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Leucoderma

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Definition

Leucoderma is the gradual loss of skin pigment, called melanin, from layers of the skin. White patches occur all over the body including face, scalp and genitals.

Causes

Even though the exact causative factor of Leucoderma is not known, the following could be one of the factors:

  • Excessive stress or worry
  • Chronic gastric problems or improper liver functions
  • Excessive consumption of opposite food items (e.g. milk and fish together)
  • Worms/parasites in the digestive system
  • Burns and injuries
  • Heredity problem

Symptoms

  • White patches (de-pigmentation) on skin, hands, feet, face, lips, etc. Initially small white spots appear, and gradually develop into white patches.
  • Premature graying of scalp hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, and beard

Ayurvedic View

According to Ayurveda, Leucoderma is caused due to the aggravation of Pitta Dosha. Pitta is an Ayurvedic humor which symbolizes heat or fire, and is manifested in the skin. Aggravated Pitta leads to accumulation of ama (toxins) in deep layers of the skin, leading to the condition of Leucoderma.

Pitta is of five types; one of them is Bhrajak Pitta that gives coloration to skin. In the case of Leucoderma, Bhrajak Pitta is in an imbalanced state, and therefore, the skin starts losing its color and white patches appear. Along with Pitta Dosha, deeper body tissues like Rasa Dhatu (nutrient plasma), Rakta (blood), Mansa (muscles), Lasika (lymph) are also involved in the disease.

Treatment consists of pacifying imbalanced body energies, cleansing the blood and administrating herbs that restore skin color. Poor digestion is the root cause of this disease, as it causes the build-up of toxins in the tissues. An essential part of treatment, therefore, is restoring digestion. The patient will also be advised on the correct diet and lifestyle adjustments to prevent recurrence of the disorder.

Diet & Lifestyle Advice

  • Increase consumption of vegetables that are bitter in taste, like drumsticks and bitter gourd.
  • Stay away from difficult to digest foods, sour taste, excessive salt, curd, fish, jaggery and sesame seeds
  • Avoid consumption of opposite foods, such as fish and milk together
  • Have sound and adequate sleep daily
  • Do not over-expose yourself to excessive cold or heat conditions

Some Home Remedies

  • A paste made of Bakuchi (Psoralea Corylifolia) and vinegar should be applied over the white patches and exposed to early sunrays for 15 minutes.
  • Ginger juice (10ml) twice a day ensures proper blood supply to these white patches.
  • Turmeric powder well mixed in mustard oil is also a good external application as a home remedy for Leucoderma.
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