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  5. How To Treat Vitiligo On Lips Naturally?

Is Vitiligo or white patches on your lips bothering you? We understand how you feel. This article will help you understand why these white patches appear on your lips and how you can deal with them professionally and naturally.

Also, knowing about your skin and how its imbalances can trigger vitiligo, will go a long way.

Our Ayurvedic Doctor Speaks

“Vitiligo is a difficult condition to treat. It requires a comprehensive treatment with internal medicine, Panchakarma, diet and lifestyle changes.”

Dr. Zeel Gandhi (B.A.M.S), Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix

What Causes White Patches On Lips?

male african body with vitiligo on the body

Vitiligo on lips is a type of non-contagious leukoderma that's also known as focal vitiligo. Almost 1% of the global population is affected by it and 16% of all vitiligo patients are affected by vitiligo on their lips. There are certain causes that can instigate leukoderma [1]:

1. Autoimmune Disorders:

This is a health condition that destroys the basic mechanism of your body by attacking your immune system. Your body is affected in many ways because of this and one of the results is the destruction of melanocytes and depigmentation. This leads to vitiligo.

2. Genes:

Researches have shown that 30% of the total vitiligo affected people, get it due to hereditary reasons. Apart from that, excessive stress can also affect your genes, which can eventually lead to vitiligo.[2]

3. Infection:

Leprosy, syphilis and various other bacterial and viral infections can cause vitiligo on your lips.

4. Lifestyle:

Your occupation which is a major part of your lifestyle can also cause vitiligo on the lips. If you are in a profession that exposes you to harsh chemicals or sunburn, it can cause vitiligo on lips.

5. Neurogenic Causes:

Some people have a specific neurogenic problem, where toxic substances are released from the nerve ending on their skin. These substances affect the melanocytes, causing vitiligo.

Symptoms Of Vitiligo On Lips

The total number of people suffering from vitiligo is estimated at around 65-95 million people worldwide. Although depigmentation, which is the reason behind vitiligo, is not a painful process, the white patches that it leaves behind brings social stigma along with it. [3]

Here are some symptoms that can be associated with vitiligo:

  • The areas of your lips that get exposed to sunlight become depigmented.
  • The presence of a prominent white patch around your lip can be seen.
  • When a white patch appearing due to an injury spreads even after the injury is healed.
  • If you already have white patches around your lip for a long time but you experience irritation on the patches when exposed to sun, excessive heat and sweating.
  • If the facial hair around the white patch also turns white.
  • Presence of a mole with a white ring around it.

How To Cure Vitiligo On Lips?

A. Natural Methods

1. Needling:

The State University of New Jersey is recruiting people to prove the efficacy of needling as a method of treating vitiligo on lips. In this process, a professional uses a roller fitted with 200 or more surgical needles on your face. This stimulates the production of collagen and elastin in your skin which reduces the white patches of vitiligo.

2. Folic Acid And Vitamin B12:

According to a study conducted by the University hospital of Sweden, it was found that over half of the subjects experienced repigmentation with a combination of vitamin B12 and folic acid. This stopped the spreading of vitiligo among 64% of the patients.

3. Vitamin C:

Most people who have vitiligo also suffer from a vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C helps in producing collagen that leads to repigmentation. Eating fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C can help with vitiligo.

4. Copper:

Ayurvedic experts often recommend you to store water in copper vessels, as copper increases the melanin content in your skin.

Copper bottle and copper glasses

5. Clothing:

The type of clothes that you wear can also affect your vitiligo. Avoid wearing tight clothes that have elastic, as it can lead to vitiligo patches. If you are allergic to plastic, rubber and even leather, your allergies can trigger vitiligo. If you go out in the sun often, make sure most parts of your skin are covered to avoid sunburn.

6. Stress Control:

Excessive stress can aggravate vitiligo, so manage your stress through meditation, yoga and therapy.

B. Home Remedies

1. Papaya

This delicious fruit plays a beneficial role in vitiligo treatment.

How to use:

  • Rub pieces of the fruit on the patches around your lip.
  • Wash it when dry.
  • Drink papaya juice regularly.

2. Red Clay

This type of clay has high quantities of copper, which helps in repigmentation.

How to use:

  • Mix 2 tbsp of red clay with 1 tbsp of ginger juice.
  • Apply it on the white patches around your lips.
  • Wash it when dry.

woman applying red clay on her face

3. Basil Leaves

The anti-aging and anti-viral properties of basil leaves help in indirectly reducing vitiligo symptoms.

How to use:

  • Make a paste with basil leaves and lime juice.
  • Apply it on your lip vitiligo marks.
  • Wash it after drying.

4. Walnuts

One of the most important members of the nut family, walnuts not only strengthens your brain but also helps with vitiligo.

How to use:

  • Consume up to 5 walnuts everyday. You can also make a paste with walnut powder and water.
  • Apply the paste on your lips 3-4 times a day.
  • Wash it off after 20 minutes.

5. Turmeric

A very common ingredient found in every household, turmeric can also help in dealing with your vitiligo.

How to use:

  • Make a paste with turmeric and mustard oil in a 2:1 ratio and apply over the patches around your lips.
  • Wash it after 20 minutes.
  • Repeat the process twice a day.

C. Ayurvedic Treatments

The Ayurvedic term for vitiligo is Shwitra. “Vitiligo is a difficult condition to treat. It requires a comprehensive treatment with internal medicine, Panchakarma, diet and lifestyle changes,” says

Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.

Ayurvedic experts classify vitiligo into the following categories:

1. Daruna

When an imbalance in your doshas causes blood (rakta dhatu) impurification and appears in the form of red patches.[4]

2. Aruna

When an imbalance in your doshas disrupts muscle (mamsa dhatu) tissue and appears in the form of copper patches.

3. Kilasa

When an imbalance in your doshas disrupts fat tissues (medha dhatu) and appears in the form of white patches.[5]

Ayurvedic experts recommend you to follow a proper procedure in order to reduce symptoms of vitiligo:

Step 1

Shodhana Chikitsa is the first step in the process of Ayurvedic vitiligo treatment. This involves:

A. Vamana: One of the 5 therapies of panchakarma, vamana includes therapeutic vomiting. The patient is induced with vomit triggering herbs and made to vomit in order to flush out the toxins of the body.[6]

B. Virechana: This is a blood purifying treatment. This process balances the pitta dosha.

C. Rakta Mokshana: This procedure is performed by putting leeches on the affected areas. It is also a blood purification process.

Step 2

Shamana chikitsha is conducted, whereby herbs and herbal powders (churna), Ayurvedic drinks (kashya), herbal ghee (ghruta) and herbal oils (tailas) are used to balance the 3 doshas of your body.

Step 3

Pathya - You are what you eat and how you live. Ayurveda strongly believes in following a strict diet and lifestyle modifications as a part of any chikitsa or treatment.

The following Ayurvedic herbs also help in treating vitiligo:

A. Bakuchi- Bakuchi mixed with other Ayurvedic herb powders like khadir, chitrak, jatamansi and amalaki form a mixture called panchkarma which helps in treating vitiligo.

bakuchi seeds

B. Manjistha- This herb is best known for blood purification and smoothening the lymphatic system. This helps in restoring your normal skin color and repigmentation.

C. Neem- The antioxidant properties of neem reduces the vitiligo symptoms around your lips by reducing free radicals in your body. It also protects the melanocytes and prevents spreading of the white patches.

D. Haritaki- This also has similar antioxidant properties like neem and removes free radicals from the skin. It also helps in reducing stress and anxiety which is both a cause and result of vitiligo. [7]

haritaki in a glass bowl

E. Giloe- This herb helps in preventing the destruction of melanocytes and boosts the immunity of your skin cells, minimizing symptoms of vitiligo.

D. Diet And Lifestyle Changes

“A plant-based diet rich in antioxidants, low in inflammatory foods, and possibly also gluten-free, may have a beneficial effect on vitiligo,” says Dr. Zeel. Here are some diet tips that can help manage this condition better:

  • Fruits that are rich in vitamin C like oranges, lemons, grapefruits, kiwi, strawberries etc. are beneficial.
  • Eat vegetables like bell peppers and broccoli and bitter tasting foods like bitter gourd, neem, drumsticks.
  • Avoid foods that are sour in taste, or contain excessive salt.
  • Do not consume polar opposite foods together, for example, fish with milk.
  • Make sure to apply sunscreen before going out in the sun.
  • Keep yourself hydrated all the time.
  • Have adequate sleep to avoid stress.[8]

E. Other Medical Treatments

1. Photochemotherapy

This therapy involves controlled and supervised exposure of the affected area to UV rays to generate repigmentation. It can take upto 6 months for visible results to appear on your skin. [9]

2. Skin Lightening

In this process artificial depigmentation is performed on your skin in order to match the color of your white patches and provide you with an even tone. It might take upto 9 months for this treatment to work.

3. Skin Grafting

Vitiligo affects only parts of your body, so in this method, a small part of your unaffected skin is taken and grafted on the areas that are affected by vitiligo.[10]

4. Cosmetics

If you are skeptical about chemical treatment and surgeries, you can simply learn the art of makeup to cover all the white patches on your skin. The American Academy Of Dermatology suggests cosmetic coverage especially for children.[11]

When To Consult A Dermatologist?

It is better to consult a dermatologist the moment you have a doubt about any kind of white patches on your lips. This will assure you whether you have symptoms of vitiligo or not. Also a dermatologist can professionally guide you through the treatment process.

The Last Word

While vitiligo on lips may be a cause of social stigma, the above listed treatments can help. However, do consult a dermatologist within two or three months of the first appearance of any signs of vitiligo, because as the condition progresses it becomes harder to control its symptoms. Please do not self-diagnose, self-prescribe or self-treat, and remember professional help is the best help.

Know Your Dosha Now

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