By Neepa Sevak
Leucoderma meaning Leuco - White and Derma - Skin also known as Vitiligo in medical terminology is an auto immune disorder of the skin in which certain parts of the skin begin to lose its color leading to the appearance of white patches. Our skin contains a substance called Melanin, which is a dark pigment that gives color to our skin, and also protects the skin from the harmful rays of the sun. When the Melanin is destroyed, lost gradually or not produced then the skin looses its color and leaves white spots known as Vitiligo or Leucoderma. These white patches are irregular in appearance with an outline that is darker than the skin, they gradually increase in size and also appear milky white under an ultraviolet light. The most common sites of pigment loss are body folds such as groins or armpits, around body openings like the face or hands.
Leucoderma is not infectious, it does not spread by touching someone or handling personal belongings or food, and it does not cause any harm, pain or suffering. There is anguish only for cosmetic and social reasons, with no medical significance.
There is a condition called Albinism seen in children with a congenital absence of Melanin causing complete white skin of the whole body. It is also very important to remember that every white patch is not Leucoderma, there are other conditions that may look similar to Leucoderma.
Causes of Leucoderma
Exact cause of Leucoderma is not known but excessive mental stress and general low immunity levels are the main precipitating factors of Leucoderma. Other conditions that can indirectly affect the skin’s Melanin pigment causing Leucoderma are given below:
- Acute or chronic gastric disorder.
- Impaired hepatic function such as jaundice.
- Worms or other parasites in the alimentary canal.
- A defective sweating mechanism.
- Dietary deficiency of proteins, calcium and cupro minerals.
- A defect in the enzyme Tyrosinase.
- Burn injuries.
- Chronic Dysentery.
- Pernicious anemia.
- Diabetes mellitus.
- Addison's disease.
- Prolonged use of broad spectrum antibiotics.
- Heredity is also a known causative factor.
Homeopathic Approach to Leucoderma
Homoeopathic medicines have shown very encouraging results in most cases of leucoderma. Since it offers a comprehensive treatment as it goes to the root of the problem by helping build up immunity and eventually restores the pigmented patches back to the normal skin color. Homoeopathy considers leucoderma as a local expression of a system disturbance. Leucoderma is a condition which requires an in-depth study of the individual case and only constitutional homeopathic treatment can help. The duration and success of treatment depends on extend of the patches and the duration of the illness. Big patches require more days whereas small spots yield faster. Treating leucoderma is a long process and may require one year or even more to cure it completely. Constitutional homeopathic medicines stimulate the melanocyte function to be able to produce body’s own normal Melanin pigment. After starting the treatment the skin starts becoming pink, turns brown thereafter and starts repigmenting slowly. As homeopathy treats it from within, when the constitutional treatment is completed satisfactorily, it is unlikely that the patches reappear again as compared to treatment with conventional medicines. Homoeopathic drugs are FDA approved, cost effective and easy to use with no side effects.
Self Care Measures
- Expose the affected areas of the body to the early morning sun for 20-30 minutes daily.
- Use a mild soap while bathing.
- Avoid using any cosmetic applications on skin.
- Make sure that your diet contains enough iron, meat, liver, cereals, beans, lentils and green leafy vegetables which are some of the best sources of iron.
- Avoid consuming sour foods, citrus fruits, tamarind, fish, lobsters, red meat, crabs and prawns.
- Use of synthetic clothes should be restricted.
- Avoid steroids.
- Avoid stress and learn to relax.
- Keep a positive attitude.
Thus, it is possible to be leucoderma free with homeopathic treatment, hence one must consider homeopathy for healthier living.