Leucoderma (Vitiligo) - Misconceptions & Treatment Options
Posted: Friday, June 12th, 2009 | Posted by: PressRelease by Father Muller Skin Dept. | Views: 27927
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Vitiligo which is commonly known as Leucoderma is a skin disease in which the skin becomes white coloured. It is condition where the skin loses its natural colour thus resulting in the whitening of the skin. Vitiligo is a common skin problem that can affect any age group and affects the looks of the patient & could be very worrysome.

How do a person gets Vitiligo?
Skin colours in humans is because of a colouring substance known as Melanin.This is synthesized by cells known as Melanocytes. These cells are destroyed in the Vitiligo affected person because of some unknown reasons. Due to the destruction of the Melanocytes, skin becomes white. This process is not produced by any micro organisms and it is not related to Leprosy.
Misconceptions about Vitiligo

1. Vitiligo is contagious - Vitiligo is NOT a contagious disease. It does not spread from person to person.
2. Vitiligo is hereditary disease - It is NOT ALWAYS hereditary. Only about 20% of cases it could be hereditary where other family members may have the disease.
3. There is no treatment for Vitiligo - FALSE, there are various effective treatment modalities for Vitiligo. The response to treatment will vary in different individuals.
4. Will it occur due to eating sour food items? - NO. There is bo proof for this.
5. Vitiligo is same as Leprosy - NO. Leprosy is a different disease. It is not related to Vitiligo. Moreover Leprosy is an infectious disease where as Vitiligo is not.
Clinical Features

Vitiligo starts as white coloured patches over the body. It can be seen in any age group and both the sexes. The white patches may be localized or may be generalized. These are seen over the face, hands, fingers, elbow, knees, around eyes, mouth, nose, lips and genitalia. Some times it spreads slowly, where as in some individuals it progresses rapidly. The hair colour may also become white over these patches. The progression of the disease is faster in people with diabetes and thyroid diseases.
Treatment options for Vitiligo

The treatment of the disease is more effective in the early phase of the disease. There is no definitive cure for Vitiligo in all patients or no single treatment is effective in all the patients. The disease may progress in spite of the treatment. However patients in early phase of the disease respond better to treatment. When patients have other accompanying systemic diseases, response to treatment is poor.

The treatment options for Vitiligo are
  • Medical treatment - Ointments, Tablets; Multivitamin supplementation is useful.
  • PUVA therapy - In this treatment, patient is administered Psoralen tablets and exposed in Phototherapy Chamber. If facilities of Phototherapy Chamber is not available then exposure to Sunlight is also good and it is known as PUVASOL therapy.
  • Narrow band UVB Therapy
  • Grafting Technique - These are useful in stable Non-progressive Vitiligo. Skin grafting can be undertaken in these patients. Melanocyte culture and transfering to the white patches also can be undertaken.
Conclusion

Vitiligo or Leucoderma is a common skin disease in India. It is associated with Social Stigma because of various misconceptions. It is actually a Non-Contagious and relatively harmless condition and can be treated by various modalities of therapies available.
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