5 myths about leucoderma or Vitiligo that everyone should know!
Today on World Vitiligo Day, Dr. Nitika Kohli, Ayurvedic expert and leading maestro of AIMIL is here with 5 myths about leucoderma or Vitiligo that everyone should know. Vitiligo is an acquired disorder of depigmentation characterized by white macules and patches on various parts of the body reflecting selective melanocyte destruction. This condition affects all races across the world. Although it is not a painful condition, there is a lot of stigma associated due to cosmetic disfigurement. The condition tends to affect the quality of life of the person suffering from the disease and the patients often suffer from low self-esteem. They are at times subjected to social neglect, which in turn makes them isolate themselves from society.
Inadequate knowledge and age-old misconceptions are the key reasons for this undue apprehension associated with the condition. There is a misconception that the disease can spread by contact. However, Vitiligo is non-contagious and does not spread by contact. Another myth is about dietary habits. For instance, people used to implicate sour food, fish, white food, etc and consider them to be the reason for vitiligo. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this belief. In fact, people belonging to different races, religions and socioeconomic groups with different dietary habits do not show any significant variation in a predisposition towards the disease. Following are the myths which need to be busted to create a fear free environment for leucoderma patients.
It is contagious - Leucoderma is purely a disease of the skin and does not influence the physical and mental abilities. Leucoderma is not contagious by nature therefore cannot be transmitted through touch, sharing personal items, saliva or intercourse. It is not related to disorders such as albinism, leprosy or skin cancer. It has been theorized that a combination of autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors are responsible for the occurrence of leucoderma.
It is genetically transmitted only - Researchers claim that it does not get carried to the progeny. There are several other reasons due to which it may occur. Some of these reasons being stress, gastro problems and an ailing liver. Leucoderma is an autoimmune disease, therefore one must understand that it is not just a skin disease but something that needs to be treated from within.
It is incurable - There is a myth for leucoderma that there is no hope for all patients, but that is definitely not the case, There is definitely hope and present modalities of treatment as well as research has offered undeniable hope to patients of leucoderma.
It is related to other skin disorders - Leucoderma is not related to other skin disorders such as albinism and skin cancer. There are clear distinctions between each of these disorders, none of them being related to leucoderma. Individuals with albinism are born with little or no melanin in their skin, whereas leucoderma onset occurs during one’s lifetime as the melanocytes become damaged. Also, leucoderma rarely encompasses the entire body like albinism. While skin cancers arise from mutations in DNA, the genetic information within skin cells cause them to behave abnormally and grow uncontrolled unlike leucoderma, which is a completely separate skin disorder occurring through different mechanisms.
All white patches are Leucoderma - Not all the white patches on the skin are Leucoderma. Fungal infections, healed eczemas, sun allergies are common conditions which can mimic early leucoderma. So, when one sees white-colored patches on the body, they should consult a dermatologist to verify the diagnosis and allay fears.
Leucoderma (Safed Daag/ white patches) is an idiopathic acquired skin disorder which is identified by the breakout of white spots all over the body. Vitiligo & Leucoderma is more common in the Asia and the Middle East and is only detected after its occurrence. It is more prominent on darker skin people and is often compared or thought of as leprosy.
Leucoderma & Vitiligo are similar disorders. Thus, the line of treatment remains the same for both. While Leucoderma is acquired by accident, Vitiligo is self-generated.
Both Leucoderma & Vitiligo are caused due to autoimmunity. In which the immune system gets disturbed and as a direct result, leads to the self-destruction of cells. The cells producing melanin pigment if destroyed results in the non-production of the pigment and thus, leads to white patches all over the body.
To understand Leucoderma & Vitiligo in greater detail let us understand its causes and thereby some of the precautions we can take not to be a victim of this rather dangerous disease. The following might be some of the reasons for the disease.
An accident or an injury wherein there is a complete erosion of the pigment-producing cells
Allergies due to excessive use of plastic products. An example of this can be the use of low-quality plastic slippers over a period.
Use of harsh soaps, perfumes, sanitizers, and deodorants can also lead to this disease.
Being exposed to harsh conditions and excessive temperature changes
Fall in the immunity levels of your body
Precautions for Leucoderma & Vitiligo patients
Change your diet to natural, healthy and home-made meals and reduce the consumption of junk foods
Try and increase your immunity level by exercising on a regular basis
Reduce the use of harsh soaps, perfumes, deodorants and go natural as much as you can
Avoid the intake of cold and hot foods together
Also, monitor the medicines that you consume. Regular intake of antibiotics and other drugs can lead to falling in immunity levels
As mentioned earlier, one should also avoid sharp temperature changes. For example, swimming in warm water in cold climate or vice versa.
Reducing stress can also act as a precautionary measure
Using cheap quality products which can lead to allergies and infections should also be avoided.
These diseases (Leucoderma & Vitiligo) causes a lot of mental pain and anguish for the sufferer. Making him/ her feel like a social outcast and often leads to chronic depression and demotivation. Most of the sufferers are misinformed, misguided and are treated with incompatible and ineffective drugs and medicines. This adds to the burden of the sufferers and makes them want the perfect cure even more.
Until a couple of years ago, the treatment or the cure of Leucoderma & Vitiligo was thought of as difficult and in some cases unachievable. Recently a lot of research and development has gone into the cure of these white spots/ cure of Leucoderma & Vitiligo through Ayurveda. For hundreds of years, the Ayurvedic doctors and practitioners have successfully treated this deadly skin disorder. Their treatment is based on the use of some herbal plants and so on and henceforth.
So the Leucoderma & Vitiligo ayurvedic cure or the white patches cure is dependent on increasing immunity and the re-pigmentation or the regeneration of the destructed pigment generating cells. Thus, increasing immunity takes precaution against an increase in the disorder and the re-pigmentation reverses the damage already done. Over the last couple of years, the ayurvedic treatment of Leucoderma & Vitiligo has been deemed secure and most effective in comparison to even allopathic drugs.
The Ayurvedic white spot treatment takes into use herbal plants such as Aloe vera, Ammi majus, Psoralea corylifolia and Calotropis gigantia. This ayurvedic treatment is often complemented with diet control and as well as some lifestyle changes to be made to curb the disorder. Thus, if you are a victim of this disorder, no need to worry anymore. DRDO has launched a path-breaking ayurvedic cure, known as Lukoskin which can help you in treating Leucoderma/Vitiligo in a relatively shorter period of time.