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How to identify vitiligo from a normal white patch?

Imagine you wake up one morning and find a tiny white spot on your face. You may assume the spot to be a normal white patch and leave it to disappear on its own. A similar thing has happened with Rohan when he was just 4-years old. He discovered a white spot on the left side of his eye. He just assumed it was a birth mark. It never spread and it wasn't bothersome, so he never worried much about it. Even his Mom said it was a birthmark because she had forgotten that he was not actually born with it. So by the time, it appeared on his left hand, he thought its normal skin tan. Later on, the patches started spreading to other parts of the body. This was the time when he visited a doctor and came to know about vitiligo disease.

Vitiligo skin disease is a common condition in which the skin loses the pigment that determines its colour. It is also known as leucoderma and is generally characterised by irregular, pale or milky white patches on the skin.

While it is difficult for a person to identify a white patch as vitiligo skin disease, it is very important to educate people about this condition. How does it look like? How can it be diagnosed and treated? Read on.

What does Vitiligo look like?

The key vitiligo symptom is the sudden onset of a single, few or many milky white patches of irregular shapes and sizes on the skin. Small areas of de-pigmentation gradually start spreading to involve larger areas of the body. The patches appear more prominent on dark-skinned people and can be quite disfiguring at times.

Also Read: The ‘White Lies’: Debunking Vitiligo Myths & Facts

As far as the progress and reasons for white spots on the skin are concerned, they are highly unpredictable. Some cases experience an extremely fast advancement, with quick involvement of large areas of the body, whereas in some cases, there may be a few small patches that do not change much with time. The active phase of development of new patches can be followed by a phase that does not present any new patches.

Over time, some of the vitiligo patches may re-pigment themselves.

Patches of vitiligo can affect any part of the body, though sun-exposed regions, along the folds of the skin (e.g., groins, armpits), areas around body orifices or sites of previous injury are commonly affected. Following are some common patterns of body affection seen in vitiligo patients:

  • focal: the patches are limited to particular areas of the body
  • segmental: distribution of the patches is usually asymmetrical, affecting one side of the body
  • symmetrical: bilaterally symmetrical patches over the body
  • generalised: widespread patches spread all over the body
  • over bony prominences: the skin near the joints is affected
  • lip-tip vitiligo: vitiligo that is limited to the lips, tips of the fingers and toes; and
  • genital vitiligo: private parts of the body are affected.

Hence, if you see any of these vitiligo symptoms, it is recommended to approach a homeopathic doctor soon. During the consultation, your doctor will be able to diagnose vitiligo disease on seeing white patches on the body — especially on sun-exposed areas — the hands, feet, arms, face and  lips. In addition, your medical and family history will enable the doctor to confirm your diagnosis.

Also Read: Understanding Vitiligo in Children

Homeopathy treatment for Vitiligo

Homeopathic medicines for vitiligo are natural and have no side-effects unlike conventional medicine which could cause severe burns and blistering. Homeopathic medicine has long lasting results unlike short term results seen in conventional medicines. Homeopathic medicine is prescribed on individual case history so the underlying stress can be effectively treated with homeopathy which can bring about a positive result in the treatment of Vitiligo. If the disease is not controlled it can recur. Homeopathy helps to correct the melanin destruction thus prevents recurrence of the disease. Unlike skin grafts which could cause scarring, homeopathy has not external treatment except the sweet pills which cause no scarring. Homeopathic medicine helps triggering re-pigmentation and corrects the altered immune response. Associated diseases like thyroid and diabetes can also be controlled with homeopathic medicine and proper diet regime.

Also Read: 10 reasons Homoeopathy is good for Vitiligo

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