Leucoderma, also known as vitiligo, is a rare skin disease characterized by white spots and patches. The white patch or spot is called as leucoderma and when it occurs without any preceding disease it is called Vitiligo.
Leucoderma in literal term means white skin. This kind of condition is mistaken for another skin disease i.e. leprosy.
Under this skin condition, certain parts of the skin gradually lose color leaving behind white patches. This occurs due to loss of melanin, a dark pigment which gives color to skin. It may begin with a small patch but slowly and steadily spreads throughout the body. This is not a dangerous or contagious skin disease.
The actual cause is still unknown though numerous studies have been conducted on the subject. Some of the perceived causes are emotional stress, hereditary factors, worms, sunburns (See What are the Effects of Sunlight on the Skin?) and physical illness. This skin condition can be aggravated due to diseases like hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, pernicious anemia and Addison's disease.
Some tips to be kept in mind
- Avoid stress and try to relax
- Do not use hard soaps while bathing
- Get a sun bath in the early hour for 20-30 minutes
- Avoid cosmetics like cream, powder and other triggering agents.
- Increase iron deficiency by eating foods such has meat, liver, cereals, beans, lentils and green leafy vegetables.
- Avoid citrus fruits, tamarind, fish, lobsters, crabs and prawns.
- Sodium or salt consumption should be completely stopped during the leucoderma treatment.