What is vitiligo?
The colour of the skin and hair is determined by melanin, a pigment produced by skin cells. When these cells stop functioning or die, they stop producing melanin, which results into loss of skin colour in patches, that may keep on increasing with time.
This condition can affect any part of the body, including hair and sometimes even inside mouth. It is said to be an autoimmune disease that can affect people of any age and descent, though it is more noticeable in people with dark complexion. It is a non contagious medical condition, which normally do not produce any harm, but does not look good cosmetically and affect the mental condition and feeling of social well-being.
Exact cause of vitiligo is unknown, but it is considered to be an autoimmune disorder in which melanocytes( melanin producing cells) die or do not function to produce melanin, a pigment responsible for the colour of skin and hair. This results into loss of skin colour from the affected areas.
Patients of vitiligo, sometimes have family history of the disease, meaning it may be inherited genetically.
Events like sunburn, severe skin trauma or stress may also act as triggering factors.
The primary symptoms of vitiligo include discolouration of the skin in patches, which usually begins in areas around the body openings, hand, face and the genitals. It is diagnosed when the patient observes premature whitening of the hair with the scalp around it, eyelashes, eyebrows or beard. There may also be loss of colour of the mucous membranes of mouth and nose.
According to the pattern in which discolouration progresses, vitiligo may be segmental or generalised.
- Segmental or focal: Focal vitiligo are in small patches and appear in a few areas on the skin. They are focal and tend to remain on one side of the body. This type usually progresses for some time and then stops by it own. Unlike generalised vitiligo, which spreads very fast, it is slow in progression.
- Generalised: This is the most common type of vitiligo, and can affect any part of the body. There appears large symmetrical patches on the skin on both sides of the body. The spread is periodical, stopping and starting on its own. No one can determine when and how it will start progressing. This process may continue for lifetime.
As the exact cause of vitiligo is not known, it is difficult to understand its risk factors. Family history of vitiligo may predispose a person to acquire this condition. Another risk factor is having vitiligo causing gene, like NLRP1 and PTPN22.
It is also observed that people having other autoimmune diseases like scleroderma, lupus, psoriasis, alopecia areata are more prone to developing vitiligo.
Homeopathy can work miraculously in treating vitiligo. Patients who want permanent cure for this problem should consult the best homeopathic doctor for skin diseases from the very beginning of the disease.
Vitiligo is not a disease in itself, but an outward manifestation of the problem that lies deep inside the body. Homeopathy reach that primary cause of the disease and thus treat it from the roots. Homeopathic medicines can effectively enhance the production of melanin and bring back the natural skin colour. Though one should always consult the best homeopathic doctor for skin for treating the condition, some common medicines which are frequently used in vitiligo are arsenic sulph flavum, arsenic album, baryta mur, baryta carb, etc.