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Vitiligo & Leucoderma What is the difference between vitiligo & Leucoderma ? Vitiligo & Leucoderma are two different terms used for the same skin disease. But some causative difference is there in between vitiligo & Leucoderma. Basically Leucoderma is a Latin word which literally means ‘white skin’. It is popularly known as white patch also. It generally happens due to absence of melanin pigmentation over the skin. Wisely we call it a ‘disorder’ as no pain and symptoms can be found in Vitiligo & Leucoderma. So, it can’t be termed as a disease. It may start with a small spot which later enlarge into a large white patch. It may be pale in colour initially but gradually it turns white with time due to complete loss of melanin pigmentation over affected areas. The shape and size of a white patch cannot be judged. Cause of Leucoderma could be accidental as a cut, burn or an ulcer. With due reasons the melanocytes cells which produce melanin pigment gets damaged. Due to this damage the pigmentation gradually disappears from the affected areas and the skin becomes white there resulting into a white patch. However cause of Vitiligo could be improper hygiene, inappropriate food combinations, regular junk food intake, insecticide/pesticide treated green vegetable intake regularly, past history of Jaundice or Typhoid fever, harsh Antibiotic use etc. One important cause of Vitiligo could be sudden emotional trauma, stress. Due to one reason or all reasons toxin substance is formed inside human body which disturbs the human Immune system and the disturbed immunity system reaches to the condition of Autoimmunity (a condition in which immune system of body destroys its own cells & tissues). This Autoimmunity is the basic important reason of Vitiligo according to Ayurvedic as well as Allopathic system of medicine. Ayurveda is the most ancient system of medicine. According to Ayurveda Vitiligo & Leucoderma are termed ‘Kilas’. It is further known as ‘Darun’, ‘Charun’ and ‘Switr’ as this is tridosaj. It is a skin disorder mainly due to inappropriate diet combination intake regularly and formed due to disturbance of tridosas namely ‘Vaat’, ‘Pitta’ and ‘Kapha’. After aggravation it moves & affects to rakta, mans and med dhatus. According to Ayurvedic texts Vitiligo is developed due to these regimens:

  • Intake of mutually contradictory food, and drinks which are liquid, unctuous and heavy;
  • Suppression of natural urges;
  • Performance of physical exercise in excessive heat and after taking very heavy meals;
  • Regular stress or sudden trauma;

Although hereditary condition which is almost 20-30%, is also attached as the cause of Vitiligo. But this is not certain that all the kids of vitiligo affected parents develop Vitiligo. Several families can be found normal despite family history of Vitiligo.

Melanocytes cells & Melanin pigment production

But, for Leucoderma / Vitiligo the most responsible factor are the ‘non functioning melanocytes’, cells which produce melanin pigment and provides natural colour to skin. These melanocytes cells gets inactivated or hypo activated due to various external or internal reasons as bad food behavior, abrupt life schedule, genetical inheritance etc. resulting in lesser production of melanin. Due to lack of melanin pigment the area of skin loses its basic colour forming a pale/white spot. The spot gradually enlarges and forms a larger patch. In some cases these patches remain stagnant through whole life. But in most cases these spread spontaneously and merge to each other covering most of the skin area. Alternately, in many cases only one patch enlarge spontaneously covering a larger skin area.