Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Frequently Asked Question

What is Vitiligo ?
Briefly, Vitiligo is a skin condition where the melanocytes, the cell that produces melanin / skin pigment, is destroyed by the immune system, so you have white patches in different places on your skin. And it's not contagious at all.
Michael Jackson has it, and some other celebrities.

Is vitiligo contagious ?
No. not at all.
When I was young, I remember seeing people with white patches on their skin and I got scared thinking that it was contagious.
And I'd be terrified if they approached, I was afraid I might get it too.
Little did I know it wasn't contagious, but I got it anyway. :)

What causes Vitiligo ?
Vitiligo is caused by many factors, you can google it for more details.
Some are cause by trauma to the skin, some are genetic, some are triggered by stress, some is caused by thyroid condition, for some, the Vitiligo just appears out of nowhere, auto-immune disease.

How to cure Vitiligo ?
It's different for everyone.
Don't trust a Doctor who says that it's incurable.

There are a lot of treatments out there.
Some are Scientific, some are Traditional, some are Spiritual.

You just have to find a cure that suits you best.

How do dermatologists treats Vitiligo ?
Some will tell you right away that there's no cure and advice you to use cosmetic coverups.
These dermatologists are probably have more interests treating patients with acne problems and large pores.
Avoid these dermatologists !!

Some will offer quite a number of options for Vitiligo treatments, explaining pros and cons.
such as PUVA treatments , steroid creams, Light / Laser Treatments, Skin grafting, etc.
And it's up to you to choose which treatment to do.

Some will also offer you a complete Skin package (Soap, Toner, Moisturizer, Sunblock / Sunscreen)
You are not obliged to purchase them, I don't think they'll help in treating Vitiligo.
or they might be suitable for Sensitive Skin, so it's probably better than whatever you use at home.
It's up to you what you put on your skin.
I prefer an Pure Organic Skin Products if available.

Some will not explain thorougly if not asked, You as a patient have the right to know as much possible for informations regarding Vitiligo.
So don't be shy to ask questions.

How about all those Vitiligo cure promises on the internet, Do they work ?
Is it useful taking those Supplements they offer, etc ?
Well, I don't know.
and even if it works, Results vary from one person to another.
So.... research first, Go on to forums, read other people's stories and ask around.
Ask the manufacturers some questions.
and Decide for yourself what's best for you.

What cover up / make up do you use to cover your Vitiligo ?
I use Covermark, although I don't think it's the same as the US product at www.covermark.com
It's a chocolate-brown coloured paste in a little container.
I use it by using a small cottonbud, and "smearing" it on my face to get an even colour.
It can last all day but at the end of the day, it fades a little.
I just have to be carefull not to wipe or touch the area where I apply the cover-up creme.
I bought it years ago in a beauty counter in a mall.
It's probably expired by now and I rarely use it anymore anyway. :P

Anyway, there are a lot of different brands out there.
And the only way of knowing which one is best for you is to try it.
Even though they provide you with colour charts and everything, you still have to try it on your skin to see if the colour matches and blends perfectly.

I have Vitiligo around my eye.
Will it make my eye / eyeball / pupil / iris turns white / loses its color ?
I've searched for that answer on the internet myself.
And Fortunately,
the answer is No, your eye will not lose its color.
That's what I know so far.

How do I plan to cure my vitiligo ?
First, for me at least, make sure it stops spreading, then it's time to heal it.
and If I can't cure my Vitiligo, at least it's not spreading anymore.
and when I'm better, spiritually, It won't affect me in anyway.
It sucks to have white patches on your face, but hey, it's kinda a cool reminder, like a stress level indicator.
Well, not really dat cool, but It's a reminder to always live healthily and be happy.
Otherwise it's gonna spread more............. haeuhrauhr
At least dat's how it is in my case.
and I'm just treating it with humor.
It's just skin colour, it's not contagious, it's not dangerous. I can cover it up with cosmetics.
Although most of my friends don't know I have Vitiligo and I don't really wanna tell them about it.
Too many questions and I'm tired of explaining it over and over again.
and Since I have Segmental Vitiligo, (only 1 side of the body, my left side)
What if I have an equal color on each side, half white and half tan.
Kinda like those villains in comic books huh ? :P

How do I feel about my Vitiligo ?
I'm personally a casual, laid back person, I don't really care much about the white patches on my face.
Yes there are times where it makes me feel bad, but it rarely happens.
I actually prefer to not cover up my Vitiligo, because I don't like wearing make-up.
But I'm just worried that I might scare people who don't know about Vitiligo. (like I was when I was a kid)
They might think that it's contagious and avoid contact with me, or stare and point.
but my parents insisted that I cover it up coz it looks to obvious and they don't want people to stare.
My parents mean well, but I just don't care if people stare or not. and instead of going into an argument with them, I put the cover up on my face.
It's no big deal, and with the cover up, you can't tell that I have vitiligo.

Since I am now a vegan,
How do I deal with "normal" food cravings as a Vegan ?
Here's a prologue :P
When I just got back from Europe, I was 8 kg (16 lbs) overweight...
hauehraueh thank you to all the yummy desserts there.
So I started exercising and going on a healthy Vegan diet.
then I lost 8 kg in almost a year, yeah, it's a long and healthy process.

Then I was off the vegan diet, I ate everything I like.
but since I was never too crazy about junk food anyway, I only gained about 1-2 extra kg (2-4 lbs)

And now I'm determined to cure Vitligo,
I'm starting to be a healthy Vegan again (started 1 April 2009)
and sometimes the thought of being a Vegan forever makes me wanna eat lambchops and peking duck even more :)
I've always loved food and dessert.
although lately I don't have much appetite for haagen dasz or creamy desserts.
A friend said that I might be lactose intolerant, but I love creamy stuff hahaha...
but coconut milk based ice cream are still tolerable and I love fried ice cream btw.

So.......... how do I deal with food cravings ?
I have a motivation to cure Vitiligo and I'm determined to do this.
So after having eaten everything and anything I love for all my life, I think it's okay to stop that for now and start on a healthier lifestyle.

As a Vegan, I don't think I ever fell bloated or too full after eating, since I never ate anything greasy.
I always feel good n light after any Vegan meal.
But when I used to eat everything, I'd feel bad after eating too much fried food, or too much sugar, too much meat. You know the feeling, it's a sluggish feeling , you feel weighted down, plus a discomfort in your stomach or you feel a sorethroat coming after eating too much fried food. etc etc. and you swore that you'll never eat that again in your life. Not to mention the guilt that comes after eating too much !!
So When I have food cravings, I tend to focus on that feeling of discomfort and the craving's gone and I enjoy my bowl of salad :)
For now, I don't mind eating Vegan food, Fresh Vegetables and Fruits everyday.
I love Vegetables and Fruits as much as I love any other food anyway :)
and if it turns out that I end up being a healthy Vegan for life, so be it.

Am I secretly wanting to eat meat again ?
Previously, I generally eat more seafood and normally not too much meat in general anyway.
But yes, I'm actually secretly counting on being Happy & not stressed will cure my Vitiligo and then I'll be able to eat whatever I want again :)
But for Now, I'm trying to be a healthy Vegan,
no fried stuff, no white sugar, no simple carbs (bread, white rice, etc)
I won't lie, sometimes the food can be bland, but I always feel light afterwards and no guilt !!
Sometimes I'd sulk a little bit when I eat because I get bored of the food while everyone else is eating the normal food.
And that makes me think about my late grandma, who ate everything and was in great health until she passed, she was never sick, rarely got the flu, but at old age, although she had dementia and oestoporosis , so maybe her diet was lacking in something.

We'll see what happens,
If the diet can help cure my vitiligo, why not continue being a healthy Vegan.
If the diet doesn't help and My Vitiligo is cured by me being happy and unstressed, then in the future, I probably will re-eat meat, it's better to enjoy what i eat , be happy and satisfied, but be in control and not over eat n still eat more veggies n fruits mostly.
But you know when you're looking at food pictures or when presented with food in general, you have more appetite coz the food's usually garnished with vegetables, right ?
You might not eat the Vegetables, but it definitely increases your appetite, so I think we are all unconsicously attracted to eating Vegetables but we just don't eat them.
Just imagine a block of steak sitting on a plate without anything else, just a brown slightly burnt chunk of meat, not so appetizing right ?
I personally love vegan food, esp looking at vegan blogs, but I dun like cooking/preparing food and being in the kitchen, n since vegan food have to be fresh, so i have to be in the kitchen a lot, oh la la la
If only there were Vegan Restaurants or Raw food Restaurant here, I'd be so happy.
btw, I don't really go to Vegetarian restaurants coz the have more "fake meat" options there and I don't really eat them.

How do I deal with family's n friends' invitations to dinners ?
I still go out with them, but I always eat first at home so I'm full n satisfied and I always bring sliced apples in a container just in case I got hungry.
If I had to go out for the whole day, then in Restaurants, I have to eat salad only or fruits only.
and it's not that bad really.
and if I get a really bad craving I wanna take over their food :P , I focus on that lousy feeling I get after I ate too much and I'm fine :)

What are my favorite foods ?
Coffee in Italy, not Starbucks.
French / Italian bread, especially pain aux noix and pane di olive.
gnocchi with pesto sauce, I could eat it everyday, Actually I did for 2 weeks in a row, then for the whole year I didn't eat it again coz I got bored of it hohoho.
Fried tempeh
Fried anything --> crunchy
Lamb curry + naan,
Panini and Piada
Prawn mayo,
Sushi unagi,
Peking duck,
Tounge, yes tounge
Sweet sour pork
Desserts, all of em
Ice cream
and many many many more
Again, sometimes after eating too much, I feel too full and bloated, too much grease / fat / sugar and then I'll say that I'll never eat that again , but on the next occassion, the sight of the food, the smell, the aroma and I lose and I'll end up eating all of it again and feeling bad again, It's an endless evil circle actually.
So I'm now in control of what I eat and I choose to be a healthy Vegan :)

What NOW ?
Now, I am determined to cure my vitiligo, but I'm doing it in a healthy natural way.
I'm doing it my way, by being a Vegan and being happy.
If the Vitiligo stays, then it doesn't bother me.
It the Vitiligo gets cured, then I'm happy to share.