A woman whose skin was covered with lighter spots of vitiligo claims that being vegan has reversed her condition.
Jamila Davis, 25, from Florida, was diagnosed with the skin condition caused by a lack of melanin, a pigment of the skin – when she was eight.
The spots spread slowly throughout her body, which means that strangers often stare at her because of her unique appearance.
Miss Davis decided to become vegan after her father died of a stroke in 2017, after the couple had plans to go on plants together.
A year after her meat-free diet, the student was stunned to see her color appear on parts of her body. Now her original color is completely back on most of her face.
Scientists have yet to prove that a diet will treat vitiligo, while experts also say there are none that make the condition worse.
It is not clear whether Miss Davis uses other standard treatments for her condition.
Jamila Davis, whose skin turned completely white from vitiligo, claims that her condition has been reversed since she became vegan. Shown before and after
Miss Davis was not affected by the condition until she was eight years old. Previously pictured
Miss Davis said: & # 39; When I grew up with it, it never really bothered me. I really liked the fact that I was unique to everyone.
& # 39; But there would be times when children would stare at me and point their fingers at me, and others would laugh or even say small, painful things.
& # 39; Now that I go through the reversal and the same process when I lost my pigmentation, I get the looks, points and even the little ones that say, "Mommy, what's on her face?" kind of questions.
& # 39; My friends and family say things like it's great to see how I change back to my original color and how strong and beautiful I am while embracing myself. & # 39;
CAN A VEGAN DIET TREAT VITILIGO?
Scientists have yet to prove that any diet will treat vitiligo.
Patients' skin has lost melanin because, for some reason, the pigment-forming cells called melanocytes have been destroyed.
Pigmentation is colors. For example, if you are sick or the skin is damaged by sun or acne, your skin may change color, become darker, called hyperpigmentation or lighter, which is hypopigmentation.
A diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals promotes healthy skin and can play a role in pigmentation.
The Vitiligo Society states: “Current research suggests that changing the food you eat will not cure your vitiligo.
& # 39; However, this may help if you are not eating a healthy, varied and balanced diet right now. This & # 39; n diet is needed to give you a good supply of nutrients. & # 39;
Non-segmental vitiligo, the most common type where white spots appear symmetrically on both sides of the body, is thought to be an autoimmune disease.
The immune system does not work well in autoimmune diseases. The immune system destroys the melanocyte skin cells that make melanin.
Dr. Emma Wedgeworth, consultant dermatologist and spokesperson for the British Skin Foundation, said: & # 39; Unfortunately there is very little evidence regarding nutrition and vitiligo, but I do recommend a generally healthy diet to support the immune system. & # 39;
Dr. Wedgeworth said the vast majority of her patients do not have improved symptoms of vitiligo by changing their diet.
The standard therapy treatments include topical creams, powders, phototherapy or skin transplants.
As a child, Miss Davis noticed a small white spot on her eye in 2001 that initially did not worry her or her parents.
But spots were slowly beginning to appear that led her parents to take her to a doctor.
Miss Davis said: & # 39; First my parents and I hadn't thought about it. I did a lot of karate, so we thought it was a small, simple cut in my eye until we noticed it was spreading in different places.
& # 39; The spread was not like an overnight stay that it took weeks, months or even years. But when we saw another place, we knew that something was not normal.
& # 39; Because my mother was a nurse, she immediately rushed me to the dermatologist. I learned what I was diagnosed with. & # 39;
People with vitiligo, which varies in severity, do not have melanin, which is produced by skin cells called melanocytes that give the skin its color.
The condition affects no more than one percent of the world's population, according to the US National Library of Medicine.
In most cases it is an autoimmune disease, where the immune system destroys the skin cells of the melanocytes.
There are a large number of treatment options to camouflage the patches, restore the color or prevent the patches from spreading, including topical creams, phototherapy and even skin grafts.
Miss Davis said: “People usually stared, asked questions about what I had. In all honesty some people would be a bit scared and especially when I was young and around children.
& # 39; Even now, at this age, children are scared to come to me, which is good. I look a little different. But when I turned completely white, they didn't really bother me.
& # 39; Sometimes it would make me sad because many children would stare at me sometimes, but I never let that happen to me.
In 2001 Miss Davis saw a small white spot on her eye (photo)
Initially, Miss Davis and her parents did not worry about the white spots on her skin. But they began to spread rapidly and vitiligo was diagnosed with her
The vitiligo covered the entire body of Miss Davis except some plasters before she became vegan
& # 39; I have always found a way to explain the issue I had to others, and I have always been accepted. So it didn't bother me so much after I found out I had it. & # 39;
Miss Davis decided to go to the plant when her father died because they had plans to do it together to take better care of their health.
She said: “The biggest reason I decided to investigate reversing this condition was my father's death two years ago.
& # 39; My father and I had huge plans to go together on a plant basis and just take care of ourselves in a better way. But I never thought it would really bring back my color.
& # 39; But I know deep down that he is proud of me because of the opportunity I took. He really is one of the main reasons why I decided to look at it the way I did. & # 39;
Before she became vegan, Miss Davis mainly consumed chicken, fish and a little red meat, as well as junk food such as chips, ice cream and meals.
Now that she has become vegan, she still eats one of her favorite meals such as pizza, as long as she replaces the ingredients with vegetable toppings.
Some additional therapies claim to relieve or prevent vitiligo. However, there is no evidence to support their effectiveness, the NHS states.
Miss Davis, pictured when her skin was turning white, decided to go to the plant when her father died because they had plans to do it together to take better care of their health
A year after her vegan diet, Miss Davis, her color began to show up all over her body and she was astonished
Although there is no scientific evidence that this diet can prevent or treat vitiligo, Ms. Davis says it has done her skin a world of good. She is depicted with the color that returns to her face
Although there is no scientific evidence that this diet can prevent or treat vitiligo, Ms. Davis says it has done her skin a world of good.
She said: “It helps because I give my body the right nutrients that are needed to reverse the body's problems.
& # 39; In my opinion, it's simple; if you just give your body what it deserves, simple things can be solved. I feel more than wonderful. I really feel that I can tell my story more there. & # 39;
Miss Davis has never felt happier about herself and has decided to share her story with others to encourage more people to embrace their looks, no matter how they look.
She said: & I can show others with or without health problems how they can really love themselves, be a strong person in their minds and just think amazing things about themselves.
& # 39; I fully embrace it every day; I will love this condition forever. It doesn't build my life completely and it's not the most important fact about me. But it has helped me grow and learn to really love myself.
Miss Davis said she has never felt happier since her veganism
& # 39; I believe I can show people how to have great faith. At the end of the day I want to show others where really loving themselves can get them.
& # 39; The advice I can give is even if you don't want to turn it around or change the way you eat. Always know that you are beautiful and strong with the condition. & # 39;
Dr. Emma Wedgeworth, consultant dermatologist and spokesperson for the British Skin Foundation said: “We know that vitiligo is caused by the body's immune system that responds to pigment cells in the skin and stops the production of pigment – hence the white spots.
# We do not fully understand why this is happening, there seems to be a genetic tendency, but damage to the skin and possible lifestyle factors such as stress can make it worse.
& # 39; Vitiligo can improve spontaneously and we also use creams and light therapy to help. Unfortunately, there is very little evidence regarding nutrition and vitiligo, but I do recommend a generally healthy diet to support the immune system.
& # 39; I think it's great that this lady has noticed an improvement. However, my experience is that for the vast majority of patients dietary changes do not improve their vitiligo. & # 39;
WHAT IS VITILIGO?
The Canadian fashion model Winnie Harlow is a well-known vitiligo patient
Vitiligo is one of the most common autoimmune diseases and is caused by a lack of melanin, the pigment that gives the skin its color.
Late singer Michael Jackson has always said that he was injured by a rare skin disease called vitiligo – but his claim is shrouded in controversy because many experts are adamant that he was not a patient.
The Canadian fashion model Winnie Harlow is a well-known patient.
The body's immune system attacks the pigment cells and confuses them with foreign invaders.
This causes painless white spots on exposed areas such as the face and fingers, although they can also appear on the wrists, around the eyes, groin, armpits and in the mouth.
The disease affects around one in 200 people and around 50 percent develop their first symptoms before the age of 20, although it is not clear why.
However, stressful events, such as childbirth, hormonal changes or even cuts, can cause this – there is also a genetic link.
There is no cure, but some treatments can reverse pigment loss if used early enough.
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