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What is Vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a chronic auto-immune skin disease that causes the loss of skin colour in blotches. If your skin is losing its natural tone, colour, or pigmentation, then there are likely chances it is vitiligo. The white patches (macules) start appearing on your skin and, with time, tend to spread over other parts of the body. It can affect any part of the body such as the face, neck, chest, thighs, elbows, hands, legs, and genitals. In medical science, it is said that the major reason behind the occurrence of vitiligo is the lack of pigment called Melanin in the skin, which is responsible for your skin colour. Treating vitiligo is a necessity to prevent its raging, and discomfort.

In Ayurveda, we call it “Shvitra”, or “Kilasa” induced by the violation of 3 prime Doshas in the body, namely Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. As per ancient ideologies, it is also believed that this roga is the result of your bad dos in your recent life. Although several claims regarding Vitiligo treatment are available, still the vitiligo treatment in Ayurveda is the most reliable option which is purely based on herbal remedies, dietary adjustments, and healthy lifestyle modifications.

Types of Vitiligo


It is the most common type of vitiligo, where patches tend to appear on both sides of the body. Such spots/patches are symmetrical and commonly affect the areas exposed to the sun's rays, friction, or trauma.


Unlike Non-segmental vitiligo, Segmental vitiligo symptoms are confined to one side of the area only rather lateral, or bilateral. It is also known as Unilateral, and Localised vitiligo, and is mainly seen among children of age between 3 to 10.

Mixed Type

There are also certain chances that people can develop both segmental and non-segmental vitiligo conditions. However, such chances are very rare.

Causes of Vitiligo

  • Melanin Deficiency: There is a pigment called Melanin, which is produced by skin cells called melanocytes. The major function of this pigment is to provide colour to your skin, hair, and eyes. Any inadequacy of these pigments may cause white patches to appear on your body.
  • Tridosha Imbalance: The imbalance of 3 body-governing doshas namely Vaataja, Pittaja, and Kaphaja dosha leads to Rakta dushtikaran (blood impurification), and ama (toxins) accumulation inside the body. Under such circumstances, a list of Kushtha rogas (skin disorders) can arise including vitiligo.
  • Virudha Ahaara: Your skin is the reflection of the dietary choices you make. There are certain food items that can cause, or make you prone to get vitiligo such as excessive dairy, gluten, non-vegetarian food, junk, stale, or processed food.
  • Heredity: Sometimes vitiligo may also run in families. However, it is not always necessary that this skin condition pass through to the children from his/her parents.
  • Auto-immune response: Vitiligo is an auto-immune condition, where your immune system starts harming pigment cells (melanocytes) in the skin. As a result of this malfunctioning, your skin starts losing its natural tone, and colour.
  • Environmental factors, or stress: Last but not least, stress, or any environmental stimulus such as past trauma, intense sunburn, or contact with a chemical may also contribute to the manifestation of vitiligo.

Vitiligo Symptoms

Milky white spots on the skin is the only prominent symptom of vitiligo, however, the severity and intensity of such spots may vary from patient to patient. Some of the common vitiligo symptoms that patients experience are:

  • Loss of skin color: Depigmented (White) spots/patches start appearing on the skin. In the initial stage, they can be pale, but with time they turn into a chalk-white color.
  • Hair whitening, or graying: Due to loss of pigment, the hair on your scalp may start turning white, or gray. Apart from the scalp, the hair of your beard, eyebrows, and eyelashes can also be affected.
  • Changes in mucous membranes: Very often the tissues that line inside your mouth, and nose (mucous membranes) tend to lose their color, either they may turn lighter than your skin’s natural turn, or entirely white.
  • Occasional itching: Vitiligo typically does not cause any other physical symptoms, such as pain, itching, or discomfort. Still, there are likely chances that some patients might experience itching or a burning sensation in the affected areas.
  • Easy Sunburns: Sunburns are also witnessed among vitiligo patients as their skin has already lost the pigment, which used to work as a natural safeguard for their skin.
  • Loss of hearing: There is a strong association between vitiligo and sensorineural hearing loss. In the case of vitiligo, the body starts attacking Melanocytes in the ear, which eventually leads to loss of hearing. But such circumstances are very rare.

Effective Vitiligo Ayurvedic Treatment

Rather than just concealing the patches, Ayurvedic treatment for vitiligo is way too harmonious. The Chikitsa procedure emphasizes a thorough analysis of the whole body constitution and varying root cause factors. It mainly involves:


  • The incorporation of certain potent herbs such as Kutki, Neem, Guduchi, Manjistha, Haridra, Triphala, Sariva, Giloy, Khadira, and Yashtimadhu into the daily regime is advised to reclaim the health and glory of the skin.
  • A complete avoidance of Virudha ahaara is recommended which mainly involves non-vegetarian food, excessive dairy, citrus fruits, wheat, spicy, and processed items. Infusion of fresh and water-enriched fruits and vegetables is advised specifically in the form of salads, juices, or warm soups.
  • A great concentration is laid down on Maansik Shanti (mental calmness). Ayurveda acknowledges that if your mind and body are not in harmony, no medicines, or treatment can work. For such purpose, certain yoga asanas, and meditation therapy is made compulsory.


  • The application of cow’s ghee, almond oil, virgin coconut oil, and other medicated ointments are instructed, especially to the affected areas in order to keep it nourished.
  • Panchakarma therapies such as Vamana (Therapeutic emesis), Virechan (purgation), Basti karma (detoxification through herbal decoctions), and Raktamokshana (blood cleansing) are also performed as per ayurvedic guidelines, catering to the disease pattern, and unique body Prakriti of each patient.
  • Accompanying other natural measures, oral medications are also made imperative in the form of vatti (tablets), churana (powder), and pastes prepared utilizing nature-derived substances.

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What is the best Ayurvedic medicine to treat vitiligo in India?

In Ayurveda, there is a list of herbs that are used as medicine for treating vitiligo and other skin ailments. Neem, Kutki, Harirda, Manjistha, and Triphala are some potent herbs that can be utilized as vitiligo medicines.

What causes vitiligo in adults?

The lack of pigment named Melanin in the skin is a prime factor for vitiligo. Additionally, the excessive stress or consumption of unhealthy food combinations can also be responsible for causing vitiligo in adults

What not to eat in vitiligo?

For this skin condition, the intake of citrus fruits, pickles, chilies, gluten, liquor, excessive dairy products, non-vegetarian food, fried, oily, or excessive sugary food items are strictly prohibited.

Can vitiligo go away forever?

Yes! By following a wholesome lifestyle, dietary precautions along herbal medications, you can manage vitiligo forever. All that it takes is a commitment towards a healthy routine regime and faith in Ayurveda.

What cause vitiligo to spread?

Under excessive stress, sunburn, cuts, or exposure to chemicals, or other allergens there are likely chances that vitiligo may spread to other parts of the body.

What are the early symptoms of vitiligo?

Initially, only light discoloration of the skin is witnessed which with time takes the turn into light patches, and then white chalk discoloration.

Does vitiligo cause itching?

Unlike other skin diseases, vitiligo does not cause any kind of discomfort such as itching, pain, or dryness. However, in some cases such as sunburn, distress, or sweating, the patients may experience itchiness but it’s very uncommon.

Is there a cure for vitiligo in Ayurveda?

Yes! For years, Ayurvedic remedies, and treatments have been used for curing vitiligo.

What are some interesting facts about vitiligo?

Firstly,most people believe that vitiligo can spread from one person to another but let us clarify that it is not contagious.Secondly,there are only chances that it can pass through a kid from his/her parents but such genetic predisposition is very rare.Lastly,some people also believe that this is a short-term condition that gets fine on its own. But unfortunate to say that in the absence of the necessary precautions, and safeguards, this condition.

How vitiligo is different from psoriasis?

Often people confuse vitiligo with psoriasis as both diseases are auto-immune and share multiple features in common. But both conditions are different. In vitiligo, there is a lack of pigment (Melanin ) in the body which causes white patches on the skin. Whereas in Psoriasis, the skin cells start growing multiple times quicker than ordinary and eventually start to shed off.

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