After many years of suffering with Vitiligo, I’m lucky in the fact that it still only probably affects less than 20% of my body. I’m repeatedly told by family, friends and colleagues that it’s not noticeable unless I point it out to them.
This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect me psychologically because it does, often I can drop into a minor depressive trip and refuse to spend any length of time looking in the mirror for a few days. Although my affected spots may be limited, the thought and fear of it spreading is what really screws with my head.
About a year ago, I finally decided to take treating the condition seriously rather than just learning to live with it.
I first investigated diet, which I still struggle with daily but I have no doubt in my mind that this really can hold the answers to a lot of conditions, not just Vitiligo. The reason I struggle is
- I can’t cook(learning)!
- My job involves a lot of travel, so cooking from a hotel room is….. challenging!
- There is so much conflicting information; Vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo, 80/10/10, Gluten Free and Raw cooking etc… All appear to have health benefits, each with it’s own contradicting arguments and downfalls.
As mentioned before and in previous posts, it’s a work in progress. I’m sure I’ll write more blog posts in the future regarding food and diet.
Secondly, I looked into UV light treatments. People obviously get results from this treatment but it’s always made me nervous with associated skin cancer risks. Going under UVA or UVB lamps for a prolonged period didn’t seem to be a wise choice and that’s why I looked at the Excimer Laser. Due to it’s high intensity 308nm UV beam, the time required to treat the affected areas is much less. But, as my previous post shows, it’s pretty much non existent in the UK.
Then about six months ago whilst Googling I stumbled across Vitiligo treatment at the Dead Sea, Jordan. From what I could see, it was relatively unknown until a few years ago and still a number of people don’t know about it.
Dr Karin Schallreuter is a Professor of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology and is currently based out of Institute for Pigmentary Disorders in Greifswald, Germany. She offers a yearly trip to the Dead Sea for 21 days along with the use of her developed Pseudocatalase cream. The results (I’ll try make an effort to reference them at some point) from other Vitiligo sufferers that have been to the Dead Sea is very promising. Check out Lee Thomas, he’s a news reporter from America that recently went on the trip.
It has been up for some debate whether Dr Schallreuter is actually doing anything special because I’ve actually been e-mailed by two others Vitiligo sufferers saying that just going to Dead Sea initiated re-pigmentation without any special creams etc. My plan is to try this with her first and then following years I will go to Jordan by myself and follow my own treatment plan(with the use of Pseudocatalase if It’s available to order).
The website for Dr Schallreuter’s Dead Sea trip is http://www.vitiligo.eu.com/. I e-mailed asking to book on the 2014 trip and I was told I’d need an initial consultation in Germany.
I’m not going to lie…. All this is expensive!
Consultation Fee: 350,00 Euro
Blood Test: 160,000 Euro
Pseudocatalase cream: 95.20 Euro
And then I’ve got my travel costs
Return flight from Heathrow: £159.35
Hotel in Greifswald, Germany: £120.05
Realistically I’m looking at about nearly £900 after everything for the consultation and still no idea on the overall cost of the trip to the Dead Sea next year, I’d be pleasantly surprised if it was less that £2000!
Anyway, the initial consultation is all booked for the 8th of October(one month exactly from this blog post!)and travel is all paid for.
I’ll update closer to flight date!