Vitiligo is a condition where there is loss of skin colour, or pigmentation. The areas of depigmentation that occur with this condition are symmetrical, commonly occur in parts of the body subject to mild trauma such as the hands and elbow. This is an auto-immune disorder where the body’s defence mechanisms turn against itself, in this case the local destruction of melanocytes, the cells that produce the pigment that darkens the skin, called melanin.
Vitiligo affects 1–4% of the world’s population.
|Supplement/Herb||What it does||Dosage|
|Phenylalanine||Help the body make more melanin.||50gm per kilo of body weight|
|Betaine HCL||To improve protein digestion and ensure absorption of Phenylalanine||1 – 3 capsules with each meal|
|Tyrosine||Used by skin cells to produce melanin which helps protect the skin from UV light.||500 -1000mg daily|
|Copper||To help convert tyrosine into melanin.||1-4mg daily|
|B Complex Vitamins||To help with amino acid/protein metabolism.||as directed|
Diet and Lifestyle Factors
It is essential to use high factor sunscreens to prevent burning of the de-pigmented areas, which won’t tan and to stop increased pigmentation in the normal skin which would emphasise the vitiligo.