Understanding vitiligo: main treatment options available

close up photo of woman s shoulder

Premature whitening of the hair, depigmentation on various areas of the body including face, hands and feet, change in color of the retina all represent signs of vitiligo, a skin disorder that certainly does not discriminate, taking into account that it can affect all individuals across the globe, regardless of the age, language, religion, culture or gender. Everyone can recognize a person suffering from vitiligo due to the visible white patches on the skin, but most people do not actually know the causes leading to such an unforgiving skin disorder. These include heredity, meaning that sometimes it runs in the family, a virus, exposure to certain toxic chemicals, sunburn, which people can avoid easily, a stressful life event or an autoimmune disorder that forces the immune system, the body‘s natural defense, to destroy the melanocytes, skin cells that produce melanin, a skin-darkening pigment. Even though some people might have the tendency to stay away from those affected by vitiligo because it changes their physical appearance, the medical condition is harmless meaning that it is not contagious.

Experts recognize two main types, namely segmental and non-segmental. The first type is non-symmetrical and even though it spreads very quickly, it is not as erratic as non-segmental vitiligo, which results in skin patches on areas bearing too much sun exposure, such as mouth, nose, eyes, arms, knees and elbows. Those individuals who view it as a cosmetic issue are terribly mistaken because vitiligo represents a disease that requires medical treatment. Unfortunately, vitiligo does not have a cure, but specialists work towards decreasing its visibility. Thus, the most common vitiligo treatment options refer to phototherapy, whether with UVA light or UVB light, depigmenting and skin grafts, among others. Those who suffer from this medical condition choose make-up or tattooing as a solution to hide the skin blotches. The good news is that we can already start thinking about potential treatments developed in the future, such as a drug that sends stimuli forcing melanocytes to produce color, a drug that prevents vitiligo from spreading or a drug that reverses the change in or loss of color.

Until then however, those affected by the disease can explore the options available today, which involve medications, therapies and surgery. In what concerns medications, which have the purpose to restore skin tone as much as possible, we recognize creams, particularly corticosteroid cream, which is ideal in the early stage of the disease because they control inflammation and medications – calcineurin inhibitors –  that might provide satisfactory results for people with small white patches, which affects the immune system and have certain side-effects because researchers have identified a link between these medications and lymphoma. When it comes to therapies, doctors use a combination of psoralen and light therapy or photochemotherapy, which might prove to be more effective than the ones mentioned above, especially for widespread vitiligo. As for surgery, the methods available include blister or skin grafting and micropigmentation, which refers to implanting pigment into the patient’s skin. Grafting is a procedure that consists in applying small section of normal skin to areas without pigment.

4 Celebrities Who Have Dealt with Melasma

If you are dealing with melasma, one of the first things you need to know is that it is far more common than you realize. Many women suffer from melasma. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology call it “the mask of pregnancy” due to how often it occurs in pregnancy. As women’s hormones wreak havoc on their bodies, some women find they also wreak havoc on their skin.

If you are dealing with melasma, you are not alone. Even celebrities with a team of personal assistants, physicians, and makeup teams deal with melasma. Fame and fortune cannot hide the effects of the sun or your hormones. If you find solace in knowing celebrities suffer just like you, then keep reading!

Brooke Burke

Brooke Burke, the famous model and television host, publicly announced she deals with melasma by removing her makeup and showing her skin pigmentation issues on The Doctors television broadcast. She has honestly discussed seeking melasma treatment including chemical peels and laser treatments.

Ginger Zee

The ABC News chief meteorologist dealt with melasma during pregnancy and openly discussed her skin issues. In addition to chemical peels, she is now making every effort to avoid a recurrence by wearing SPF daily and going without makeup.

Jenna Dewan Tatum

Channing Tatum’s beautiful actress wife, Jenna, developed melasma during pregnancy and spent two years trying to lessen it. She eventually used a pigmentation reduction treatment and has been satisfied with the results.

Laura Worthington

After dealing with melasma during pregnancy, this Australian model now practices a regular sunscreen routine to avoid a recurrence. She is a fan of light therapy and microdermabrasion.

Ultimately, melasma is more of a nuisance than anything else. But, many women find the condition embarrassing. Since it is not guaranteed to fade on its own, you should seek help from your dermatologist.

11 Powerful Mental Techniques That Life Coaches Use

person standing on hand rails with arms wide open facing the mountains and clouds

Life coaches are a lot more powerful than they are often credited for. Life coaches are trained to use and teach techniques that can change the direction of people’s lives and keep them in continuous growth, prosperity, and expansion. These coaches hold the keys to ever expanding happiness, and they have access to tools that can help people find success and bring an end to life-long pain. Each life coach is trained with a unique set of skills to help their clients reach success and good health, but there are a wide variety of techniques that life coaches use when working with clients. Here are 11 of the most powerful mental techniques employed by coaches:

1- Open-ended Questions

Life coaches are trained to help us figure ourselves out in ways that are not easy for us to do on our own. One of their most effective strategies is to ask us open ended questions rather than questions with a limited range of answers. This allows us to enter new areas of thought never visited before and encourages us to contemplate our true dreams and desires.

2- Guided Meditation

One of the most healing and beneficial practices in existence is meditation. Meditation is widely known for its ability to increase focus, improve health, reduce stress, and even add years to a person’s life. If you are new to meditating or are only familiar with certain forms of meditation, your life coach can introduce you to the different meditation techniques and practices as well as guide you through the process until you are comfortable doing it on your own.

3- Guided Visualizations

Visualization is a practice used by highly successful people. Life coaches utilize this technique to help their clients reach their goals. It is the process of vividly imagining your life the way you want it to be and picturing important scenarios turning out successfully. Life coaches can guide you through the practice to teach you the art of visualization as well as to help you choose the imagery that will lead you to the greatest happiness and success.

4- Positive Affirmations

One of the best tools when it comes to changing your life and restructuring your patterns of thought are positive affirmations. Positive affirmations are often utilized by life coaches to help their clients integrate more positivity into their lives as well as to help them refocus their outlook. These affirmations can be as simple as, “I am successful in everything I do,” and as detailed and specific as, “I make three million dollars a year.” Whatever it is that you desire, you can help bring it into your life with the use of affirmative phrases.

5- Shifts in Perception

A lot of the time, what causes our greatest stress is not the events that happen in our lives but our perception of the events. Our thoughts can work against us, greatly adding to our problems and making them bigger rather than working for us and making them smaller and more manageable. Life coaches delve into their clients’ issues in order to help them identify where they need to make changes in perception.

6- Thought Refocusing

We can feel better instantly and in any situation if we focus on something that we like rather than things that are not favorable to us. If we shift our thoughts and emotions to things that we are happy about, we will soon find ourselves feeling happy too. Life coaches are well aware of this, and they help their clients break their emotional habits by training them to think happy, positive thoughts.

7- Gratitude and Appreciation

One of the most powerful things that has the ability to transform lives is the practice of gratitude and appreciation. Life coaches encourage their clients to make lists of things that they are grateful for to help them alter their brain chemistry and refocus their thinking to the positive side of life. People who are always looking for things to appreciate overlook many of the things that they would normally complain about and experience higher levels of joy and happiness on a consistent basis.

8- Evidence Hunting

Once you establish what you want to experience in life and what you want to believe, the next step is to find evidence that backs up your desired experience and beliefs. Life coaches are often trained to help their clients seek and gather evidence for beliefs that align with the lives they want to live. For example, John wants to replace his old belief that money is hard to come by with a new belief that money is always making its way to him. He replaces the evidence for his old belief with evidence that supports his new belief until it becomes his reality. John’s life coach will likely help him find supporting evidence already established in his belief system as well as research for new evidence for the desired belief.

9- EFT Tapping

Tapping is often used by life coaches as an alternative to traditional acupuncture in which certain acupressure points are “tapped” on repeatedly until a negative emotion or sensation of pain subsides. This method has resulted in success in many different users with a variety of ailments, and it is both safe and natural.

10- Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

This type of coaching/therapy helps clients manage their stress levels, improve their communicative skills, and break negative patterns in thought and behavior. The practice is conducted by utilizing and responding to verbal and non-verbal responses of the client to help root out the problem and establish better habits and behaviors. This type of therapy has been effective in treating phobias, depression, and even learning disorders. Fish around to see which life coaches are trained and experienced in this type of coaching/therapy.

11- Cognitive Behavioural Coaching

This form of coaching or therapy helps clients to change their thinking patterns which ultimately manifests in happier, healthier lives. The logic behind this approach is that negative thinking is learned, and it can also be unlearned. A trained life coach can help clients by guiding them through the process of replacing their irrational, negative thoughts with positive, uplifting ones. This practice has been known to relieve anxiety, depression, phobias, and it is also effective in raising self-esteem.

All of these methods put life coaches in a powerful position to help their clients transform their lives and fulfil their dreams. Each life coach possesses a unique set of skills, so there is always a variety to choose from when it comes to selecting a life coach who is experienced in applying the techniques that sound most appealing to you. With all of these options before you, it becomes impossible to believe that there is no way out of a bad situation. Life can always get better.