What is Vitiligo? Causes of Vitiligo
What is Vitiligo
It is a skin related disease also known as "leucoderma", which means white skin. Vitiligo is a common disorder of depigmentation, which occurs due to retarded production of melanin in the skin. Melanin is a pigment produced by melanocytes, which are the cells located in the outer layer of the skin called epidermis. Melanin gives color to the skin and also protects it from ultraviolet rays. When melanocytes lose their power of producing melanin, discoloration of the skin starts taking place and appears as white patches. This is called vitiligo. As the production of melanin retards further, previous white patches start expanding and becoming prominent and new patches start developing. When it stops completely, the patches become completely white. Gradually almost whole skin becomes white but usually no other changes take place in the white patches and particularly there is no formation of scales over them.
Vitiligo is found all over the world, in all countries and all races. It may occur in either sex at any age but mostly it starts before 30 years age. Within this age group, occurrence of vitiligo is more common in childhood and teen age.
Causes of Vitiligo
The exact cause of vitiligo is not yet known but it is generally understood as local disorder of the skin resulting from pigmentary changes. There are different views about it. Some of the views are:
- Result of a circulating anti-melanocytes auto antibody. The incidence is increased in other autoimmune diseases like pernicious anemia and Graves' disease etc.
- It is neurogenic in origin, a humeral substance originating from the nerve endings destroying the melanocytes causing vitiligo.
- A precursor of melanin within the cell becomes cytotoxic under certain circumstances, with the same effect.
- One opinion is that vitiligo is caused by taking milk immediately after a particular type of fish but no body knows which type of fish is that. This is only a myth not the true cause of vitiligo.
Vitiligo Main Points
- It starts in small patches, which gradually become large
- It does not spread suddenly in few days
- Every white spot does not point to vitiligo
- Vitiligo is not life threatening
- Vitiligo is not contagious
- Its cause is internal not external
- Certain food items can speed up the spread of vitiligo
- External applications for vitiligo treatment do not remove the cause of vitiligo
- It has great cosmetic and social value
- Vitiligo is curable by homeopathic treatment
Our experience with cured cases shows that it is neurogenic in origin, triggered by certain imbalances of heat and moisture in the body and aggravated by certain kinds of food items. Vitiligo occurs due to internal disorder that appears on the skin as white patches. It is not just a local disorder. Ultraviolet rays are only an aggravating factor, not the cause of vitiligo.
We do understand that modern medical science does not recognize hot and cold effects of food stuff, nor do they believe much in diet precautions whereas good or bad effects of diet are a reality and appear in different forms depending on dietary habits. Frequent and prolonged use of certain items can create imbalances in the body and disturb the body chemistry. Such effects can aggravate or help in controlling a disease. In addition to using homeopathic medicines, we have used this factor with great success and have successfully treated many cases of vitiligo.