Vitiligo is a skin pigmentation disorder associated with the disappearance of melanin and the emergence of white spots on certain areas of the skin. This pathology can also affect hair and the retina of the eye.
Medicine identifies the following causes of the disease: heredity, medications, toxins, harmful production (phenol production, etc.), weakened immunity, deficiency of copper and zinc in the body, infectious diseases, hormonal imbalance, autoimmune processes (immune system destroys its own melanocytes), skin inflammations, necrotic processes on the skin, physical injuries, neuro-psychological processes (skin contains the largest number of nerve endings, i.e., closely connected to the human nervous system), etc.
The first symptom of vitiligo is a single spot, which may decolorize gradually or over a few hours.
Then there is hyperpigmentation (darker color compared to the skin) around the spot, growth and merging of spots, localization (affecting one area of the skin), except for palms and soles of the feet (as the skin in these areas does not contain melanin), symmetrical skin damage, decolorization of hair on the affected skin area, and reticulate vitiligo (point-like decolorization of the skin).
It should be noted that besides the appearance of white spots, this pathology is not associated with either pain or itching of the skin. Only psychologically distressing white spots on the skin. It has been found that vitiligo more often affects children.
Psychosomatics of Vitiligo
Louise Hay calls the skin an organ of sensation and what protects a person’s individuality.
The skin is indeed very sensitive, as a huge number of autonomic nerve fibers come out on its surface.
It is known that the human autonomic nervous system, which manages all physiological processes in the body, is not controlled by consciousness. But, being part of the entire nervous system, it is influenced by a person’s thoughts and feelings (including those that are suppressed and pushed into the subconscious).
According to the autoimmune theory of vitiligo, when emotional tensions bring a person’s body to a state of stress, the immune system, designed to protect, interprets this stress signal in its own way and begins to overzealously perform its duties, destroying its cells. Considering that it is the skin that contains a large number of nerves, it takes the first hit.
On the other hand, the skin, as the boundary of our body, interacts with the surrounding environment. This makes the skin a kind of organ of contact with the outside world, an ‘organ of communication’ with the world.
But something starts to interfere with normal contact with the surrounding world. Usually, these are negative experiences, thoughts, emotions.
As Louise Hay writes, the basis of skin diseases are such negative emotions as fear, anxiety, worry, old forgotten disgust, experiencing threats to oneself.
It is known that the location of white spots indicates a specific emotional sphere related to which a person experiences tension.
Another clue is that the skin reflects a person’s ability to know their worth against the background of the surrounding world, reflects a person’s opinion of themselves.
Psychological Causes of Vitiligo
Dr. V. Sinelnikov writes that vitiligo appears as a result of complete alienation from the world, self-isolation, when a person does not feel like a full-fledged member of society.
V. Zhikarentsev believes that the disease is caused by a person’s feeling that they are not connected to anything, the feeling that they are outside of things, not part of any group (referring to social groups).
Psychologist E. Guskova asserts that the basis of vitiligo is the suffering of a person from the fact that they are ‘not too clean,’ the desire to ‘wash off.’ The patient knows that their conscience is not clean, or they blame themselves for something (even without being guilty).
According to this author, a child can also unconsciously choose such a way to stand out, to attract parents’ attention if they feel a lack of it.
The psychologist gives an example when the spots on a child’s skin become a symbol of light against darkness if the parents call their child so (‘you are my light in this difficult life’).
Churaev M.Yu. asserts that the causes of vitiligo should be sought in the patient’s childhood, namely, in how the parents behaved towards them. In this regard, he identifies two main psychosomatic causes of the disease: hyper-care as the formation of a weak, unadapted personality and perfectionism when parents demand too much from the child.
Psychological cause of vitiligo as an autoimmune pathology (like all other autoimmune diseases), Churaev sees selfishness turning into egocentrism.
Among other metaphysical causes of vitiligo, psychologists highlight such as the fear of being rejected. It should be noted that this fear appears when the person themselves rejects their own value.
Knowing that skin problems are a signal of disharmony in a person’s relationship with the surrounding world, most psychologists insist that the causes of this disharmony should be sought in early childhood.
Thus, the occurrence of vitiligo in the future may be influenced by insufficient or excessive satisfaction of the child’s psycho-emotional needs (for example, not being picked up at all, or, conversely, never being put down).
Far-reaching consequences in the form of disease can also be caused by intrusion into the child’s world (for example, authoritarian parents: ‘you will go to karate,’ ‘you must listen to your parents,’ etc.) or ignoring the child’s interests (‘don’t run,’ ‘don’t make noise,’ etc.).
Such prohibitions deprive the child of a natural way to get rid of excess energy. Later in life, when faced with the impossibility of satisfying their needs, a person begins to suppress their emotions, thereby accumulating tension. Suppressed emotions provoke the growth of antibodies, which then come out as skin ailments.
Thus, a person is silent, but their skin ‘screams’ about an internal problem.
Typically, a person with vitiligo experiences stress from a feeling of uselessness and lack of demand. They want to declare themselves, their needs, to draw attention to themselves (as white spots stand out).
Such a person feels like an outcast (lives with the feeling of ‘not like everyone else’).
They are also characterized by a sense of alienation and detachment, and they lose interest in the surrounding world.
Paths to Healing
Medicine claims that for curing vitiligo, a comprehensive approach is necessary, not just one medication. But even with comprehensive treatment, including topical, systemic, vitamin preparations, and physiotherapeutic procedures, healing occurs only in 20% of patients.
Interestingly, another 7% of patients experience spontaneous remission of the disease. It seems that the latter fact once again confirms the presence of psychological causes at the basis of this disease.
And, if so, it makes sense to find these causes within yourself (they were listed above) and embark on the path to healing.
So, if any of the psychological causes mentioned above ‘struck a chord’ with you (i.e., you felt it resonates with your inner state), then you already have a start to healing. Next, work with this cause: remember the circumstances under which it appeared in your life, what preceded it.
Yes, these may not be the most pleasant situations or events in your life, but our task is to understand that all events in our life happen for our development, spiritual and moral growth of the soul.
So, think about which qualities this event or situation was intended to develop. Hint: a person is mostly born to develop qualities such as Love (to the Creator, to Life, to the World, to oneself, to loved ones and all humanity, to the living), forgiveness, acceptance, patience, kindness, friendliness, mutual help, humility, sincerity, and other moral qualities.
But often, people, finding themselves in a certain situation, make a choice not in favor of development: instead of accepting a person, they start scolding and trying to change them, instead of accepting an event, they start resisting it, putting themselves into stress.
Now you have realized and understood why Life has put you in a particular situation. Then mentally ask for forgiveness (or you can do it out loud) from Life and from yourself (or from the person involved in the situation) for succumbing to negative feelings. Sincerely, from the heart.
If you do everything right, you will feel peace and lightness in your soul. Fear and other negative emotions will go away, and in their place will come trust in Life and in yourself, belief in yourself.
It remains only to note that to increase the effectiveness of working on yourself, you can choose helpers: harmonizing affirmations (‘I am safe,’ ‘my parents love me,’ ‘I trust Life,’ ‘I believe in myself,’ ‘I am a unique personality,’ etc.), relaxing music, nature, creativity, etc.
Wishing you acceptance and belief in yourself. You really are a unique and valuable person.