Jason’s vitiligo experiment update
I have to tell you that I am quite surprised by how long I have persevered with the whole regime. Sometimes I think it has been ‘overkill, ‘ but my use of several therapies in combination is a deliberate strategy. As I stated, I tend to use several treatments in moderation, rather than relying on frequent use of a single therapy. For example, this means that I limit NB UVB to 1-2x per week, rather than every second day, and piperine 1-2x per week rather than daily. The only thing I do daily is to pop a normal B-group multivitamin and a herbal (ayurvedic) pill that contains psoralens.
Anyway, I don’t want people to get any idea that this is a quick miracle cure, because it isn’t. On the other hand, there has been undoubted and considerable improvement in my condition, so it’s probably worth sharing the experience.
As a final note, the improvement I have achieved is still only partial, but good enough that cosmetic covers work much more effectively – i.e. it is quite easy to cover the vitiligo for a temporary period (as required) whereas it was almost impossible before.
Happy to continue sharing experiences here.
Thanks for your email. Regards, Jason Kaminski.
feb 8, 2009
I promised to send an update on my trial of vitiligo treatment using NB UVB light followed by application of piperine suspended in a vegetable oil. I have been using this treatment 1 – 2x per week, not every second day as is normally recommended. I started doing this around 6 months ago.
So that all the facts are ‘on the table,’ I should add that I occasionally take the recommended vitamin/herbal supplements (Vitamin B + psoralen-containing herbs) as well as applying mineral salts directly to the skin from time to time – e.g. dead sea mud.
I can best describe progress as ‘satisfactory.’ The improvement is definitive, but gradual. I estimate that I have achieved complete repigmentation (between the thighs) in 40-50% of the skin area. I have achieved moderate repigmentation (including freckling) over an additional 20-30% of the skin area. About 20-30% of the skin has not repigmented back to normal skin tone, though it has become a little darker.
From a cosmetic perspective, the result is pleasing, but not ideal. The general pattern of progress is for brown spots to appear, then for the spots to merge into an even area of normally pigmented skin. The spottiness is not appealing from a cosmetic perspective. On the other hand, the reduction in the size of the affected area is pleasing, and the general darkening of the skin means that the vitiligo is not really visible in dim light – e.g. in reduced light inside a room. Prior to trying this treatment, the skin was so white that it was visible even in very dim light.
Overall, I think this treatment is worth pursuing if the vitiligo occurs on an area of the body that is limited and if it is in a convenient position for light exposure. The progress is gradual, so patience and perseverance is definitely required.
I am going to continue to treat myself in this way for another 6 months to see if the repigmentation continues to 100% of the skin area. I am only using UVB once or twice a week so it’s not too onerous. I limit exposure to 3.5 minutes for each patch of vitiligo and only apply the piperine on every second day.[ad#center-post]
In summary, I think that:
– Using several treatment strategies in moderation (as I have done) has not had any apparent side effects, but the risk of doing so is NOT KNOWN – i.e. although my research indicates that the treatment I describe here is relatively safe, each person chooses what risk they are prepared to take in trialling different therapies
– NB UVB is undoubtedly the most important factor in getting good results: there was little improvement before I started using NB UVB
– Piperine MAY play a part in speeding up repigmentation: I have no way of telling if progress would have been slower with UVB treatment alone
– Taking vitamins and psoralen-containing herbs DOES seem to support repigmentation: I have noticed improvement around the eyes where I do NOT use UVB light or piperine for obvious reasons
– Using mineral salts MAY be useful – I have had encouraging signs using mineral-rich skin treatments such as dead sea mud and other salts as a ‘pseudo-catalase’ (look this term up on Google for further explanation).
I hope this information is useful. I will provide another update in the near future.
🙂 Jason K……