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Vitiligo/Leucoderma

Vitiligo is a skin condition in which there is a loss of brown color (pigment) from areas of skin, resulting in irregular white patches that feel like normal skin

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

  • Vitiligo appears to occur when immune cells destroy the cells that produce brown pigment (melanocytes). This destruction is thought to be due to an autoimmune problem, but the cause is unknown
  • Vitiligo may appear at any age. There is an increased rate of the condition in some families

Symptoms

  • Flat areas of normal-feeling skin without any pigment appear suddenly or gradually. These areas have a darker border. The edges are well defined but irregular
  • Vitiligo most often affects the face, elbows and knees, hands and feet, and genits. It affects both sides of the body equally
  • Vitiligo is more noticeable in darker-skinned people because of the contrast of white patches against dark skin
  • No other skin changes occur

Treatment

Vitiligo is difficult to treat. Early treatment options include the following

  • Phototherapy, a medical procedure in which your skin is carefully exposed to ultraviolet light. Phototherapy may be given alone, or after you take a drug that makes your skin sensitive to light. A dermatologist performs this treatment
  • Medicines applied to the skin, such as
  • Immunosuppressant creams or ointments, such as pimecrolimus (Elidel) and tacrolimus (Protopic)
  • Topical drugs such as methoxsalen (Oxsoralen)
  • Skin may be moved (grafted) from normally pigmented areas and placed onto areas where there is pigment loss
  • Several cover-up makeups or skin dyes can mask vitiligo. Ask your health care provider for the names of these products
  • In extreme cases when most of the body is affected, the remaining skin that still has pigment may be depigmented. This is a permanent change that is used as a last resort
  • It is important to remember that skin without pigment is at greater risk for sun damage. Be sure to apply a broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB), high-SPF sunscreen or sunblock and use appropriate safeguards against sun exposure

Homeopathic approach

It is surprising the number of people off late coming to the clinic for treatment of vitiligo,particularly kids who come in large number most with family history and many without