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What is Leucoderma? Causes, Symptoms & Treatment of Leucoderma
Article ID: 249 | Rating: 4.9/5 from 9 votes | Last Updated: Sat, Jul 31, 2010 at 10:52 AM
Leucoderma or white skin, is the name given to a skin disease, wherein there is a gradual loss of the pigment, melanin, from the skin layers, resulting in the appearance of white patches. Leucoderma is a condition in which the skin layers experience loss of skin-pigment. Also known as vitiligo, leucoderma causes white patches on the skin surface. It is more common in women than in men and is mostly seen on the hands, neck, back and wrist. Though the disease does not cause any organic harm, the patches surely look ugly and upsetting. Known as vitiligo, leucoderma can affect people of any age and sex and can be seen on any kind of skin. Contrary to the popular belief, the disease is neither infectious nor contagious and is not caused due to any germs or bad blood.
The main causes for leucoderma are excessive mental worry and chronic or acute gastric disorders. Other causes involve impaired hepatic function such as jaundice, worms or other parasites in the alimentary canal, typhoid, a defective perspiratory mechanism and burn injuries. It can also be the result of hereditary reasons.
Leucoderma, also known as vitiligo, is a distressing skin condition. The word literally means white skin. There is a gradual loss of the pigment melanin from the skin layers which results in white patches. These patches look ugly, especially in persons with a dark complexion. The condition does not cause any organic harm. This disease is caused neither by any germs, nor is it due to bad blood. It is considered to be neither infectious nor contagious.
Vitiligo is a widespread disorder now a days. Generally it happens due to autoimmunity which is the most known reason. Depigmentation of skin happens first which acquires skin area in shape of a spot or patch forming vitiligo spots. No one can predict its spreading without medicines. Some person holds one patch for whole life and another person can suffer vast spreading. This all depends on how far a person's immunity is affected as per our studies. Facial vitiligo is a very bad situation in the life of a vitiligo patient. As the face gets a white spot it almost disturbs the psychosomatic state of the person's mind. One can feel embarrassed and get into deep depression after onset of facial vitiligo.
The problem usually starts with a small white spot which later develops into patches. These patches are pale in the beginning, but become whiter and whiter as time passes by due to loss of pigment. As the spots enlarge, they merge into each other and, in course of time, form a very broad patch. In some cases, most of the skin of the body may be covered with white patches.
The causes of leucoderma are still not completely understood. Despite advanced research, medicine is still trying to figure out the exact cause of Leucoderma. There are numerous theories as to what could cause this disease, of which three have been widely accepted.
The first theory is one of mistaken identity. The immune system mistakes the pigment cells for foreign bodies and destroys them. The second theory states that certain chemical agents destroy the pigment generating cells, while the third theory states that the cells are destroyed due to chemical exposure.
Whatever the cause, the course of the disease is certain - and that is the destruction of pigment cells. Some other causes of leucoderma are said to be excessive mental worry, chronic or acute gastric disorders, impaired hepatic function such as jaundice, worms or other parasites in the alimentary canal, typhoid, a defective perspiratory mechanism, and burn injuries.
How is it confirmed whether a white patch is Leucoderma?
The white patch will in all probability be Leucoderma if it:
What is the treatment for leucoderma?
There is no cure for Leucoderma, and any doctor promising a cure is sure to be a quack! At the most, the patches can be coloured to match the skin, but this will not stop new patches from occurring.
Home Remedies for Leucoderma Treatment
Leucoderma may also be treated using certain home remedies, some of which have been mentioned below.
Restricted Foods in Leucoderma
It is recommended that a person affected with leucoderma (vitilgo) should avoid consuming highly antigenic material like fish, meat and eggs.
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