(Last Updated on : 31/08/2013)
Leucoderma literally means 'white skin' and is a condition in which there is a localized loss of pigmentation of the skin. Leucoderma is also known as vitiligo. This is mainly a distressing skin condition. There is a gradual loss of pigment melanin from the skin layer, which results in white patches. These patches look ugly, especially in persons with a dark complexion. The condition does not cause any organic harm.
Causes and Symptoms
: The problems usually start with a small white spot, which later develops into patches. These patches are pale in the beginning, but as time passed by due to the loss of pigmentation the patches become whiter and whiter. On the enlargement of the patches the spot enlarge and they merge into each other and in course of time form a very broad patch. In some cases most of the skin of the body may be covered by with white patches. Ayurveda maintains that leucoderma is caused by some morbidity of the liver, which results in a deficiency of pitta.
The main causes of leucoderma are said to be excessive mental worry, chronic or acute gastric disorder, and impaired hepatic function such as jaundice, worms or other parasites in the alimentary canal. The other causes can be mentioned as typhoid, a defective perspiratory mechanism, and burn injuries. Heredity is also a well-recognized causative factor.
Medicines & Prescriptions
: There are certain disposing factors in leucoderma. These can be explained as persons suffering from chronic dysentery and other digestive disorders are more prone to it than others. If a patient of leucoderma is found to be suffering from digestive disorders, they should be treated first. Extra attention should be given to those affected people. Kutaja or Holarrhena antidysenterica seems to be the drug of choice in this condition. Powder of the bark of the plant should be given in one-teaspoonful doses thrice daily to correct the condition. This is an effective medicine in the disease. Arogyavardhini Vati is another useful prescription. The normal dose is four tablets given thrice daily. Bhallataka or Semecarpus anacardium is also helpful in treating this condition. Linctus prepared from the drug is given in one-teaspoonful doses thrice daily. Swallowing a little ghee or butter before ingesting the drug can ward off the side effects that the drug is likely to have. It should be followed by a glass of milk.
The following prescriptions are specially recommended for Kilas patients:
1. Rasa Manikya
: Shashilekha Vati; Vakuchi Taila; Honey: 60 mg Rasa Manikya, 240 mg Shashilekha Vati, and 4 ml each of Vakuchi Taila and honey to be taken thrice daily.
2. Decoction of Khadira and Amla
: One dose of 58 ml to be taken in the morning.
3. Shweta Gunjadi Taila
: Should be applied on the affected parts.
Diet and Other plans for therapy
: The patient should be kept on a salt-free diet, as the absence of salt in the diet will speed up the recovery. Only rock salt is advised and that too in small quantities. Vegetables with a bitter taste like bitter gourd are beneficial.
Some other factors have to be taken care of and these include exposure to sun and heat should be avoided. The patient should avoid worry and mental strain. Some other measures are also important such as constitutional measures should be adopted to cleanse the system of accumulated toxins.
Regarding diet the patient should be extra conscious. To begin with the patient should undertake a fast of juices for about a week. After the juice fast the patient may adopt a restricted diet consisting of fresh fruits, raw or boiled vegetables and whole meal bread and chapattis. Curd and milk may be added to this diet after a few days. The patient may thereafter gradually embark upon a well balanced diet of seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, oil, honey and yeast. Juice fasting may be repeated at intervals of two months or so. The patient should avoid tea, coffee, or any type of alcoholic beverages. All condiments and highly flavored dishes, sugar, white flour products, denatured cereals like polished rice and pearled barley and tinned or bottled foods should also be avoided.