Skin is the biggest differentiator of humans from humans. It might vary in texture, colour, shade, and nature. Our skin gets colour from a special pigment called melanin. It gives colour to our skin, hair, lips, and eyes. Sometimes, the skin starts losing melanin which results in the formation of white patches. This condition is known as leucoderma or vitiligo. In Ayurveda, it is known as Shweta Kushta.
Ayurveda states that it is the result of the vitiation of Vata and Pitta dosha. Medical studies suggest that the white patches formed on the skin result from the loss of melanin from the skin. It may happen to any person at any age and affect any body part. If the disease continues unchecked for long, it may cause the skin to lose melanin altogether leading to albino like appearance.
In this article, you will get to know about the disease in detail and also the ayurvedic treatment of leucoderma which is the most natural way of treating white patches on the skin effectively.
Types of Leucoderma
Vitiligo is divided into two types:
- Segmental Vitiligo: it is the stable kind of leucoderma that rapidly spreads all along the body. Its appearance is quite asymmetrical and irregular along with body parts. Normally, it is related to the nerves and begins in the dorsal roots located along the spinal cord.
- Non-segmental Vitiligo: It mostly happens to the areas that are exposed to sun and is symmetrical in nature.
Causes of Leucoderma
The exact mechanism and cause of vitiligo is yet to be known but the normal verdict is that the disease is caused by a mistaken attack of immune cells on normal body cells and tissues.
Apart from this, the doctors also suggest emotional distress and sunburns as a leading cause of this problem. Sometimes, people inherit the problem from their ancestors via genetic transfer.
The list of common causes include:
- Acute gastric diseases
- Calcium deficiency
- Post Dermabrasion
- Excess pressure, anxiety, tension and stress
- Tattoos or stickers on skin
- Wearing rubber gloves
- Malfunctioning of the liver
- Intralesional steroid injection
- Inflammatory skin conditions
- Wearing tight clothes
Symptoms of Leucoderma
There is a series of symptoms observed when the skin starts losing melanin:
- Small white coloured patches that start expanding as time goes by.
- Hair loss.
- Premature hair greying.
- Hair on patches turns white.
- Increased sensitivity to cold environments.
- Mood swings and depression.
Ayurvedic Treatment For Leucoderma
Ayurvedic texts describe leucoderma as Shweta Kushta. It is caused by a disturbance in the three life-sustaining forces of the human body - Vata, Pitta, and Kapha dosha. The vitiation of these three doshas adds toxins to Mamsa, Rakta, and Medha status.
In Ayurveda, vitiligo is divided into three basic types:
- Aruna - When the doshas add impurity to the muscle tissues (mamsa dhatu), the patches appear in a coppery shade.
- Kilasa - When the doshas add impurities to the fat tissues (meda dhatu), the patches appear in white colour. It is one of the most commonly occurring forms of leucoderma.
- Daruna - When the doshas add impurities to the blood (rakta dhatu), the patches appear in red colour.
Ayurvedic treatment for leucoderma follows the below-given line of treatment:
- Shodhana: The treatment begins with detoxification of the specific dhatu that has been vitiated by the doshas. The treatment includes various Panchakarma therapies like Rakta mokshana, Virechana, Vamana, etc. Sometimes leeches are also used for this purpose.
- Shamana: This part of treatment deals with the pacification of the aggravated doshas that form the root cause of the problem. It is done using internal and external Ayurvedic medicines for leucoderma.
- Pathya: This part directs the lifestyle and diet of people suffering from this problem. Diet and lifestyle modification is one of the biggest parts of white patches treatment in Ayurveda. It includes some strict diet restrictions, regular exercise, and lifestyle modifications.
Other than this, Ayurveda also gives due importance to therapies that restore the lost balance of doshas in the body.
Why Ayurveda for Leucoderma?
Because Ayurveda offers the most correct treatment for leucoderma. It works on the underlying cause of the problem and aims to resolve it forever. The herbs and concoctions used in the treatment process are completely natural and free of any chemicals. This ensures that only the affected body part is treated and no other body parts are affected through therapies and medication. Zero side-effects are the biggest boon of Ayurvedic treatment for leucoderma.
Home Remedies For Leucoderma
The remedies mentioned here are not the total treatment for the disease. But they help in increasing the impact of medicines and improve the overall health of the body.
- Topical Home Remedies: It is said that a mixture of lemon and sweet basil extract or turmeric and mustard oil mixture can help in reducing the appearance of patches. Regular application also helps in restoring the natural skin colour on the patches provided it is done alongside treatment therapies and medication.
- Fruits and Vegetables: Vitiligo patients are required to increase their diet of fruits and vegetables. The most recommended fruits include bananas, apples, green leafy veggies, figs, dates, beets, carrots, radishes, and root vegetables.
- Diet Restrictions: The treatment for leucoderma can only be successful if the patient sticks to the devised food chart. They must stay away from a lot of things like alcohol, coffee, curds, blueberries, fish, citrus, etc. Regular or excessive intake of these food items may worsen the loss of melanin and lead to several other problems.
- Vitamin Intake: Discolouration of skin may be prevented with regular intake of some specific vitamins like vitamin B-12, vitamin D, C, amino acids, enzymes, ginkgo biloba, and beta carotene-rich substances.
- Minerals: Copper, iron and zinc are the three minerals deemed important for the prevention of vitiligo. Copper can be added to the daily diet by drinking water from copper vessels while for iron and zinc the patient must include iron and zinc supplements to the diet.
- Regular Exercise: Regular exercise can help in improving overall blood circulation and purifying its toxins. Whether you choose Yoga, aerobics, or regular workouts, just make sure you keep them regularly without any break. Even the minor breathing pranayama like kapalbhati can be very helpful in detoxifying your systems inside out. They can easily improve the skin texture and restore its lost balance.
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