June 10, 2009

Natural Remedies for Loss of Pigmentation in Skin

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Loss of skin pigmentation results in a condition called Leucoderma or vitiligo. White patches form on the skin, caused by the loss of melanin, the pigment which gives the skin its color. There is no itching, pain, discomfort or any other harm caused to the skin, but it is very psychologically distressing to the person who suffers from it, since the white patches on the face, neck, arms and other exposed areas are unsightly. In some countries there is also a social stigma attached to it.


It is still not known what causes Leucoderma.

  • Earlier people wrongly blamed it on various food combinations like milk and onion, or milk and pumpkin, or fish and milk in the same meal. But this is not actually the case.
  • Heredity is usually linked to vitiligo and it seems to run in some families.
  • Sometimes, people with very fair skin, who live in regions with harsh sunlight, seem to be affected with skin conditions, such as loss of pigmentation.
  • In some cases, a scar caused by an injury does not get back its pigmentation, and appears like vitiligo, although it’s not actually so.

However, an important point to note is that leucoderma or vitiligo is not contagious at all.

Natural Home Remedies: While ointments and lotions have been used for treating loss of skin pigmentation, they have not proved too effective. You can however try a few home remedies, made from natural products.

  • Some believe that the seeds of psoralea are very effective in this condition. The seeds are steeped in ginger juice for three days. Change the juice each day. Remove the husks of the softened seeds by rubbing them between your thumb and forefinger. Once this is done, dry the seeds in the shade and powder them. This powder is then mixed with milk. One needs to have at least one gram each day for 40 days. A paste made from the ground seeds is also applied on the white spots.
  • Another seed which is considered effective is the babchi seeds. Equal quantities of babchi and tamarind seeds are soaked in water for about three days. The husks are now peeled off, and the seeds are dried in the shade. They are then ground to a paste. This paste is applied directly to the white patches. The treatment must be carried out for seven days continuously. Sometimes allergic reactions like itching may occur, and the white spots may become red. Sometimes a fluid oozes out. In such cases, stop this treatment immediately.
  • Red clay which is found on hill slopes or on the river side is also considered useful for treating leucoderma. The clay is mixed with ginger juice and then applied on the spots. The copper in the clay and the ginger juice is supposed to stimulate skin pigmentation.
  • Radish seeds are also considered beneficial. A teaspoon of seeds is made into a paste along with vinegar, applied thinly on the white spots, and washed off after a couple of hours.
  • A paste of mustard oil and turmeric also helps to lighten the patches. Two cups of turmeric are pounded and soaked in water overnight. This is then boiled the next day for about 15 minutes. Now two cups of mustard oil is added and again the mixture is heated for another 10 minutes. This is then bottled and applied twice a day.
  • Patients are advised to avoid coffee, tea and alcoholic beverages during treatment.