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Leucoderma (vitiligo) Overview
Vitiligo also known as leucoderma is a chronic disorder that causes depigmentation of patches of skin. It is a disorder of pigmentation where white patchesdevelop on the skin. It can occur any where on the body and usually people are affected with multiple patches.Vitiligo can even affect the mucous membranes, the retina (the inner layer of eyeball), and the scalp. The hair growing from the area were the scalp is affected can turn white. It occurs when melanocytes, the cells responsible for skin pigmentation, die or are unable to function. The cause of vitiligo is unknown, but research suggests that it may arise from autoimmune, genetic, oxidative stress, neural, or viral causes
What are the causes of Leucoderma (Vitiligo)? Top
Melanocytes are cells, which produce pigments (melanin), which are responsible for the colour of the skin. Vitiligo occurs when these cells (melanocytes) are destroyed. The exact cause (s) how these cells degenerateare not known, but there are several different theories. There is strong evidence that people with vitiligo inherit a group of three genes that make them susceptible to depigmentation. The most widely accepted view is that the depigmentation occurs because vitiligo is an autoimmune disease -- a disease in which a person's immune system reacts against the body's own organs or tissues
What are the signs and symptoms of Leucoderma (Vitiligo)? Top
Vitiligo usually begin between ages 10 years and age 30 years, the characteristic symptom is white patches (depigmentation) on the skin. These patches are more commonly found on sun-exposed areas of the body, including the hands, feet, arms, face, and lips. The patches can be Focal (only a few areas affected), Segmental (one side of the body), and Generalized (on the whole body). Some other symptoms include:
  • Whitening or graying of hair
  • Loss of skin colour inside the mouth
  • Loss of eye color
Although patches are initially small, they often enlarge and change shape. When skin lesions occur, they are most prominent on the face, hands and wrists. Depigmentation is particularly noticeable around body orifices, such as the mouth, eyes, nostrils, genitalia and umbilicus.
How is Leucoderma (Vitiligo) diagnosed? Top
The diagnosis of vitiligo is made based on a physical examination, medical history. A skin biopsy may show total absence of melanocyte cells confirming the diagnosis.
What is the role of Homoeopathy in Leucoderma (Vitiligo)? Top
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