What is Leucoderma?

Leucoderma also known as vitiligo ,is a distressing skin condition. The word literally means white skin. 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.

This disease is caused neither by any germs, nor is it due to bad blood. It is considered to be neither infectious nor contagious.

As such it is hardly a disease of medical significance but more of a social stigma attached to it because of cosmetic reasons. As patient usually do not have any complaints like pain or itching etc.

What are the causes of Leucoderma?

The main causes of leucoderma are said to be-

1 Excessive mental worry.

2 Chronic or acute gastric disorders.

3 Jaundice.

4 Worms or other parasites in the alimentary canal.

5 Typhoid.

6 A defective perspiratory mechanism.

7 Burn injuries.

What are the symptoms of Leucoderma?

The problems usually start with a small white spot, which later develops into patches. These patches are pale in the beginning, but become whiter and whiter as time passes by due to loss of pigment. As the spot enlarge they merge into each other and in course of time form a very broad patch.

Some more symptoms of Leucoderma are-

  • Increased local sunburns.
  • Pruritis.
  • Premature graying etc.

What is the treatment done for Leucoderma?

In this type of treatment a superficial skin sample of 10sq.cms. is removed from the unaffected area to treat 100sq. cm’s. of Leucoderma (Vitiligo) patches. From this sample pigment cells are extracted and kept in a special medium.

The affected area is derma-abraded (scrapped superficially) to cause bleeding and then the melanocyte cells mixed with the cultured paste is applied over the bleeding area. The treated area is covered with a special Collagen dressing.