White skin spots caused by vitiligo or fungal infections can be an annoyance, creating major psychological and emotional worry. Simple herbal and home remedies rooted in Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, or naturopathy can get rid of these spots. With a few ingredients like holy basil, turmeric, mustard oil, and apple cider vinegar, rustle up these easy remedies for your pigmentation issues.
White spots on your skin are typically seen in vitiligo or fungal infections. They can be mildly itchy in some cases but are usually harmless. However, the emotional and mental trauma over this condition makes them a thorn in the side of those afflicted. Here are some easy home remedies to halt depigmentation and restore the original color of your skin.
Are All White Spots Vitiligo?
Vitiligo causes white depigmented patches on your skin due to a decline in the levels of functioning melanocytes. These cells are responsible for the production of melanin that gives your skin its color. One of the strong associations of vitiligo is with autoimmune problems. There is a link between the anti-melanocyte antibodies and the existence of other autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes or thyroiditis. Excess free radicals in the body may also be a trigger.
While vitiligo is one cause for white spots, there are other reasons. These include sun exposure and fungal infections that may cause the skin to lose its pigmentation in certain places. It may also cause it to turn white, scaly, or paler than the surrounding skin.
How To Get Rid Of White Spots On Skin
With a little help from Ayurveda and naturopathy, you should find relief from these white spots.
1. Use Turmeric With Mustard Oil
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A remedy using mustard oil and turmeric is said to help with leucoderma or vitiligo. Pound down 500 gm of fresh turmeric and soak it in 8 kg of water overnight. In the morning, heat the mixture, reducing it down until just a kilo of water remains. Strain this out and mix with 500 gm of mustard oil. Heat this mixture further to evaporate the remaining water. You will now be left with a pure mustard oil and turmeric mixture. This should be applied daily to the white spots – once in the morning and once in the evening. Continue this treatment for a few months.1So how does this work? Turmeric is antibacterial and heals skin. It is also a known disinfectant and antimicrobial agent, making it useful for fungal white patches.2Mustard oil serves as a perfect foil by fighting bacteria and fungus. It also moisturizes the skin.
2. Nibble On Neem Leaves
Like turmeric, neem is also a good antifungal and antibacterial agent that can work against fungal white spots. It has also been used to treat vitiligo. Four grams of neem leaves were given to test subjects in one study, thrice a day, before mealtimes. This regimen was followed by people with vitiligo for a year. A herbal cream with neem was also used, though other research indicates that neem leaves can work perfectly fine on their own. In just 90 days, a quarter of the patients said they had complete relief from vitiligo symptoms. With no side effects, this may be a remedy worth trying. Applying neem oil on the patches may also help with reducing any inflammation and treating the discoloration – whether due to vitiligo or an infection.3
3. Drink Apple Cider Vinegar
Vitiligo is suspected to have autoimmune antecedents. And like many autoimmune problems, it can benefit from having a healthy gut. Apple cider vinegar (ACV), made by fermentation, works in a manner similar to probiotics that increase the abundance of “good” bacteria in your gut. It helps break down and digest food better, too. Take it about half an hour (or even an hour) before you eat. Simply sip on a third of a teaspoon of ACV without swallowing. Slosh it around in your mouth for 60 seconds and swallow.4
4. Use Basil Remedies
Basil juice can act as an antifungal, killing spores responsible for discoloration as a result of a fungal infection. Tulsi or holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) is a naturopathic and traditional Ayurvedic remedy for white spots due to leucoderma.5Eat the leaves raw or brew the leaves and stem with clean water to make a healthy drink that’s good for the problem. Stress may have a role to play in triggering vitiligo in some people, too.6Basil’s pharmacological action helps your body get a better handle on physical, psychological, chemical, and metabolic stress.7
5. Honey, Olive Oil, And Beeswax For Fungal White Spots
White patches or spots on the skin may sometimes appear as a result of a fungal infection, also known as tinea versicolor or pityriasis versicolor. This is quite common if you live in a subtropical or tropical location. It may also happen if you sweat heavily and have oily skin.8Honey is antimicrobial and combats fungal infection. One natural remedy involves the topical application of a blend containing equal measures of honey and olive oil with beeswax. Researchers in one study found that this mixture eased symptoms for 86 percent of all participants who had pityriasis versicolor.9The olive oil and beeswax help keep the skin protected and well-moisturized, preventing dryness that can worsen the patchiness.
6. Radish Seeds
Another traditional folk remedy involves radish seeds. Simply make a powder of 25 gm dry seeds. Add vinegar – around 2 tablespoons – to form a paste and apply it on the white patches. Once the paste dries, wash it away and pat the skin dry.10This is believed to help regenerate melanin in the affected area.
7. Gingko Biloba
Chinese remedy gingko biloba can help with vitiligo-related depigmentation. This polyphenol-rich herbal remedy helps lower oxidative stress and inflammation, which are suspected to trigger autoimmune problems. In one study, a 40 gm oral dose given thrice a day caused a significant repigmentation (including complete repigmentation for some) in 10 out of 25 patients with vitiligo.11Other studies that looked at 60 mg given just twice a day over a 12-week period found that it was effective in completely stopping the spread. It even caused repigmentation in 16 percent of the test subjects.12
Do note that diabetics, pregnant women, children, people due for surgery, and those with blood thinners should avoid taking gingko. In some cases, it has caused internal bleeding. But more common side effects include dizziness, skin reactions, headaches, or an upset stomach.13