Vitiligo Causes, Treatment and Remedies

Everyone has a different skin color. Some people have white skin, some have black, some have brown and some have whitish color. These all mentioned colors are natural, but if these colors change, then it can be a stressful situation. Vitiligo is a similar situation where people face skin that has patches on their body. Vitiligo causes can be different, and we covered all of them in this article. We also covered natural Vitiligo Treatments and Tips to prevent Vitiligo.

Change in the color of the skin may be a symptom of severe skin disease.

The skin changes can occur in the form of patches. The patches of skin affected become white and usually have sharp margins. The hair from the skin may also become white or yellow.

The inside of the mouth and nose may also be involved. Typically, both sides of the body are affected. Often the patches begin on areas of skin that are exposed to the sun.

It is more noticeable in people with dark skin. Because vitiligo is more generally known as white spots on the skin.

This can reduce the chances of getting attraction. But people these days are accepting it as natural, and you do not need to worry about it a lot. The fashion industry is inviting vitiligo models to encourage everyone.

vitiligo causes and a vitiligo model
Vitiligo Model (Pic Credits—Ron Lach Pexels)

So let’s discuss the symptoms, causes risk factors, complications, and tips of tricks to prevent vitiligo.

Basically, let’s understand the skin pigmentation first;-

“Skin pigmentation is a long-term skin condition characterized by patches of the skin losing their pigment”

There are the following terms used for the disorder of skin pigmentation;-

Now let’s discuss the vitiligo

What is vitiligo?

“Vitiligo is a long-term condition where pale, white patches develop on the skin. It’s caused by the lack of melanin, which is the pigment in the skin.”

Epidemiology of vitiligo

Globally, about 1% of people are affected by vitiligo. In some populations, it affects as many as 2–3%.

Males and females are equally affected. About half show the disorder before age 20 and most develop it before age 40. Vitiligo has been described since ancient history.

Types of vitiligo

Hyperpigmentation is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin color, forms deposits in the skin. In rare cases, it’s possible for vitiligo to affect your whole body. This is known as universal or complete vitiligo. Vitiligo can affect the skin color of people of any race.

Normally, the color of hair and skin is determined by melanin. Vitiligo occurs when cells that produce melanin die or stop functioning. Vitiligo affects people of all skin types, but it may be more noticeable in people with darker skin. The condition is not life-threatening or contagious. It can be stressful or make you feel bad about yourself.

However, there are the following types of vitiligo;-

  1. Non-segmental vitiligo
  2. Segmental vitiligo
  3. Mucosal
  4. Focal
  5. Universal

Non-segmental vitiligo

In non-segmental vitiligo (also called bilateral or generalized vitiligo), the symptoms often appear on both sides of your body as symmetrical white patches.

Segmental vitiligo

In segmental vitiligo (also known as unilateral or localized vitiligo), the white patches only affect one area of your body.

Segmental vitiligo is less common than non-segmental vitiligo, although it’s more common in children. It usually starts earlier and affects 3 in 10 children with vitiligo.  


As the name suggests, this type of vitiligo occurs in the mucous membrane of the mouth or genitals


This is a rare type of vitiligo. This starts in a small area and does not spread within one to two years.


It is also a rare type of vitiligo. It occurs in a patient who has less than 20% melanin.

Symptoms of vitiligo

There are the following common symptoms that can appear due to vitiligo;-

• Patchy loss of skin color, which usually first appears on the hands, face, and areas around body openings and the genitals

• Premature whitening or graying of the hair on your scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, or beard

• Loss of color in the tissues that line the inside of your mouth and nose (mucous membranes.

Vitiligo Causes

Vitiligo is caused by the lack of a pigment called melanin in the skin. Melanin is produced by skin cells called melanocytes, and it gives your skin its color. There are the following common causes of vitiligo;-

Loss of melanin:-  In vitiligo, there are not enough working melanocytes to produce enough melanin in your skin. This causes white patches to develop on your skin or hair. It’s not clear exactly why the melanocytes disappear from the affected areas of the skin.

Association to autoimmune diseases:–  In autoimmune conditions, the immune system does not work properly. Instead of attacking foreign cells, such as viruses, your immune system attacks your body’s healthy cells and tissue.

If you have non-segmental vitiligo, your immune system destroys the melanocyte skin cells that make melanin.

Vitiligo is also associated with other autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, type – 1 diabetes, Addison’s disease, etc., but not everyone with vitiligo will develop these conditions.

Heredity:-  There is not much evidence that if your family members have vitiligo, then the chances of getting vitiligo on you too. About 30% of vitiligo cases run in families.

Environmental factors:- Environmental circumstances, such as stress, a bad sunburn, skin trauma, or exposure to a strong chemical, seem to prompt vitiligo development in people who are genetically predisposed to the condition.

Triggers may also cause existing vitiligo patches to spread or progress in people who already have the condition.

Tips to prevent vitiligo

If you have vitiligo, then the following tips can be effective:

Protect your skin from sunlight:-  Protecting your skin from the sun helps prevent sunburn of the discolored skin. Sunscreen also minimizes tanning, which accentuates the vitiligo patches. You can also seek shade and wear clothing that shields your skin from the sun. Don’t use tanning beds and sunlamps. Use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

Don’t get a tattoo:-  Damage to your skin, such as that caused by a tattoo, may cause a new patch of vitiligo to appear within two weeks. Avoid getting your skin tattooed or inked. If it is not related to the treatment of vitiligo, you should not subject your skin to the damage caused by tattooing, as this may cause the appearance of a new patch within one or two weeks.

Vitiligo Treatment on a vitiligo model
Vitiligo Model (Pic Credits—Ron Lach Pexels)


There are the following complications of vitiligo:

  • Psychological or social issues
  • Sunburn
  • Skin cancer
  • Iritis and other problems related to the eyes
  • Hearing loss
  • Treatment side effects such as itching

Risk factors

There are the following risk factors that trigger vitiligo:

  • Trauma
  • Exposer to sun light
  • Stress
  • Exposer to chemicals that irritates.

Home remedies for vitiligo

There are the following home remedies that will be useful in vitiligo:

Neem oil for white spots on skin

Neem oil may reverse the effect of pigmentation, which is a result of vitiligo  The immunomodulatory effects of neem extracts may reduce the occurrence of white patches on your skin.

Way to use Neem oil

Take a few drops of the neem oil on a cotton pad and rub it on the patches.

Wash after 30 minutes.

Recommended dose

Repeat daily at once to see the changes

Papaya for Vitiligo patches

Papaya is a delicious fruit and beneficial for health. Along with that, papaya has also been shown to be effective against vitiligo.

Way to use papaya

To use papaya to treat vitiligo, rub pieces of papaya on the patches of skin affected by vitiligo. Wash it when dry. Drink papaya juice regularly to replenish the body of melanin cells lost due to vitiligo.

Ginger juice for Vitiligo Skin

Since ancient times, ginger is used as the best home remedy to treat vitiligo and many other skin diseases. One such disease is Vitiligo. Ginger is very much effective for the treatment of white patches. To make this home remedy.

Way to use ginger juice

Take a piece of ginger and blend it with water to make a thin liquid. Pour this juice in a cup with the help of a strainer. Drink this juice.

Recommended dose

Use twice a day to heal Vitiligo.

Turmeric for Vitiligo Treatment

Turmeric contains curcumin, an important antioxidant that may have some relieving effect on vitiligo.

Turmeric is an effective home remedy for vitiligo. Turmeric along with mustard oil and stimulate the pigmentation of the skin.

Way to use turmeric

Make a paste of turmeric powder by mixing it with mustard oil.

Apply the mixture to your skin and leave it on. Wash after 30 minutes.

Recommended dose

Repeat 3-4 times a week.

Ghee(Indian Saturated Fat) and pepper

This is another most effective home remedy used to treat Vitiligo. Black pepper is rich in piperine, a compound that may help treat the symptoms of vitiligo. The clarified butter can reduce the pungent flavor of the pepper and make it more palatable.

Way to use ghee and pepper

Heat 10 pepper in 10 gm of ghee. Remove the pepper and mix this ghee with normal ghee. One can use this ghee while cooking daily food. Regular consumption of this ghee will purify the blood and improve immunity.  

Radish seeds with Apple cider vinegar

Radish seeds, when used as a paste, may help reverse symptoms of vitiligo. The bioactive compounds present in radish seeds and vinegar can help reduce discoloration and reduce white patches.

Way to use radish seeds and apple cider vinegar

Powder the radish seeds and make a paste by mixing a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.

Apply this paste to the patches and wash after 20 minutes.

Green tea for Vitiligo spots

Green tea is a rich source of polyphenols. These polyphenols exhibit immunomodulatory properties and may help reduce the appearance of discolored patches associated with vitiligo .

Way to use green tea

Take a green tea bag and steep it in a cup of boiled water.

Consume the warm tea.

Black cumin seed oil

Black cumin oil contains thymoquinone, a bioactive compound. It can prevent oxidative stress and possibly treat the symptoms of vitiligo.

Way to use black cumin seed oil

Take some black cumin seed oil on a cotton pad.

Rub this on the white patches and wash off after half an hour.

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