trying. Applying neem oil on the patches may also help with reducing any inflammation and treating the discoloration – whether due to vitiligo or an infection.3
3. Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Daily
Vitiligo is suspected to have autoimmune antecedents. And like many autoimmune problems, it can benefit from having a healthy gut. Apple cider vinegar (ACV), made by fermentation of apple cider, works in a manner similar to probiotics that increase the abundance of “good” bacteria in your gut. It helps break down and digest food better, too.
“Don’t buy the refined varied of apple cider vinegar. Buy the one with a cloudy film known as the mother. Or make apple cider vinegar at home.”
Take it about half an hour (or even an hour) before you eat. Simply sip on a third of a teaspoon of ACV without swallowing. Slosh it around in your mouth for 60 seconds and swallow.4
4. Use Basil Remedies Or Drink Basil Tea
Basil juice can act as an antifungal, killing fungi spores responsible for discoloration. Tulsi or holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) is a naturopathic and traditional Ayurvedic remedy for white spots due to leucoderma.5
Stress may have a role to play in triggering vitiligo in some people, too.6 Basil can help your body get a better handle on physical, psychological, chemical, and metabolic stress.7 Eat the leaves raw or brew the leaves and stem with clean water to make a healthy drink that’s good for the problem.
5. Apply A Mix Of Honey, Olive Oil, And Beeswax
White patches or spots on the skin may sometimes appear as a result of a fungal infection, also known as tinea versicolor or pityriasis versicolor. This is quite common if you live in a subtropical or tropical location. It may also happen if you sweat heavily and have oily skin.8
“If you have tinea versicolor (fungal infection), apply this remedy using equal parts of honey, olive oil, and beeswax thrice a day on the lesions for at least a month.”
Honey is antimicrobial and combats fungal infection. One natural remedy involves the topical application of a blend containing equal measures of honey and olive oil with beeswax. Researchers found that this mixture eased symptoms for 86% of all participants who had pityriasis versicolor in 4 weeks. They applied it on the lesions thrice daily.9 The olive oil and beeswax help keep the skin protected and well-moisturized, preventing dryness that can worsen the patchiness.
6. Use Radish Seeds
Another traditional folk remedy for vitiligo involves radish seeds. This is believed to help regenerate melanin in the affected area.
- Simply make a powder of 25 g dry seeds.
- Add 2 tbsps vinegar to form a paste.
- Apply it on the white patches.
- Once the paste dries, wash it away and pat the skin dry.10
7. Have Gingko Biloba
Chinese remedy gingko biloba can help with vitiligo-related depigmentation. This polyphenol-rich herbal remedy helps lower oxidative stress and inflammation, which are suspected to trigger autoimmune problems.
In one study, a 40 g oral dose given thrice a day caused a significant repigmentation in 10 out of 25 patients with vitiligo. Some of them experienced complete repigmentation.11
“Don’t take gingko biloba if you are diabetic, pregnant, due for surgery, or on blood thinners. Don’t give it to children either. Common side effects include dizziness, skin reactions, headaches, or an upset stomach.12”
Other studies that looked at 60 mg given twice a day over a 12-week period found that it was effective in completely stopping the spread. It even caused repigmentation in 16% of the test subjects.13
|↑1||Soni, Priyanka. “A Review on Traditional and Alternative Treatment For Skin Disease “Vitiligo”.” International Journal of Pharmaceutical & Biological Archive 1, no. 3 (2010).|
|↑2||Zorofchian Moghadamtousi, Soheil, Habsah Abdul Kadir, Pouya Hassandarvish, Hassan Tajik, Sazaly Abubakar, and Keivan Zandi. “A review on antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activity of curcumin.” BioMed research international 2014 (2014).|
|↑3||Tomar, Alka, Gayatri Verma, Suman Phogat, and Mahadevi Singh. “Neem in Health and Cosmetics.” Neem: A Treatise, IK International Publishing House Pvt Ltd., New Delhi (2009): 461-485.|
|↑4||Bragg, Paul Chappuis. Apple Cider Vinegar: Miracle Health System. Health Science Publications, 2002.|
|↑5||Agarwal, Chhaya, N. L. Sharma, and S. S. Gaurav. “An analysis of basil (Ocimum sp.) to study the morphological variability.” Indian J Fundam Appl Life Sci 3, no. 3 (2013): 521-525.|
|↑6||What Is Vitiligo? Fast Facts. NIH.|
|↑7||Cohen, Marc. “Tulsi-Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons.” Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine 5, no. 4 (2014): 251.|
|↑8||Tinea Versicolor. American Academy of Dermatology.|
|↑9||Al-Waili, N. S. “An alternative treatment for pityriasis versicolor, tinea cruris, tinea corporis and tinea faciei with topical application of honey, olive oil and beeswax mixture: an open pilot study.” Complementary therapies in medicine 12, no. 1 (2004): 45-47.|
|↑10||Al-Dabagh, Amir, Andrea M. Hui, and Bishr Al Dabagh. “Vitiligo (Repigmentation Agents).” Cosmeceuticals and Active Cosmetics (2015): 369.|
|↑11||Parsad, D., R. Pandhi, and A. Juneja. “Effectiveness of oral Ginkgo biloba in treating limited, slowly spreading vitiligo.” Clinical and experimental dermatology 28, no. 3 (2003): 285-287.|
|↑12||Gingko Biloba. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑13||Szczurko, Orest, Neil Shear, Anna Taddio, and Heather Boon. “Ginkgo biloba for the treatment of vitiligo vulgaris: an open label pilot clinical trial.” BMC complementary and alternative medicine 11, no. 1 (2011): 1.|