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British researchers at King’s College in London have demonstrated in mice that piperine - the compound that gives black pepper its spicy, pungent flavor - helps stimulate pigmentation.

Piperine was shown to be particularly effective when combined with phototherapy (light)treatment using ultraviolet radiation. The research provides support for the future clinical evaluation of topical piperine and its derivatives as treatments for vitiligo. Vitiligo is a skin condition that results in skin whitening due to destruction of melanin. Pop star Michael Jackson has attributed his gradual skin whitening to vitiligo. Melanin is the pigment which gives skin its color and can be of particular concern in people with darker skin.

Current treatments for vitiligo include steroids applied to patchy skin and phototherapy, but many people don’t respond to steroids and phototherapy can increase the risk of skin cancer.

When used alone, piperine stimulated pigmentation to an even, light brown color within six weeks. When aided by radiation, the result was even darker skin in about the same period of time.


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote May 28, 2008
    • Another great way to treat Vitiligo is the Dead Sea, I’ve spent 3 weeks last year for psoriatic arthritis and met many people that have Vitiligo, and come to Israel for the sun and the sea.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pharmagirl wrote May 30, 2008
    • I have heard about the restorative properties of the Dead Sea so not surprising that individuals have had success in treating Vitiligo.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lisa Kochevar wrote Oct 23, 2008
    • That would be wonderful but in this economy I can’t justify such a trip for an even skin tone.  Any other ideas within a poor girl’s budget??  :o)  I have Vitiligo over 90% of my body including hair on my entire body (even eyebrows and lashes are mostly white now).  I’ve always been very fair-skinned so it was and isn’t a major problem for me but if I could find a natural remedy that wouldn’t cause me any ill effect I would be willing to try it.  

      I had never heard of Peperine until now but I’ll certainly read more about it, thanks for the information.  The more I’m here the more I love this website, thank you!

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