By Dr Harsh Sharma, DHMS, BHMS
Vitiligo or Leucoderma (फुलवेहरी)
Vitiligo or Leucoderma is a chronic skin condition in which skin loses its natural colour. White coloured spots appear instead of normal skin. This occurs in patches which may or may not be symmetrical in distribution. Vitiligo can affect any of the body parts. It can even affect the hair, eyes or even the inner side of one’s mouth.
What happens to the skin in Vitiligo or Leucoderma (फुलवेहरी में त्वचा कैसी हो जाती है)
The normal colour of our skin is due to presence of a pigment called melanin. This is formed from cells called melanocytes. When there is deficiency of melanin, the skin loses its natural colour and there is white discoloration of the skin. This condition is called Leucoderma or Vitiligo.
Who is afflicted by Vitiligo or Leucoderma (फुलवेहरी किन लोगों को होती है)
Almost 1% of the global population is affected by vitiligo or leucoderma. People from all parts of the world are affected though the rate of affliction may vary a bit from one part of the world to the other. Most of the people develop this problem in their twenties or thirties. It affects both males and females in almost equal proportions. It may run in families though it is not hereditary. It tends to affect more those who have some sort of autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. But this does not mean that those who have leucoderma will have other autoimmune diseases.
Causes of Leucoderma or Vitiligo (फुलवेहरी के कारण)
As of now, there is no clear known factor that has been implicated. It is being increasingly thought of as an autoimmune disease. This means that it is the body’s own defence system which is responsible for destroying the melanin in the skin. What leads to this problem is not completely understood. Other possible causes have also been thought of. Mental stress can also be a contributor. It has been often observed that prolonged mental stress or a single major event in one’s life causing stress may lead to vitiligo. In some cases, even sunburns have been seen to trigger leucoderma or vitiligo.
Signs and Symptoms of Leucoderma or Vitiligo (फुलवेहरी के लक्षण)
There are no signs and symptoms of leucoderma or vitiligo except the white discoloration of the skin. This discoloration of the skin is usually in patches. It may affect any part of the body. In most patients, more than one part of the body is affected. These patches are more likely to be present where the skin is exposed to sun. The face, hands and wrists are more commonly affected. The patches are usually small initially but they grow over a period of time. Small patches may coalesce and form bigger ones. They may even change their shape over a period of time. In some patients, there may be premature graying of hair of the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes or beard. There may even be loss of pigmentation in the mucous membranes of the mouth.
Are these white spots of Leucoderma or Vitiligo contagious or infectious ? (क्या फुलवेहरी एक संक्रामक रोग है ?)
A common misperception among some people is that leucoderma is contagious or infectious. This is not true. Vitiligo is not contagious. This means that it cannot spread from one patient to another through contact. Let us say a family member or a close friend of yours has vitiligo. These white patches cannot spread from him or her to you just by coming in touch with the patient. There is no need to worry or entertain any sich thoughts in your mind.
Myths about leucoderma or vitiligo (फुलवेहरी से जुड़े कुछ भ्रम)
A common myth heard of in our part of the world is that Leucoderma occurs when one takes milk after eating fish. This is an oft heard cause about leucoderma. Some people say that it can be caused by eating fish after curd. Still some believe that taking pickles or some citrus fruits can cause these white patches or vitiligo. None of the things mentioned here is true. One should not have any doubts on this count. Diet has not been known to be a direct or indirect cause of the whit patches or leucoderma.
Attitude of doctors and medical community towards vitiligo or leucoderma ( फुलवेहरी के प्रति लोगों और डॉक्टरों की सोच)
Despite so many advances in modern medical world, the allopathic system of medicine has not been able to find a reliable medicine or any method for curing vitiligo. From the medical point of view, vitiligo may not be a serious disease. This is because it does nothing more than the discoloration of the skin. There are no other serious effects of the disease. It is in no way life threatening. It does not in any way impair one’s lifestyle or cause any disability. Therefore doctors and the medical professionals tend to take it less seriously. This does not in any way mean that the patients also think in a similar manner. For a patient, this is not just a cosmetic issue. It is directly related to his or her appearance; this has a direct bearing on his or her self confidence. So many patients go into a depression because they are not able to cope up with the way they start looking, more so if the face or the exposed parts of the body like hands or amrs are affected.
Treatment of white spots or vitiligo or leucoderma (फुलवेहरी का उपचार)
As mentioned earlier in the previous paragraph, there is no proper cure for leucoderma or vitiligo in the allopathic system of medicine. Topical steroids or steroidal creams are usually given at the early stage of the disease, though the results are not encouraging. One often starts getting some side effects of the steroids, more so because they have to be applied for long periods running into months before any effect is seen. By that time, the side effects start becoming visible and patients are forced to stop such steroidal creams to prevent further damage. Other therapies like UV radiation and laser therapy are also used in the treatment of vitiligo but the results are nothing to write about.
Homeopathy for vitiligo or leucoderma (फुलवेहरी का होम्योपैथिक उपचार)
Patients often fall for the belief that if something cannot be cured with allopathic medicines, it means that it is incurable. Nothing is farther from the truth. There are so many diseases for which there is no reliable treatment in allopathy but they are curable in Homeopathy. Piles, anal fissure, kidney stones are just to name a few. Leucoderma is another such disease. In vitiligo, allopathy is able to accomplish nothing. In contrast to this, homeopathic treatment for leucoderma or vitiligo is very good. The results are very encouraging. I have personally seen so many cases getting completely cured. In many other cases, there has been partial success. By partial success I mean that the patches either reduce in size or number. There are still other cases where the disease is arrested and is not allowed to spread further. In many cases even this is a commendable performance.
Homeopathic treatment for vitiligo or leucoderma– The 5 best homeopathic medicines for vitiligo (फुलवेहरी के लिए ५ उत्तम होम्योपैथिक दवाएं )
After having treated hundreds of cases of vitiligo or leuoderma in my 2 decades of practice, I have compiled a list of some medicines which are more commonly used and very effective at the same time. This just means that these medicines cover a larger number of cases of leucoderma than the other remedies.
Here are the 5 best homeopathic medicines for Leucoderma-
Calcarea Carb- best remedy for leucoderma or vitiligo with dark borders
Silicea- best homeopathic medicine for vitiligo with loss of confidence
Thuja – best medicine for vitiligo with warts and polyps
Sepia-best medicine for leucoderma with increased sweating
Ars Sulph Flav- best homeopathic medicine for vitiligo
There are more than 2 scores of homeopathic remedies that are used for the treatment of leucoderma. All of them are equally effective if the symptoms of the patient match with the homeopathic medicine. So one should not entertain these thoughts that these 5 are the only homeopathic remedies for leucoderma.
Brief indications of the symptoms of the 5 best homeopathic medicines for leucoderma or vitiligo are being given below-
1. Calcarea Carb- One of the best homeopathic medicines for leucoderma with dark borders ( केलकेरिया कार्ब – गहरे रंग की सीमा रेखा के साथ फुलवेहरी के लिए )
In patients where the white spots or patches of vitiligo are surrounded by dark borders, Calcarea Carb is one of the best homeopathic remedies for leucoderma. The skin around the patch or the white spots is normal but the white patch is sort of circumscribed with areas of darker skin. That is why it is being referred to as dark borders. Other symptoms of the Calcarea Carb patient are usually that he or she is fat and cannot tolerate cold weather. Constipation is usually present.
2. Silicea – One of the best homeopathic medicine for vitiligo with loss of confidence (सिलिशिया – आत्म विविष्वास की कमी के साथ फुलवेहरी के लिए )
In patients that are diffident and have loss of confidence, Silicea is one of the best homeopathic medicine for vitiligo. The patient is usually shy and afraid of mixing up with new people. The patient is usually chilly and catches cold easily. There may be bad odor in the perspiration and that may be reflected in the feet which smell badly. The nails may be deformed or crippled.
3. Thuja- One of the best homeopathic remedy for white spots with warts and polyps (थूजा – मस्सों के साथ फुलवेहरी के लिए )
When there is presence of warts and other growths like moles and polyps on the skin along with leucoderma, Thuja is one of the best homeopathic remedy for white spots. The skin is usually dry and there are brown spots too. There are strong chances of such warts and eruptions in the genito-urinary region.
4. Sepia – One of the best homeopathic medicines for leucoderma with increased sweating (सीपिया – उन लोगों की फुलवेहरी के लिए जिन्हें अधिक पसीना आता हो )
In cases where there is a lot of sweating, Sepia is one of the best homeopathic medicines for leucderma. The sweating may be too much as a whole, more so on the feet and toes. There may even be foul smelling perspirations. The patient becomes so irritable that he or she is easily offended, even at things which are said in lighter vein. At times, the patients become completely indifferent to their families and children too.
5. Arsenic Sulph Flavum- One of the best homeopathic remedies for vitiligo (आर्सेनिक सल्फ फलेवं – फुलवेहरी के लिए उत्तम दवा )
This remedy is so famous for its use in vitiligo that it is often used as a stock remedy. All vitiligo patients have usually heard of this medicine from one or the other source before they seek treatment from a homeopathic doctor. There may be itching in various parts of the body though not necessary in the white spots. The patient is so chilly that he cannot keep warm in front of a fire. When such symptoms are present, Arsenic Sulph Flavum is one of the best homeopathic remedies for vitiligo.