Vitiligo or Leucoderma
Vitiligo (Leucoderma), called Kilasa or Switra in Ayurveda, is a pigmentation disorder in which the skin pigment cells (melanocytes or cells that create pigments in the skin) get destroyed. Owing to this, de-pigmented (white) patches appear on different parts of the body. Vitiligo generally affects the hands, wrists, knees, neck and back. It may also affect the mucous membrane and the retina. The hair of scalp and beard may also be de-pigmented. In this situation, hair that grows from the affected patches may assume a white colour.
With regard to what causes leucoderma, researchers suggest auto-immunological (condition in which the immunity system itself attacks the body), neurological or auto-cytotoxic causes. Also included in the list by medical experts are acute gastric disorders, calcium deficiency, burns, intra-lesional steroid injections, mental stress, impairment of liver, skin irritation due to wearing tight clothes, use of stickers or tattoos on the skin etc. Additionally, Vitiligo can be related to certain auto-immune and inflammatory diseases such as Thyroid, Diabetes, Psoriasis and Pernicious Anemia. Vitiligo may also be hereditary.
Ayurvedic Treatments for Vitiligo or Leucoderma
In Ayurveda, Vitiligo is caused due to the imbalance of all the three doshas (Vatha, Pitha & Kapha) vitiating the Rakta Mamsa and Medhas dhatus. Consumption of incompatible food items (virrudh ahaar sewan) results in formation of toxins int he body. These toxins disturb the immune system, causing the pigment producing melanocytes cells to degenerate. Ayurveda predicates a four pronged to treat Vitiligo: 1) Nidana parithyaga (avoidance of all causative factors); 2) Shodhana Chiktsa(intense detoxification through Panchakarma in which treatments such as Vamana, Virechana and Rakthamoksham are administered); Shamana Chikitsa (administered thorough oral medications and external applications) and 4) Pathya (following the correct lifestyle and food habits, including yoga and meditation).