Leucoderma is usually treated with prescription creams but some cases may require skin grafting and psoralen photochemotherapy.
Leucoderma, also referred to as vitiligo, is a skin disorder in which the epidermis (the uppermost layer of the skin) loses its natural color. Vitiligo begins with the formation of small white patches on the skin. Over time, these patches become bigger and soon affect the entire body. This skin problem is the result of deprivation of melanin, a pigment that gives the skin its natural color. With significant drop in melanin levels, the skin appears strikingly white. The key to get rid of this skin disorder is to start leucoderma treatment as soon as skin discoloration is seen in the form of small white patches.
The success rate of vitiligo creams depends on the amount of time the skin disorder has been left untreated. In case the patient is suffering from leucoderma since one year and has now decided to apply these steroid creams, the chances of improvement are less. The key to make this form of treatment effective is to use it as soon as vitiligo symptoms are detected. In case, depigmentation is severe and appears as large white patches, the use of milder topical creams isn’t effective. In such cases, strong vitiligo creams containing a high concentration of the required medicine has to be prescribed.
Psoralen is a drug and when taken orally or applied topically, does an excellent job of darkening the skin, once it is exposed to ultraviolet light. After examining the patient, the doctor will decide whether to administer it topically or internally. If leucoderma has affected extensively then the medication is given orally and then after 2-3 hours the patient is made to sit in front of a UVA light source. UVA light activates psoralen which helps to darken the skin. This tanning process induced by the reaction of psolaren with UVA light decreases the visibility of white patches considerably.
This method is used only when depigmentation occurs in small patches and is restricted to a specific area on the body. Skin grafting involves removing healthy skin tissues from a specific location and then stitching them on depigmented areas of the skin.
It is observed that leucoderma patients suffer from deficiency of vitamin B12, folic acid and vitamin C. Studies show that overcoming this deficiency by taking these vitamins orally for a stipulated period of time, can help restore natural skin complexion. Other than vitamin C and folic acid supplements, patients are put on vitamin B12 injections to promote repigmentation. In case the skin discoloration has spread considerably, the supplements will have to be taken for more than a year to recover completely.
Leucoderma patients need to stay away from foods that slow down the process of healing. In order to see noticeable improvement in the affected skin, do not include dairy products, red meat and fruits like mango in the diet. A healthy diet consisting of vegetables like spinach, tomatoes, broccoli and cabbage is helpful to recover from skin discoloration. Fruits like apples and blueberries display excellent antioxidant properties and therefore should form an integral part of the diet. Inclusion of oats, nuts and garlic, too can contribute to overcome this skin disorder.
Anti Vitiligo Oil
Made from natural ingredients, anti vitiligo oil can certainly work to get rid of those white patches. The depigmented patches fade away with regular application of anti vitiligo oil. Being free from harsh chemicals, this herbal oil does not produce any side effects, such as skin irritation. Massage the oil everyday and one will notice considerable improvement within 2 months. Unlike creams that need to be applied twice or thrice a day, the oil has to be used just once in a day. Massaging should be continued till the oil gets completely absorbed in the affected area.
St John’s Wort
Topical application of this herb is helpful to minimize the appearance of discolored patches. In order to apply it topically, first take a cup (8oz) of water and heat it until it starts boiling. Once it begins to boil, switch off the heat and then add a tablespoon of leaves and flowers of St John’s Wort to the boiled water. Let these extracts of St John’s Wort remain in the hot water. After 30 minutes, remove these extracts and rub them on the affected area. Taking this herb internally in the form of supplements may also help to get rid of this condition.
One should also take precautionary measures to protect the affected skin from sun damage. Whenever going out in the sun, applying a sunscreen lotion that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of preferably 30 is necessary to prevent leucoderma from getting aggravated.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.