Tuesday 6 Ramadan 1444 - 28 March 2023

Ruling on using creams to make the colour of the skin all the same in the case of vitiligo


Publication : 23-11-2022

Views : 1239


I have been suffering from vitiligo for approximately seven years, and it looks unsightly in the extremities, face, head and genitals. Recently I decided to make the colour all the same (i.e., to make the entire body without colour, so that the colour of my body will be the same, which is the colour of the vitiligo). Please note that I have tried almost all the medicines for vitiligo and I have not found any benefit in them. What is the ruling on making the colour all the same? Please note that removing the colour of the skin will be permanent and not temporary.


Praise be to Allah.


What is meant by making the colour all the same in order to treat vitiligo is removing the melanin from healthy skin so that the colour of the whole body will all be the same, and the entire body will be white.

This option may be resorted to if the vitiligo has spread to 30-50% of the body, or in the case of active peripheral vitiligo that affects the hands, feet and lips, as the success rate of restoring colour to these areas of the body is almost non-existent.

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There is nothing wrong with treating the affected areas with creams or otherwise, because this comes under the heading of medical treatment and restoring things to the way Allah, may He be exalted, created them.

This is indicated by the hadith narrated by Abu Dawud (4232), at-Tirmidhi (1770) and an-Nasa’i (5161) from ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Tarafah, according to which the nose of his grandfather ‘Arfajah ibn As‘ad was cut off on the day of [the battle of] al-Kulab, so he acquired a nose made of silver, but it began to stink, so the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) told him to acquire a nose made of gold. This hadith was classed as hasan by al-Albani in Sahih Abi Dawud.

And Ahmad (3946) narrated that Ibn Mas‘ud said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) forbid plucking facial hair, filing teeth, adding hair extensions and tattooing, except in the case of disease.

Ash-Shawkani (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The apparent meaning of the words “except in the case of disease” indicates that the prohibition mentioned only applies to what is done for the purpose of beautification, not that which is done to treat disease or defects, so that is not prohibited."(Nayl al-Awtar  6/229).

With regard to doing that to healthy parts of the body in order to make it all the same colour, that is subject to further discussion, because this is a permanent change of the colour, so it may be said that it comes under the heading of changing the creation of Allah, may He be exalted, and it is changing healthy parts of the body, and is not removing a defect in them. This would dictate that it is not allowed, as we have explained in the answer to question no. 174371 . For more information concerning that, please see the answers to questions no. 107690 and 273826 .

Or it may be said that this is a type of treatment for the body, to make the colour all the same, as it was originally created, and to remove something that is off-putting and to take away psychological pain, so a concession may be granted for that reason, just as a concession may be granted allowing something to be cut from the body and placed in another part of the body for the purpose of medical treatment, if the hoped-for benefit outweighs any possible harm.

This second idea is more likely to be correct – and Allah knows best – which is that it is permissible to whiten the rest of the body in order to make it all the same colour, if it is thought most likely that the colour will appear uniform and acceptable, and it will not be a kind of white colour that is off-putting.

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A