Vitiligo is a dermal condition that leads to depigmentation of the epithelial tissues or the skin cells. The condition of vitiligo is also known as Leucoderma in the medical world. The main reasons for vitiligo though not known clearly but some thesis do show either hereditary trail where a third of the cases tend to have someone in the family history having the condition. Apart from this nervous system issues along with self-harm imposed on the body by the immune system are also reasons for this problem to affect individuals across the world. The cases normally affect the patients at a young age and mostly before mid-life if it has to crop up. Vitiligo is a condition where the melanocytes which are the pigments in the skin that cause it to have the color are affected and thus the skin loses its color. This results in depigmentation or white spots that occur on the skin. Melanin is the pigment given by melanocytes which are instrumental for the skin to get its color. Mostly these white spots occur in the regions which are exposed more to the sun. Thus hands, feet, and face form the major crux of the areas affected. Apart from this the hyperactive areas or sensitive ones like nipples and genitalia are also in harm’s way.
Vitiligo does not spread from one person to another and is not contagious but is quite a grave problem to have since even though it does not cause any pain but considering it affects one on the visible parts of the body, it can be quite traumatic and psychologically disturbing for the patient as it affects the early age group of people who tend to be quite conscious about the appearance. Also, these white spots that lack melanin are quite sensitive to harmful UV rays which are most commonly affected through direct sunlight. These can lead to white spots increasing and also further complications. The most basic way to stop this would be to use a good sunscreen in the range of 30 SPF. Also covering the body and using protective equipment as much as possible be it through clothes and masks is a viable solution.
Treatment in Modern Medicine and Allopathy – Although there is no direct cure for Vitiligo the treatment from modern medicine is divided into two stages. The first one is to stop the spread of these white spots. It focuses on not letting it increase. The second step is more into repigmentation of these white spots that is bringing back the original color. Protecting the spreading of these white spots has already been discussed and is mostly a result of self-care as much as possible. One can consult a doctor for specific creams to suit your skin type which can help you reduce the spread and also camouflaging products are available in today’s era. The repigmentation process generally happens through the intake of certain medical steroids, there is also a process called photochemotherapy and the third way is through the surgical process. Out of this, photochemotherapy is found to be most effective. But even so, it is only comparatively better and the success rate is only about fifteen percent. Apart from these, the remedies are not only time consuming but also costly. They tend to have some adverse side effects depend on how one’s body reacts to these processes. This is where Ayurveda comes into play.
Vitiligo Ayurvedic Treatment – Ayurveda is an ancient theory vastly studied, analyzed, and written thoroughly after centuries of study. Ayurveda looks at the skin as not a single entity but a seven-layered important part of the human body. Thus it focuses on getting to the root of the problem and curing it completely rather than just dealing with it on a surface level to provide temporary solutions. Ayurveda visualizes the condition of Vitiligo into five steps. The first is the causative factors, the second one being the early signs, the third comes to the symptoms of the disease, the fourth being the pathogenesis, and lastly the diagnosis. Let us look at each of this subpart to understand what actually leads to Vitiligo and the remedy that Ayurveda has to offer for it. Causative Factors The main cause of Vitiligo is the imbalance of doshas. Ayurveda realizes all individuals have certain Prakriti or body types based on which our body reacts to any situation. These Prakriti are the Vata, pitta, and Kapha. An imbalance of doshas is a result of how we lead our lives and that in turn becomes the causative factor for a condition like a leucoderma. Certain pivotal factors for this are the intake of food that are contrasted in nature simultaneously, heavy exercise while being exposed to the ultraviolet radiation or the sunlight, excessive intake of fat-rich foods or junk material, eating foods that are not of similar nature, wrong order of eating foods. Irregular eating and fasting is also a reason. Eating uncooked food or eating too much food and not allowing proper digestion can also be a factor that could be the starting point.
Initial signs are the ones that are not clearly evident or enough to conclude vitiligo but through research and observing various cases these could be the signs which further integrate into proper symptoms of vitiligo.
The initial signs are excessive itching on the body, profuse sweating or perspiration through skin pores, and patches on the skin though not necessarily white in color.
Symptoms mean giving out clear signs or symptoms leading to the conclusion that a person has vitiligo. The main symptom is patched but it happens in various ways. White spots are the most common symptom. But it is interesting that depending on what part of the human body is affected the color of the spots that emerge varies based on it. When the increased dosha in the body impairs the blood these spots are red, when they impair the muscle tissue they are coppery whereas when they impair the fat then the spots are white in color. As mentioned previously the third one is the most common condition and symptom of vitiligo. Ayurveda analyses Vitiligo as a condition that happens because of the illness or dysfunctionality of the liver. This means certain impairment to the liver is attributed to its effect on the skin depigmentation. A lack or impairment in the liver results in defrosted blood flow through the body and that affects the fat or skin issues resulting in Vitiligo.
Since one of the main reasons according to Ayurveda for the condition of Vitiligo is the accumulation of the doshas the obvious step in its treatment is the balance of these doshas and reducing the ama and toxin levels in the body. This is achieved by changing the daily habits of a person. Avoiding the intake of salts or at least to reduce it to as much extent as possible is mandatory to start the proceedings with. Apart from this, it is best to avoid junk food and things that are opposite in nature so that the body doesn’t have to take the stress of digesting the same. Since it is a result of liver disorder, the liver is an organ that is already a bit warm in nature. Thus it is important to avoid food that is warm in nature to stop aggravating the condition due to similar interference. Daily exercise and meditation are of extreme necessity to balance the doshas. Ayurveda looks at health as well being of not just the body but also the mind. For the need of a sound mind, meditation is pivotal and has a huge place in any ayurvedic treatment. Once these basic measures are followed, that forms the base for an ayurvedic treatment
which follows hereon to show the best and fastest results.
There are several herbs and home remedies suggested in the Ayurveda for the treatment of vitiligo. The main purpose of the treatment is to regenerate the liver cells. Khadira is one such herb. One has to intake the rasa of this herb. The nature of it is cold. Since we have already mentioned the liver is warm thus Khadira becomes very good for the condition of the liver. The decoction of the same helps in tackling the issues of both pitta and Kapha doshas. Somraja is another herb. The seeds of some raja are very important for the treatment of leucoderma. The powdered seeds are generally taken either alone with warm water or with amla juice or pepper and sesame seeds. Takeuchi is the most commonly used herb in Ayurveda for Vitiligo treatment. Another interesting use of Vakuchi is that the oils from the parts of these plants are extracted and applied on the patches over the skin to reduce them and prevent them from spreading. One can also make the paste of these seeds and mix it with milk. Applying the resultant solution on the skin is extremely beneficial and helps prevent the condition.