One of the promising vitiligo treatments relies on piperine, the main compound in black pepper to stimulate pigment cells (melanocytes) reproduce faster thus repigmenting the white patches.
At present, piperine research focuses more on mice than on humans but nevertheless news that scientists are getting involved into the vitiligo cause, can only lead to positive results for us, the patients.
Currently , there are many piperine based products available as a food additive but none are used for skin applications. No studies have been conducted on how the body reacts on the long term to piperine.
I have read on a number of forums, that people have started preparing their own pepper based products, getting bored of waiting for the official medical treatment. Surprisingly, some are claiming to have positive results, in the form of freckles inside the white vitiligo patches, the first step towards repigmentation. Here are some of the 'recipes':
5 drops of black pepper essential oil (can be found in any Indian supply store or online) mixed with one ounce of base cream.
200 ml refined alcohol mixed with 20g of grounded black pepper is left in a jar for 1-2 weeks until the color changes. Each day the mixture must be stirred. In the end, the mixture can be filtered with a coffee filter paper or napkin. It is applied topically on the white spots with a cotton cub, avoiding sensitive areas (eyes, mouth)
Please note that these treatments are not approved by any health care providers and have been used by the individuals on their own risk.
Piperine research is currently being conducted at Oregon Health Science University in Portland by Dr. Amala Soumyanath and in the Pharmacy Department at Kings College London, University of London by Antony Young, fotobiologist.