Vitiligo, also known as leucoderma, is a relatively common skin disorder, in which white spots or patches appear on the skin. These spots are caused by destruction or weakening of the pigment cells in those areas, resulting in the pigment being destroyed or no longer produced.
In most cases, vitiligo is believed to be an autoimmune-related disorder. In vitiligo, only the colour of the skin is affected but texture and other skin qualities remain normal. The hair may also turn white that grows in areas affected by vitiligo.
The precise cause of vitiligo is complex and not fully understood. There is some evidence suggesting it is caused by a combination of auto-immune, genetic, and environmental factors.
Melanocytes are pigment-producing cells in the basal layer of the skin. Vitiligo, is a condition in which the Melanocytes have disappeared from an area of the skin so that white areas replace pigmented area.
Generally these areas start as small white spots that enlarge with time. The patches can be localized, generalized, or universal ( entire skin surface). The white areas are usually asymptomatic, and affected individuals are usually most disturbed by the cosmetic appearance.
Vitiligo can affect any area of skin but appears most commonly on the backs of hands and elbows, as well as around the mouth, eyes, rectum, and genitalia. Often the area is also depigmented, ultraviolet dark light may be used to help confirm the diagnosis of Vitiligo. However, if a sample of skin is taken, it will show absence of Melanocytes.
Cause of Vitiligo
Although the cause of Vitiligo is unknown, inheritance seems to be a definite etiologic factor because about 30% of patients with Vitiligo have family members with the same condition. Other theories implicate enzymatic self destructing mechanism, autoimmune mechanisms, and abnormal neurological stimuli.
- Exact cause is not known.
- Evidence points to autoimmune etiology.
- Genetic predisposition is common.
- Age: onset usually between 10-30 years.
- Common sites, to start with, are pressure points, i.e. knuckles, elbows, lips.
- The loss of skin pigmentation is particularly noticeable around body orifices, such as the mouth, eyes, nostrils, genitalia and umbilicus.
- Lesion do not itch.
- Start as white localised macules.
- Rounded, well defined at onset.
- Adjacent lesions coalesce.
- As they increase in size, become irregular.
- Spread to involve greater parts of the body.
- Depigmented lesion is surrounded by area of apparent hyper pigmentation.
- No sensory loss in lesion.
- Every little trauma heals with depigmentation.
- Lesions are hypersensitive to sunlight.
Types of Vitiligo
There are two types of vitiligo on the basis of distribution of lesions
- Segmental – Vitiligo affects only one side of the body and lesions do not expand with time.
- Non-segmental – Hypo pigmented lesions of vitiligo affects both sides of body without any specific demarcation. Lesions expend with time.
A clinical diagnosis is mainly done; skin biopsy may be helpful in case of Vitiligo.
Clinical diagnosis is sufficient to make a diagnosis but should be differentiate with other similar skin disease
Other conditions with similar symptoms include the following:
- Pityriasis alba
- Tuberculoid leprosy
- Postinflammatory hypopigmentation
- Tinea versicolor
- Primary adrenal insufficiency
· Treat associated disorder.
· If iatrogenic (drug induced), identify & withdraw offending agent.
· Avoid physical trauma.
· Adequate mental rest.
· Improve general health.
Homeopathic Treatment for Vitiligo
Homeopathy treats the person as a whole. It means that homeopathic treatment focuses on the patient as a person, as well as his pathological condition.
The homeopathic medicines are selected after a full individualizing examination and case-analysis, which includes the medical history of the patient, physical and mental constitution etc.
A miasmatic tendency (predisposition/susceptibility) is also often taken into account for the treatment of chronic conditions. The medicines given below indicate the therapeutic affinity but this is not a complete and definite guide to the treatment of this condition.
The symptoms listed against each medicine may not be directly related to this disease because in homeopathy general symptoms and constitutional indications are also taken into account for selecting a remedy. To study any of the following remedies in more detail, please visit our Materia Medica section. None of these medicines should be taken without professional advice.
BOERICKE- SKIN- LEUCODERMA.
- Arsenicum alb.
- Arsenicum sulph.flavum.
- Merc sol.
- Nux vomica
The patient is suffer from chronic cold, cough & occasional history of haemoptysis. He has loss of weight, loss of appetite, flat-chested young boys & girls, prominent ribs & prominent clavicles. We get history of asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis and even Tuberculosis in patients.
Mind. Taciturn, sulky, snappish, fretty, irritable, morose, depressed and melancholic even to insanity. Fretful ailing, whines and complaints; frightened easily, particularly by dogs.
Obese patient with a history of suppressed itch.
Suited to – Excessive cautiousness; timid, hesitates; unable to decide about anything. Fidgety while sitting at work. Sad, despondent; music makes her weep; thinks of nothing but death. Sensitive to cold.
There is history of dysentery with mucus & blood. Jaundice with liver enlargement. These patients are worst at night, salivation with moist tongue. They perspire in bed and do not tolerate too hot or too cold climate.
Nervous affections after suppressed discharges especially in psoric patients. Glandular and scrofulous affections of children.
White spots are found at the muco-cutaneus junction. More at the angle of the mouth, eyes, nose, nipples, glans penis, vulva, etc. Along with it, there may be fissures at the same spot. In some of the patients along with this there is a desire for eating chalk, pencils, etc., particularly in children.
Acts better in females. Beside the usual white discolouration, these patients have irregular menses either early or late, scanty & painful menses in young girls. Leucorrhoea, prurites, dysparunia, and frigidity is noted. Most of the patients complain of morning sickness along with motion sickness, nausea, vomiting or headache traveling in a car or bus. These patients are not social, they prefer to be alone.
Adapted to persons of dark hair, rigid fiber, but mild and easy decomposition.
There is a history of suppression of skin diseases or any other suppression like suppressed diarrhea, dysentery, jaundice, typhoid and in tropics many other fevers. There is heat in the palms, soles, eyes, anus, vulva, vagina & on the top of the head. Generally hot patient but could be chilly. Irritability and obstinacy is also noted.
Adapted to persons of a scrofulous diathesis, subject to venous congestion; especially of portal system. Persons of nervous temperament, quick motioned, quick tempered, plethoric, skin excessively sensitive to atmospheric changes. For lean, stoop-shouldered persons who walk and sit stooping like old men. Standing is the worst position for Sulphur patients; they cannot stand; every standing position is uncomfortable. Dirty, filthy people, prone to skin affections. Aversion to being washed; always <. after a bath.
There is history of ailments after vaccination. There is dreams of falling, startling in sleep, have warts on face or on the body, with loss of appetite after vaccination. There is history of tuberculosis or respiratory diseases like asthma.
Adapted to hydrogenoid constitution of Grauvogl. Acts well in lymphatic temperament, in very fleshy persons, dark complexion, black hair unhealthy skin. Ailments from bad effects of vaccination; from suppressed or maltreated gonorrhoea. Fixed ideas: as if a strange person were at his side; as if soul and body were separated; as if a living animal were in abdomen; of being under the influence of a superior power.
- Needle pricks from within outwards in chest and also on forehead, right side. Sticking behind ear.
- Difficult respiration.
- Skin chafed about genitals.
- Sciatica and pain around the knee.