What is Leucoderma?
Leucoderma, also known as vitiligo, is a rare skin disorder. Leucoderma literally means white skin and the condition is characterized by white spots and patches. The skin becomes white due to loss of the pigment melanin which gives color to the skin. This disorder is progressive depigmentation of the skin that is especially noticeable in persons with dark complexion. Leucoderma is commonly limited to the epidermis layer thereby other skin functions are normal. It is not a contagious and dangerous disease and it doesn’t cause any harm neither to internal nor external body organs. However, leucoderma has significant psycho-social impact and it is often depressing for affected individuals.
Leucoderma is a fairly common disorder and affects between 1% and 2% of world population. Occurrence of leucoderma is higher in tropical countries. This skin disorder can affect people of all age groups, gender and race although leucoderma is more common in women than men. Areas of the skin that are most affected by white patches are the hands, neck, back, wrist, groin, genitals, and armpits.
Symptoms of Leucoderma
At the beginning, small white spot appears and it gradually develops into patches. The pale patches become whiter with time because of loss of melanin. White spots increase in size, merge together and form a broad patch. Sometimes, very large area of the skin can be covered with white patches and rarely leucoderma can spread all over the body. Also, it is common to see symmetrical appearance of white patches on both sides of the body.
Causes of Leucoderma
Researchers have not yet identified the cause for leucoderma. It is known that leucoderma is not caused by any microorganism or due to bad blood. However, there are some possible causes of skin whitening such as hereditary factor. Around 30% of people with leucoderma have history of the condition. Emotional stress is also believed to play a role in developing leucodrema. Skin trauma and sunburn may be possible causes too as well as lack of sun exposure and infection of intestines due to worms. Some physical illnesses are also suspected to be the cause for leucoderma.
Home Remedies for Leucoderma
There are several natural home remedies that can help in treatment of leucoderma. Psoralea seeds have to be steeped in ginger juice or cow’s urine for three days, than dried and grounded. This powder should be taken every day for 40 days. Babchi seeds in combination with tamarind seeds are also helpful in treating leucoderma. Red clay mixed in ginger juice may be used as a remedy for leucoderma if this mixture is applied over the white patches once a day. Radish seeds prepared in a form of paste can efficiently treat leucoderma as well as turmeric and mustard oil.