Vitiligo or Leucoderma is an acquired de-pigmentation of the skin that is very common with a worldwide preponderance. Leucoderma or vitiligo is a distressful skin disease and the word Leucoderma means ‘to have white skin’. There would be a gradual loss of pigment called melanin from the dermal layers that results into white patches. These patches look bad, especially in persons having dark complexions. Leucoderma can occur at any age, person and in any kind of skins.
Leucoderma / Vitiligo conditions have considerable psycho-social impact. Genetic re-disposition is there and there no age is exempt. The disease generally begins in children and young adults. Leucoderma is a fairly common disorder affecting 1% or more of the world’s population. The incidence is a little more eminent in India . Leucoderma is, nevertheless, more common in women as compared to men. The most affected areas include the hands, the neck, the back and the wrists in the order.
The attraction in color of the skin, nowadays, is the reason for enormous sales of fairness lotions. But the whiteness offered by the skin disease such as leucoderma can often depress all the sufferers. As such, it comes under few disease require medical significance but more of a social stigma accompaning it since it is related to cosmetic reason. The condition does not cause any harm to the body organs; internally or externally. It, though, brings about great psychological tensions to the sufferer who is more embarrassed than the victim having pains or discomforts.
The patches can be caused due to plenty of reasons but the most common among them is worm infestation and/or calcium deficiencies. These patches eventually increase in sizes and produce lot of psychological stress in the person. It is an autoimmune disease and can have genetic predispositions.
This disease is caused neither by any microorganisms, nor is it because of the bad blood. It is said to be neither infectious nor contagious. It is seated in the basal layer of the epidermis and the first layer of the dermis, i.e. melanin that is seated in two layers. In addition, it is just as essential to remember that each of the white patches is not leucoderma. Patches might be due to a number of reasons, the most common among them being irregular foods, vitamin deficiencies, allergies etc.
In majority of the cases, medical therapies only achieve stabilization of the vitiligo patches but fail to cause re-pigmentations. If a person of leucoderma is found to be affected by any digestive disorder, they should be treated first. When leucoderma happens without any preceding diseases it is called vitiligo. Sometimes it might follow burn and injury.
The common causes of Leucoderma are as follow:
Many health experts believe that the main causes of leucoderma are excessive mental worry.
Chronic or acute gastric diseases can also contribute to leucoderma.
Person who has impaired hepatic function (as in jaundice), worm infestations or other parasite infestation in the alimentary canal is prone to have those white patches.
Other falling factors have been identified for this disease could be pressure from tight clothes or certain occupational hazards like wearing certain rubber hand-gloves, using tattoos over the skin etc.
The disease is neurogenic in its nature. The humeral substance that originates from the nerve endings destroy the melanocytes.
There would be Alopecia (Loss of hair), premature graying of hair. The whiteness generally starts as a small discolored white or pale or brown spot that spreads and becomes whiter day-after-day and finally becomes milky white. There might be general weakness and lassitude and a person has sensitivity towards cold. Hair on the spot also becomes white. Finally, white patches are the hallmark signs.
The treatment of leucoderma is not certain. The cure is gloomy and the medical scientists are still in search of exact treatment. None of the treatment, as of now, is a surefire for treating such skinny conditions. White patches can be hidden making some cosmetic coats but again, it is not a permanent solution. However, here is the list of treatment of leucoderma that is in general practice –
Avoidance of consumption of citrus fruits, tamarinds, fishes, lobsters, crabs and prawns is advised as part of treatment.
Stop applying colored dyes
Autologous Melanocyte Transplants
In few cases, oral antioxidants can give favorable results.