Leucoderma, also known as vitiligo, is a rare skin disease characterized by white spots and patches. The white patches or spots are called leucoderma, and when they occur without any preceding disease history, it is called Vitiligo.
Leucoderma or the skin whitening disease is caused due to gradual loss of the pigment melanin from the layers of the skin, resulting in white patches on the surface of the skin.
Vitiligo is a specific type of leucoderma which is used interchangeably with leucoderma often. Leucoderma, a distressing skin disease does not do any organic harm as its main cause is neither the germs nor bad blood.
So, ‘How do we identify leucoderma?’
Let’s say; it usually initiates with a small spot that may later spread into patches. Over time, owing to the loss of more pigment from the skin, the patches tend to become whiter and smaller patches merge into one another creating a larger, broader patch.
In many cases, it can spread all over the body. Methods of establishing a complete cure or treatment for vitiligo or leucoderma have proven to be insufficient even in the modern science.
Leucoderma literally means white skin. This condition can often also be mistaken for another skin disease i.e. leprosy.
Having said about basic causes and spreading of leucoderma, it is important to note that it is not any dangerous or even a contagious skin disease.
The actual cause of it is still unknown though plenty of studies have been conducted regarding the subject.
Some of the perceived and derived causes include emotional stress, hereditary factors, sunburns, worms and physical illness. The condition can be aggravated in people having diseases like hyperthyroidism, pernicious anaemia, diabetes mellitus, and Addison’s disease.
Well well! It seems that this is enough information to give you a clear idea about what leucoderma is actually.
Now, let us ponder upon some symptoms that might help you in identifying rightly in case you feel you have leucoderma.
Diseases of any kind, be it minor influenza, or an HIV infection, are always identified by the particular type of symptoms, just peculiar in that disease itself, so does leucoderma.
Primary and most basic symptoms that will hopefully let you determine accurately, the leucoderma are as follows:
The appearance of flat spots over the skin that range in colours from white to pink and also sometimes tan and brown over upper arms, chest, neck, back and face.
They may vary greatly in size, starting as small as four to five millimetres in diameter to pretty larger areas of confluence.
Scaling may not be immediately evident, but scales might easily be obtained by scraping affected areas. Mild itching sensation may be experienced, particularly when a person sweats or feels hot.
When the spots involve areas such as the neck or face, it can be very discomforting.
These patches will be pale in beginning, but they will become whiter and whiter as time passes by, mostly due to increased loss of pigment.
In major of the cases, most of the skin of the body eventually gets covered in white patches.
Types Of Leucoderma/Vitiligo
Like I said in the above parts, Vitiligo can produce a single, a few patches or multiple patches on the body; accordingly it can be classified on a simpler level which a common person can understand as follows:
a. Focal Vitiligo
One or few patches start appearing on the body, in focal vitiligo. If the medical treatment fails to show any results, then Melanocyte Transplant is an excellent cure offered for it, once the patches have stopped spreading.
b. Segmental Vitiligo
Here, as the name suggests, a segment of the skin or body is only affected by the white patches. Such vitiligo affects only one-half of the total body and never crosses the midline
This type of vitiligo does not respond well enough to medical treatment in most of the cases but tends to respond very well to Melanocyte Transplant
c. Generalised Vitiligo
Here, the patches formed are symmetrical and appear simultaneously on both sides of the body; As a result, the individual can have patches from top to the bottom and on both sides of the body
Most commonly affected areas could be the eyes, bony prominences such as wrists, elbows, fingers, foot, and knees; and to top this up, the patches can also appear on the abdomen, chest, lips, nipples, legs, and genitals.
These patches do respond well to available medical and surgical options; Medical works in all areas of the body that may have black hair, and the rest that doesn’t respond well to medical treatment may be finished with Melanocyte Transplant
d. Acro Facial Vitiligo
A Vitiligo pattern that all doctors would hate. Here, these patches develop on fingers, feet, and lips including the toes, and the chances of curing this kind with medicine are very poor and with Melanocyte Transplant too, it may remain a challenge.
Whole lot full patients exist with patches on the lips alone, either on the upper lip, lower lips or both of them, and they do respond to Melanocyte Transplant surgery very well.
The chances of curing this with drugs or medicine alone prove poor most of the times.
Reasons To Get Leucoderma
Considering causes and symptoms, it might look as if leucoderma can occur to any person randomly, but if you think this, it’s not true.
Though there isn’t a clear medical explanation for what are the reasons to get leucoderma, following might be still stated:
Pityrosporum orbiculare, the yeast causing tinea versicolor, is present in small numbers normally on the skin; regular washing gets rid of the dead skin cells and excess yeast as well.
But it can grow exponentially during summer months when the humidity skyrockets or when the person’s immune systemis weak; and interference with the normal pigmentation of skin; which results in unsightly spots of both light and dark colours.
Teenagers and young adults, regardless of skin colour, can be the usual victims of tinea versicolor, and those having oily skinmay be more prone to it than those having dry skin.
In tropical countries, having elevated humidity and temperature, people of all ages suffer from such spots throughout the year.
What Can Be Done?
If you observe you have white spots or any discolorations of the skin, the best option is to see a dermatologist. The skin appearance is often everything that is required to clinch a diagnosis.
But an even microscopic examination of these fine scales may be performed if felt necessary. When viewed under a special type of lighting or chemical preparations, the presence of the yeast can be confirmed.
Also, You May Follow Some Basic Tips That Can Be Kept In Mind
- Try not to take the stress and to relax.
- Prefer not to use hard soaps for bathing.
- Get sunbath in the early hours for at least 20-30 minutes.
- Avoid certain cosmetics such as cream, powder and other agents that might be triggering it.
- Increase iron deficiency by consuming foods like meat, cereals, liver, beans, lentils and green leafy vegetables.
- Avoid having citrus fruits, tamarind, lobsters, fishes, crabs and prawns.
- Sodium Chloride or common salt consumption should be completely stopped during treatment.
Home Remedies For Leucoderma
The first treatment that can instantly be provided for any condition is our usual home remedies. Following are some notable home remedies for leucoderma:
1.The help of Babchi and Tamarind seeds can be used.
Steep in 1:1 proportion these seeds in water for 3 to 4 days. Then shell and dry them in shade. Make a paste and apply on the patches.
If the application of this paste induces itching, or the white spots become red, and fluid begins to ooze out, this treatment should be discontinued.
2. Drink water contained in a copper vessel kept overnight.
3.Ginger juice may also serve as a mild stimulant, increasing blood flow to the patches.A poultice of ginger leaves can be applied over the patches.
4.Add figs to a regular diet for a month.
5.Make a powder of dried pomegranate leaves in shade. Sieve it and take approximately 8 grams of it each morning and evening with fresh water.
6.Eat walnuts regularly.
7.Make a dry mixture of Neem (Azadirachta indica) leaves, flowers and fruits mixed in equal quantity. Take one tablespoon of this powder daily with water.
8.Combine 100 grams of Alfalfa and cucumber juice. Have it twice a day for few months.
9.Mix Harad powder in garlic juice and apply it on the spots.
10.Drink buttermilk. It is thought to be very useful.
11.Make black gram paste; apply it on affected area for four This would be very fruitful in the fight against leucoderma.
12.Take a basil plant along with its roots, wash and clean it. Crush the plant and boil it in a mixture of ½ litre oil and ½ litre water. Let the water evaporate; mash it and strain to get basil oil. Now, apply this oil on the spots.
13.Another useful remedy is the red clay found by river side or on hill slopes. Take the clay and mix it in ginger juice in the ratio of 1:1, and apply to the spots once in a day.
The copper content in the clay seems to bring back the skin pigmentation. Ginger juice will also serve as a mild stimulant, increasing blood flow to the spots.
14.A paste made from seeds of the radish also proves valuable in treatment. About 35 grams of the seeds should be powdered and added to 2 teaspoons of vinegar, which paste then should be applied on the white patches.
15.The use of goosefoot proves beneficial in the treatment. It should be taken twice daily, preferably in the morning and in the evening, for two months continuously. Simultaneously, the juice of the same should be applied over the patches.
16.Turmeric mixed with mustard oil also proved useful. Take about 500 grams of turmeric, pounded and soaked in 8 litres of water overnight. It then should be boiled the next morning until only 1 litre of water remains, and then be strained, after which it should be mixed with 500 millilitres of mustard oil.
17.This mixture should be heated until only the oil remains as residue. Strain and preserve this in a bottle. The mixture should be applied on the patches twice a day for a few months.
Diet For Leucoderma
Your food intake or diet can be very closely related to occurrence or prevention of leucoderma. It is better to avoid having certain foods once you notice effects or symptoms of leucoderma and start eating those who can likely help to reduce its effects if you don’t already include them in your diet.
a. Consumption Of Juices Followed By Restricted Diet Of Fresh Fruits
Constitutional measures should be adopted to cleanse your system of the accumulated toxins. To start with, the patient should undergo a fast of juices for about one
After that, the patient may adopt a restricted diet containing fresh fruits, raw and steamed vegetables, and wholemeal bread or wheat tortilla. Curd and milk might be added to this diet a few days later.
b. Well-Balanced Diet
After that, he/she may gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet consisting of seeds, nuts, vegetables, grains, and fruits. This diet can be supplemented with cold-pressed vegetable oils, yeast, and honey.
Juice fasting shall be repeated at equal intervals of two months or so.
c. Avoid Tea/Coffee (Caffeine), Polished Rice, Tinned/Bottled Foods
You should avoid tea, coffee, alcoholic beverages, all spices and condiments and high-flavoured dishes, white flour products, sugar, denatured cereals such as polished rice and pearled barley, along with tinned and bottled foods.
Following Is The List Of Food Items Which You May Want To Consider Avoiding In Your Diet
Orange, Custard Apple, Gooseberry, Guava, Cashew Nuts, Prunes, Watermelon and Melon.
Brinjal(Eggplant), Red Sorrel, Papaya, Parsley, Lemon, Tomato, Garlic and Tamarind.
c. Milk Products
Milk, Buttermilk, and curd.
d. Non-Vegetarian Food Items
Fish, Beef, and Red Meat.
e. Other Food Items
Junk Food, Coffee, Soda bi carb, Coffee, Carbonated Drinks and Oily and spicy food items like Pickles.
Following Is The List Of Food Items Which You Should Consider Adding To Your Diet
Radish, Carrot, French Beans, Beetroot, Ridge and Bitter Gourd, Drumsticks, Fenugreek and Onion.
Mangoes, Walnut, Apricot, Grapes, Dates and Papaya
c. Other Food Items
Wheat, Pure Ghee, Bengal Gram, Red Pepper, Jaggery, Pistachio Nut, Almond, Potato and Chillies
Other Than The Above-Stated Food Items, There Are Two More Things That You Should Consider While Planning For Your Diet
a. Food Allergies
While thinking of planning for the diet, you should also consider food allergies. People all around the world develop food allergies most of the time. The allergies alone may not be harmful, but they can help accelerate your leucoderma.
Minor allergies to items like gluten, cocoa, can worsen your Vitiligo. A simple diagnostic test can help you find out the extent of your allergies and how your body reacts to various food items.
Food allergies don’t tend to go away quickly. But once you control or get rid of them, your Vitiligo should come under control.
Another consideration during planning for your diet should be a number of antioxidants you take daily. Antioxidants help the body to disable free radicals.
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis can help you in getting the highest amount of antioxidants. Avoid consuming any processed or grilled foods.
These types of foods are normally full of chemicals which reduce the levels of antioxidants in the body.
It is always a very good idea to keep your diet natural. Even after following a prescribed diet, it cannot be guaranteed that you will get cured.
But at least, you can be confident that your condition will not get worse due to what you are eating.