Symptoms And Causes Of Vitiligo

What is vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a medical term for the skin disease popularly known as leucoderma. In leucoderma, skin loses its color due to the loss of skin pigmentation called melanin caused by the destruction of melanocytes. The skin develops white spots of irregular size on various parts of the body, most affected of which usually are face, neck, arms and wrists. Vitiligo is also known as ‘safed koda’ or ‘safed dag’.

Though vitiligo is a medically harmless disease, its patients often faces embarrassment and humiliation due to the social stigma attached to it.

Vitiligo has affected people all over the world including. However, major incidences of vitiligo are observed in brown skinned people of tropical regions. Risk of developing vitiligo is equal among all people irrespective of their gender, age and race.

What causes vitiligo?

Vitiligo is autoimmune disease which occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks some parts of the body by forming antibodies against body’s own cells. Through this, the immune system destroys melanocytes which lead to the loss of skin pigmentation.

Defective melanin formation is another theory suggested by researchers. Children with vitiligo affected parents are only at a slightly higher risk than others.

What are its symptoms?

The only symptom of vitiligo is presence of white patches which are initially small but grows in size over a period of years. It usually starts appearing on face, hand and wrists first then spread to the other parts of body.

Though not a direct medical symptom of vitiligo, but due to the stigma attached to vitiligo, its patients can also suffer from depression and mood disorders.

What are its types?

Vitiligo is classified into two types known as segmental vitiligo and non-segmental vitiligo. Segmental vitiligo affects areas associated with dorsal ganglion or spinal ganglion. It spreads more rapidly but it is static. Non-segmental vitiligo continues to spread in a start and stop cycle.

How can it be treated?

Vitiligo is non-curable skin disorder. However, many treatments are available to reduce or hide the effects such as immune mediators, phototherapy, skin camouflage and homeopathy.

Jalan Healthcare, a healthcare clinic in Pune offers effective homeopathic treatments to cure health problems without any side effects.

Pune, Maharashtra 411001, India

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Originally published at on March 3, 2016.