Mumbai: London-based fitness model and entrepreneur Ninu Galot and Nawaz Modi Singhania, founder of Body Art, a chain of fitness centres in Mumbai, and recipient of the ‘Wellness Icon of the Year 2017’ by Asia Spa group, on Monday, hosted a session on ‘Vitiligo’, a long-term, chronic medical condition that results in loss of pigmentation, in white patches, visible on the skin across the body, hair and eyes.
With about 0.5 to 1 per cent of the world’s population suffering from Vitiligo, approximately 65 million people globally suffer from the skin disorder. Many Indians suffer from Vitiligo too, along with the social stigmas attached to it, making those affected less confident and so less sociable.
In support of those suffering from Vitiligo, Nawaz Modi Singhania, Ninu Galot, dermatologist Maya Tulpule and Urmilla Prabhu, the Voice of Vitiligo, have teamed up to speak about the condition, encouraging and creating awareness among afflicted self-conscious patients and their families and how a healthy lifestyle including exercise, good nutrition and adequate sleep, can help boost a person’s immunity playing a positive role in managing Vitiligo.
Ninu Galot, a Vitiligo patient herself, commented, “When I decided to do a fitness competition back in London, it helped to raise awareness about Vitiligo. The support I got from family and friends was admirable. I found a change in everyone around me and found a lot of support while going through my challenges. Many people, who didn’t know I was suffering from Vitiligo, saw me as someone who had everything; a confident and successful business woman. However within, I wasn’t happy, smiling for people around me. But now I am smiling for ‘Me’, as I have set myself free by being open about it. Over a period of time, I began realising that people loved me for who I was. The only person, who did not love me, was me.”
“Instead of taking the usual path, Vitiligo afflicted patients take the way of being embarrassed and going under cover. Ninu went the other way and decided to come out with it, be honest and actually talk about it extensively and create a support system, both in the UK and in India. As a fitness expert, it made great sense for me to talk about the importance that fitness, health, a good lifestyle, adequate nutrition, immunity building, adequate sleep, hydration, etc, all have on this skin condition and how Vitiligo can even be managed to a large extent. I have been working hard to create awareness among those afflicted by the condition, along with their families, to better handle the skin condition. Going forward, it is in my endeavour to work with those affected by Vitiligo, to help them bring out the positives in their lives,” said Nawaz Modi Singhania.
Vitiligo is ‘not contagious’. Globally, about 1 per cent of people are affected by Vitiligo, with males and females equally affected and has been described since ancient history.
There is no known cure for Vitiligo. Avoiding excessive sun exposure, using a good sunblock to protect the skin are easy tips to protect oneself. Avoiding scratches, burns and cuts, direct sun exposure and swimming, reduced vitamin C intake are other easy measures.
Exercise, on the other hand, releases happy endorphins and is highly recommended for people to incorporate as part of their daily lives, along with good nutrition and adequate sleep, to boost immunity. Exercise, including Yoga Asanas, helps develop new cells while removing and clearing away dead skin cells, and also acts on the endocrine glands, thus regulating the production of hormones.
As a measure to fight Vitiligo, increased water intake helps maintain a healthful PH balance. Increased intake of green and fresh vegetables and fresh fruit, helps in increasing immunity. Reducing milk intake, red meat, spicy and oily foods are recommended.