Vitiligo, also known as leukoderma, is a lightening of skin in irregular patches. Typically, the skin produces a compound known as melanin, which causes it to have its characteristic color. The melanin comes from tiny organisms called melanocytes. It is theorized that Vitiligo is when something has gone wrong and the melanocytes are not producing melanin as they should.
Some doctors think that the melanocytes are damaged by the sun or by having the skin damaged though cuts, burns or rubbing while others think that Vitiligo might actually be a case of the body’s immune system attacking the melanocytes by mistake. None the less, Vitiligo is not transmittable between different people and it does not seem to be something you can inherit.
Vitiligo most commonly appears in areas frequently exposed to sunlight, around body openings such as the eyes or genitals, in areas where the skin folds such as arm pits, around moles where it is known as a “halo naevi”, and anywhere where the skin has been damaged by cuts or burns. Sometimes it shows up in just one body part. In this case it is known as “segmental Vitiligo”. It can be accompanied by other health problems such as thyroid problems, so be sure to have a doctor check you out thoroughly if you think you have Vitiligo.
Although it is easiest to just stay out of the sun or cover things up with makeup, easy solutions are only temporary covers for Vitiligo and will not make the problem go away. Seeing a doctor to get real help, especially as there may be other health problems hidden, is the only way to really get rid of Vitiligo.
Some doctors will prescribe Corticosteroid creams to encourage the light patches to darken up. However, many of these creams can thicken the skin and usage should be carefully monitored because of it. Phototherapy is another option in which the skin is treated with Psoralen, then exposed to specialized long wave ultraviolet light. This has a 50% success rate. Piperine can be added with the phototherapy to increase the chances of success as well.
The darker skin can also be lightened, or “de-pigmented”. Typically a bleaching solution made of monobenzone, monobenzylether of hydroquinone is applied to the dark parts to make them match the light ones. This is not reversible, however, so talk it over thoroughly with your doctor before doing it.
Video – Leucoderma – Natural Ayurvedic Home Remedies