What is Leucoderma (Vitiligo)?
Leucoderma is also known as viligo. The word Lecoderma means ‘ white skin’. Leucoderma is a skin condition in which there is a loss of brown color (pigment) from areas of skin, resulting in irregular white patches that feels like normal skin. In actual it is a pigmentation disorder in which melanocytes (the cells that make pigment) in the skin are destroyed. As a result, white patches appear on the skin in different parts of the body. Sometimes the hairs that grows on the affected areas also turns white.
Lecucoderma can occur at any age and in either sex. The incidence worldwide is less than 1%. The incidence is bit higher in India. 30 percent of people with vitiligo have a family member with the disease. Lecucoderma is, however, more common in women than men. The most affected areas are the hands, the neck, the back and the wrist in that order.
Causes of leucoderma (vitiligo)
The skin has certain pigments known as melanin, who’s function is to give colour to the skin and this pigment melanin is been produced by cells named melanocytes. In leucoderma these melanocytes stop the process of making melanin, thus in such cases this disease exhibits itself by showing a white patch on that part of the body.
The exact cause of leucoderma is unknown, only few factors that could possibly be the reason of this are known.
The most widely accepted view is that the depigmentation occurs because vitiligo is an autoimmune disease (a disease in which a person's immune system reacts against the body's own organs or tissues).
* Mental stress and worries
* Gastric troubles, typhoid and worm infestations
* Disturbed hepatic functioning
* mechanism and burn injuries.
Leucoderma in itself does not leads to any organic harm to body. Its more of a social stigma and the patient feels embarrased.
Symptom of Leucoderma (Vitiligo)
The most notable symptom of vitiligo is depigmentation of patches of skin. There is sudden or graduall appearance of small white spot which later on develops into a patch. This pach of white depigmented skin keeps on growing bigger and bigger in size. If there are multiple spots near by they eventually merge together forming a broader bach. These patches are a bit paller in colour when they start developing but later on they become white milky in colour with the passage of time due to loss of pigment. The edges are well defined but irregular.
It mostly affects the face, elbows, knees, hands and feets. Depigmentation is particularly noticeable around body orifices, such as the mouth, eyes, nostrils, genitalia and umbilicus. It affects both sides of the body equally.
It could be focal(depigmentation limited to one or only a few areas), segmental(depigmented patches that develop on one side of the body) or generalised (depigmentation occurs symmetrically on both sides of the body). The later one is the most common.
Some patients especially the younger ones suffer from psycological stress due to social stigma or cosmetic reason.
Prevention and diet management tips for Leucoderma (Vitiligo)
* Vitamin C in citrus fruits tends to reduce melanin pigmentation. So the vitiligo patients are restricted to take the citrus foods.
* The patient should avoid tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages.
* Too much sugar, polished rice and preserved foods should also be avoided.
* Curd, Tamarind, raw Tomato, raw onion, raw garlic, Papaya, Green chili, Pickles,orange juice, lemon, grapes, sea food, fish and red meat should be restricted.
* Spicy and oily food should be avoided.
* Milk intake is to be lowered. If milk is excluded, it should be replaced with low lactose milk or with Soya milk.
* Flavoured drinks and food containing artificial colours should be avoided.
* Non vegetarian food is also to be avoided as they act as a foreign body to pigment cells & animal protein could reduce repigmentation rate.
There is no specific remedy for any disease in homoeopathy. The selection of medicine in a case entirely depends upon the individualisation of the case and the intellegency of the physician but still then some of the commonly prescribed homoeopathic remedies are :
* Merc sol.
* Nux vom.