What is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a disorder in which white patches appear on different parts of the body. The white patches of skin appear as the melanocytes die. Melanocytes are the cells responsible for producing the pigment melanin-which gives a normal colour to the skin.
What are the causes of Vitiligo?
The exact reason why the melanocytes die is not clearly understood. It is known to run in families. Auto immunity has been blamed, in which the immune system attacks and destroys the pigment producing cells.
The risk of getting vitiligo increases when the person has autoimmune disorders like patchy loss of hair (alopecia areata), thyroid disorder or diabetes. Certain drugs, industrial chemicals, emotional stress and strain are also linked in triggering vitiligo.
What are the signs and symptoms of Vitiligo?
Complete loss of skin colour or depigmented patches of varying sizes and shapes appear on any part of the body. Face, lips, feet and hands, waist and the legs are more commonly involved. Hair may also lose colour and appear white. Sometimes the patient’s skin is prone to minor trauma; it heals with depigmentation.
It is difficult to predict how vitiligo will progress. Patches of vitiligo enlarge slowly and may also affect the whole body, but this involvement is rarely complete. Sometimes the patches stop forming without any medical treatment.
How is Vitiligo diagnosed?
White patches are usually apparent. Special lamp (Woods lamp) is often used to determine whether you have vitiligo. Blood test to check blood cell count and thyroid function is often performed. In some cases a small sample study (biopsy) of the affected skin is done.
Homeopathic treatment for Vitiligo
Homeopathy confidently gives an excellent chance of recovery without any side effects. Treatment helps to restore the skin colour in most cases. However, results and duration of treatment varies from person to person. Treatment for white patches is done by examination the skin thoroughly using woods lamp.
A detailed personal, family and medical history is recorded. Treatment modality is selected after carefully evaluating the symptom. Standard Medical protocols are used to asses and measure the follow up progress. Homeopathic medicines improve the production of pigment melanin which helps improve skin appearance. Some people see results with the treatment in 3-6 months while some take about 8 to 9 months to show changes in depigmented patches.
Some patients respond extremely well to oral homeopathic medications. While in some combination treatment with light therapy has proved beneficial. The treatment with UVB light is repeated every week for several months depending on the progress.
Self-help tips for managing vitiligo
- Avoid sunburn as it worsens vitiligo.
- Use sun screen lotions liberally when outdoors.
- Use water resistant sunscreen with SPF 30 or more.
- Reapply sunscreen every 2-3 hours particularly when you are outdoors or swimming.
- Use light cotton clothing that protects you from sun burn.
- Correct nutritional defects. Use foods rich in copper and Vitamin B12.