Everyone has their own coping mechanisms, but the trick is to find a set of strategies that work for you! Below are some approaches that may assist in your search in coping with Vitiligo.
What is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a disease that occurs when melanocytes stop producing melanin, causing loss of skin pigment in patches. These areas usually get bigger with time, and they can affect the skin on any part of the body, hair or even the inside of the mouth. Vitiligo is related to a disorder of the immune system (autoimmune condition), family history of the disease or a trigger event, stress, severe sunburn, or skin trauma.
Children with Vitiligo:
Helping children in Coping with Vitiligo can be emotionally draining for the parents as well as their children. It is important to help these children navigate the social complexities of their skin condition. Children should know they are okay just the way they are! Try to find ways to help them love their skin even though it looks quite different to other children’s skin.
Take cues from your child – he or she may want to ignore the stares, and just explain the patches if anyone asks. Be honest about their Vitiligo to remove any misconceptions. Allow your child to have their own emotions regarding Vitiligo and try not to have Vitiligo be the focus. Remember that there are effective treatments available for your child’s skin.
Your first, and possibly most important objective, is to get a diagnosis from your medical practitioner. Your skin will be examined, and an evaluation may include a skin biopsy and blood tests. Recognising the facts helps to put this disease into perspective. Stress occurs when your mind conjures up unrealistic and inaccurate scenarios, causing needless fear.
Physical symptoms of stress develop which can weaken your body’s immune system. Facing the reality of your specific Vitiligo condition helps keep these bogus stress responses at bay before they become problematic. Just face it, life is stressful! But stress is a normal human reaction that happens to everyone. In fact, the human body is designed to experience stress and react to it.
Almost as important as establishing the facts, is identifying how the Vitiligo diagnosis makes you feel. Do you feel embarrassed? This is a predictable reaction because the patches are mostly visible if they occur on the face and extremities. There is considerable emotion attached to finding out that your skin has white patches, and that they are probably going to spread.
Do you feel angry? You might have questions such as: “Why me?”. Again, this is a normal and incredibly human response. Remember, you are entitled to feel exactly the way you do. Understanding that you are not alone in these feelings, goes a long way to helping keep stressors at bay. Be kind to yourself.
Once you have your diagnosis and have truthfully explored your feelings towards your Vitiligo, you will feel an urge to find solutions. These include:
- Pigmentation creams are formulated to re-pigment the white patches, especially if the Vitiligo coverage is less than 20%.
- Certain vitamin treatments help relieve stress and the resulting spread of the disease.
- Phototherapy (light therapy) with an ultraviolet B lamp, where depigmented skin is exposed to UVB several times a week. These lamps can be used at home. Typically, light therapy is used in combination with topical medications.
- Use concealers, which have been specially formulated to hide the white patches. These creams are typically waterproof, smudge-proof and come in a variety of shades.
You have now ascertained the extent of your Vitiligo, established how you feel about your condition, and realised that there are solutions readily available. Your next step will be to formulate a treatment plan. A Vitiligo treatment specialist company is next on the agenda. These companies are focused on formulating specific Vitiligo treatment strategies. They will be able to devise a plan best suited to your specific requirements. It is important to stop the progression of this disease and keep the symptoms under control, and regain skin pigmentation.
Anecdotal evidence shows that lots of people suffering from Vitiligo have negative reactions to certain foods. Introduce good foods into your diet.
Here are some good options:
- Foods that are rich in Vitamin B-12 are effective in reversing the effects of Vitiligo. Include fortified breakfast cereals and yoghurt.
- Low folate levels are known to be one of the prominent causes of Vitiligo. Spinach, broccoli asparagus and black-eyed peas can help to boost your folate levels.
- Increase the levels of zinc in your body by adding nuts, beans, and dairy to your diet.
- Eat bananas and apples, chickpeas, root vegetables, figs, and dates.
- Drink water!
Similarly, there are some restrictions:
- Avoid artificial food colourants.
- The sourness of some foods may inhibit the production of melanin due to their acidic natures. Avoid eating citrus fruits, sour curd, fermented foodstuffs, vinegar, soy sauces and pickles.
- Blueberries and pears contain hydroquinone which minimises melanin production in the skin.
- Restrict alcohol and coffee (sorry!).
- Cut down on red meats.
- Avoid wheat products.
Remember, everyone responds to food differently, so use the above as a guide only! Try to integrate good foods into your existing diet and restrict, as much as possible, the foods that are potentially problematic. The true advantage of a nutrient-dense diet will be a generally healthier body. A plant-based diet is normally high in antioxidants, which will protect against stress. Eat more vegetables! Vitiligo is linked to autoimmune disease, so a gluten-free diet can help in its treatment. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, and rye.
The inflammatory cell of the immune system damages melanin production to create white patches. Eating inflammatory foods can cause intestinal changes and discomfort, triggering an immune response. Avoiding foods that cause inflammatory responses can help reduce the spread of Vitiligo. Inflammatory foods include sugary drinks, white bread, white pasta, processed foods and excess carbohydrates.
Consider supplementing with vitamins. Vitiligo sufferers may be deficient in Vitamin D, because of their need to limit sun exposure. Vitamin B12 and folic acid, combined with UVB exposure can reduce skin depigmentation. Vitamins A, C and E prevent oxidative stress on the epidermis, which is considered a cause of melanocyte destruction.
The most important principle of daily exercising is that it helps you to regulate your breathing, helps monitor your heart rate, maintain proper blood pressure, and fight challenges such as cholesterol and diabetes. When your body is healthy, there is a higher chance for you to fight Vitiligo. Ensure that you are adequately protected from the sun if you exercise outdoors.
If possible, engage in sports activities, so that exercising becomes a fun activity. It is common knowledge that exercise releases endorphins which is a chemical in your brain that leads to feelings of happiness. These endorphins also relieve stress.
According to Harvard Medical, sleep plays a critical role in healthy immune function, metabolism, memory, learning and other vital functions. Sleep also reduces inflammation and helps reduce stress. Your body releases hormones during sleep that help repair cells and control the body’s use of energy. While you are asleep, your brain processes your emotions, which is why a problem always seems less overwhelming in the morning.
One-third of human life is designed to be spent in the state of sleep, to help restore physical and mental energy. The human body has the capability of healing itself. Healthy sleeping habits can help your body regain its natural rhythm, and the immune system will benefit.
Expectations can give you a sense of motivation and direction, but if they are unrealistic, they can affect your personal wellbeing, causing self-criticism. Your Vitiligo did not manifest itself overnight, so you must give yourself time for your treatment plan to work. Be sure to reconsider and adapt to changing circumstances. Try not to judge yourself harshly. Remember, as long as you keep trying, you cannot fail!
Living with Vitiligo can be challenging! After you have been diagnosed, deal with your emotions and find a solution. Get support from a reputable Vitiligo treatment specialist and embark on a specific treatment plan – one that is sustainable for you. Help your body by tweaking your diet to include nutrient-dense food options. Engage in an exercise or sports programme to boost your health, and then kick back and enjoy those endorphins! Get a minimum of eight hours of good sleep per day. Continually manage your expectations and adjust them as and when necessary.
Helping your child deal with the emotional side of their Vitiligo can be difficult. They need to know that this condition only makes them a little bit different from others on the outside. Differences are a part of life, so children with Vitiligo need not feel like outcasts. If your children are armed with enough information, it might give them the confidence to avoid potential problems before they arise. Constant communication is important, especially if you suspect that your children are being bullied.
Remember, you are not alone!
Vitiligo Treatment Options:
Treating Vitiligo with ‘one product fixes all’ does not work or shows very slow results. This is evident from the many assessments we receive and looking at other products that our patients have tried. Vitiligo can be treated, and at Vitiligo Treatment we do have a range of products available.
One important factor is that we first need to slow down and stop the spread of Vitiligo before effective and positive results are seen. Only once the spread of Vitiligo has stopped, are the pigment-producing cells in your body (Melanocytes) able to start producing Melanin which is your natural skin tone again.
At Vitiligo Treatment we offer a large range of products to help treat most Vitiligo conditions. This is one of the factors that has contributed to our success in Treating Vitiligo.
We do have a combination of products formulated to treat Low, Medium, and High Vitiligo body coverage. Contact one of our consultants or read more on our website for information pertaining to your own Vitiligo condition.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you require any further information pertaining to this article – Coping With Vitiligo – or require any additional detailed information on our products.
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