Home Remedies For Vitiligo (Leucoderma)

Reviewed By Dr.K.Harish Kumar, MD.DVL
Written by Sucharita Mishra

Growing up, did you experience light-colored patches on your skin? Did it set you apart from your friends and family and make you feel low? Well, this is commonly what all patients dealing with vitiligo feel like.

In this article, we are going to put you at ease. The remedies we discuss can help reduce the severity of the vitiligo patches. These remedies can help you regain your confidence and allow you to pick out that pretty sundress you have kept tucked in the farthest corner of your wardrobe and flaunt it with élan!

There’s more to vitiligo then you might have known. Keep reading to know more.

What Is Vitiligo?

Vitiligo (or leucoderma) is a skin disorder characterized by the appearance of discolored patches on your skin. These patches can appear on different parts of your body.

Vitiligo occurs as a result of the poor functioning of melanocytes, cells that produce melanin. Melanin is responsible for the pigmentation of your skin. During vitiligo, melanocytes are destroyed, and this hampers melanin production.

Vitiligo can affect the mucous membranes present inside your mouth, nose, and eyes. In the following section, we will explore the causes of vitiligo.

What Causes Vitiligo?

Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease, where your immune system mistakes the melanocytes in your skin as a foreign body and attacks them. This destruction of melanocytes impairs melanin production, thereby reducing skin pigmentation. According to Dr. K. Harish Kumar, MD DVL, vitiligo can also be genetic.

The exact cause of vitiligo is unknown. While some sources blame excessive sun exposure, others link vitiligo to severe emotional distress. However, these claims are not supported by the medical community.

What Are The Symptoms Of Vitiligo?

The primary sign of vitiligo is the occurrence of white patches on your skin. These patches usually appear on the areas of the skin frequently exposed to the sun. They

can be seen on your hands, feet, face, lips, and arms. They may also appear in the following areas:

  • Torso
  • Armpits
  • Groin
  • Around your mouth
  • Nostrils
  • Around your eyes
  • Rectal areas

Another sign of vitiligo is premature graying of hair. People with a dark complexion may observe skin lightening inside their mouth.

These symptoms could be treated, and the appearance of the patches could possibly be reduced. The following home remedies will tell you how.

Home Remedies For Vitiligo

1. Ginkgo Biloba Paste


Ginkgo seed extract contains bioactive compounds that exhibit immunomodulatory properties. It can help induce repigmentation on areas where your skin has lost color (1). This means that your skin will slowly show signs of reduced white patches.

You Will Need

Ginkgo biloba extract supplements

What You Have To Do

Take the supplements as prescribed by your doctor.

How Often You Should Do This

Take the supplements until the prescribed dosage is completed.

2. Neem Oil


Neem oil may reverse the effect of depigmentation, which is a result of vitiligo (2). The immunomodulatory effects of neem extracts may reduce the occurrence of white patches on your skin.

You Will Need

2-3 drops of neem oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Take a few drops of the neem oil on a cotton pad and rub it on the patches.
  2. Wash after 30 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat daily to see a visible change.

3. Turmeric


Turmeric contains curcumin, an important antioxidant that may have some relieving effect on vitiligo (3).

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Make a paste of turmeric powder by mixing it with mustard oil.
  2. Apply the mixture to your skin and leave it on. Wash after 30 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat 3-4 times a week.

4. Ginger Juice And Red Clay


Ginger juice is a rich source of phytochemicals that may help reduce discoloration (4). The topical application of ginger juice with red clay can help increase the blood flow to the various spots in your skin and may induce pigmentation.

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger juice
  • 1 teaspoon of red clay
What You Have To Do
  1. Make a paste by mixing the red clay with ginger juice.
  2. Apply this to the patches. Wash after 30 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat 3-4 times a week.

5. Radish Seeds And 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 (5), (4).

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of radish seeds
  • 2-3 tablespoons of ACV
What You Have To Do
  1. Powder the radish seeds and make a paste by mixing a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
  2. Apply this paste to the patches and wash after 20 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this at least 3 times a week.

6. Pomegranate Leaves


Pomegranate leaves are rich sources of bioactive compounds that can help reduce the effect of vitiligo. The leaves can be used as a remedy to reduce the associated discoloration (6).

You Will Need

8-10 pomegranate leaves

What You Have To Do
  1. Sun-dry the pomegranate leaves.
  2. Grind the dried leaves and take about 8 grams of this powder every day with water.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this every morning.

7. Green Tea


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 (7).

You Will Need
  • A green tea bag
  • A cup of warm water
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a green tea bag and steep it in a cup of boiled water.
  2. Consume the warm tea.
How Often You Should Do This

You can repeat this 1-2 times daily.

8. Bakuchi Oil


The powder made from the seed of bakuchi (or Psoralea corylifolia) has been observed to help combat vitiligo (8). It contains phenolic compounds that can induce repigmentation.

You Will Need
  • 110 grams of bakuchi seeds
  • Ginger juice
What You Have To Do
  1. Soak the bakuchi seeds in ginger juice for three days.
  2. Dry them and grind them into powder.
  3. You can consume 1 gram of this powder with milk.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this daily for 4 weeks.

9. Black Cumin Oil


Black cumin oil contains thymoquinone, a bioactive compound (9), (10). It can prevent oxidative stress and possibly treat the symptoms of vitiligo.

You Will Need

1 teaspoon of black cumin seed oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Take some black cumin seed oil on a cotton pad.
  2. Rub this on the white patches and wash off after half an hour.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this daily for 3-4 months.

10. Black Pepper And Clarified Butter


Black pepper is rich in piperine, a compound that may help treat the symptoms of vitiligo (11). The clarified butter can reduce the pungent flavor of the pepper and make it more palatable.

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper kernels
  • 1-2 tablespoons of clarified butter
What You Have To Do
  1. Simmer the black pepper kernels in the clarified butter.
  2. Consume this mixture with your food.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this daily for a few weeks.

These simple remedies can help you cope better with the symptoms of vitiligo. In addition to these, you also have a host of medical options that you can consider to treat vitiligo.

Medical Treatment Options For Vitiligo

There are a few medical treatment options available to treat vitiligo. The choice of treatment depends on a couple of factors:

  • Number of patches on your skin
  • How many areas of your skin have these patches

Not every treatment can suit all due to potential side effects. Some treatments can take long to show results, and some may not work as desired. These treatment options include surgical, medical, and other procedures.

Medical options include:

  • Medical creams or ointments
  • Treatment using UV light

Surgical options include:

  • Skin grafting to treat smaller patches of vitiligo
  • Skin tattoo

Other options include:

  • Use of sunscreen
  • Use of cosmetics to conceal the patches

Apart from the medical treatment options, a proper diet may also help.

What Diet Can I Follow For Treating Vitiligo?

Following a balanced diet, along with drinking adequate water, can take you a long way on the road to recovery. Since vitiligo is an autoimmune disease, you must consume foods that help boost your immunity, including those containing phytochemicals, antioxidants, and beta-carotene.

The following foods can help:

  • Fruits like bananas and apples
  • Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and lettuce
  • Chickpeas
  • Root vegetables like radishes, carrots, and beetroot
  • Figs

The above-mentioned methods can help you better deal with vitiligo. That said, can you actually prevent vitiligo?

Can I Prevent Vitiligo?

Vitiligo cannot be prevented. But there are a few precautions you can take to reduce the appearance of the patches. These include:

  • Use sunscreen before you step out during the day. This can help protect your skin from sunburn and photodamage. Sunscreen mitigates tanning and can decrease the harm UV exposure causes to your skin.
  • over your skin adequately, especially those parts that are affected by vitiligo. You can use concealing products that are dermatologically approved to reduce the contrast in skin tone.
  • 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.

In this article, we have put together some effective home remedies that can help you manage vitiligo. We suggest that you allow some time before you can start seeing results. If you feel that your symptoms persist, please consult your dermatologist at the earliest.

Do you have vitiligo? How do you deal with it? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment in the box below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How quickly does vitiligo spread?

It depends on the case. While it can spread fast in some cases, it can take years to spread in a few others. Some individuals also stated that their vitiligo patches did not spread at all.

What triggers vitiligo?

Studies still haven’t found what triggers vitiligo, but there are claims that people with a genetic predisposition to vitiligo may develop it in their 20s or 30s.

Is sunlight good for vitiligo?

People with a lighter skin tone who have vitiligo must not expose their skin to excess of sunlight (may cause sunburns or long-term photodamage). You must use a strong, waterproof sunscreen to shield your skin from the harmful sun rays.

Is vitiligo a type of cancer?

No, vitiligo is not cancer. It is an autoimmune disease in which certain parts of your skin lose pigmentation.

Can I get a tattoo if I have vitiligo?

Any kind of trauma or injury to the skin with vitiligo patches may result in an increased number of patches over time. This is true for patients whose vitiligo is actively spreading. Therefore, it is best to avoid getting a tattoo.


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Sucharita Mishra has a Master’s degree in Biotechnology and specializes in writing on Health and Wellness. She has worked on determining various heavy metals present in green tea for her Master’s dissertation at CSIR- CFTRI, Mysuru. After completing her degree, Sucharita decided to pursue her passion for writing. She is addicted to all things black and aspires to become a bat one day.