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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. 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 skin disease.

What is vitiligo disease?

  • It is a common condition in which the skin loses the pigment that determines its colour
  • The extent and rate of color loss is unpredictable
  • It is also known as leucoderma and can affect the skin or any part of your body
  • It is generally characterised by irregular, pale or milky white patches on the skin
  • It can affect people of any age, gender, or ethnicity
  • The condition is not contagious or life-threatening.

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 symptoms 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

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.

Does vitiligo always spread?

As far as the progress of vitiligo disease is concerned, it is 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.

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

What should you do if you see vitiligo symptoms on your skin?

If you see any of the above mentioned 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

The scope of homeopathy treatment for vitiligo extends beyond the physical symptoms, and the approach is holistic in nature. It addresses the underlying conditions of mental stress and depression that are seen in many vitiligo patients.
Homeopathic medicines for vitiligo give 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.
Homeopathy treatment for vitiligo helps to correct the melanin destruction thus prevents recurrence of the disease. Additionally, homeopathic medicines for vitiligo are natural and have no side-effects and don’t cause any severe burns and blistering, which is seen commonly in case of conventional medicine use.
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.

Things to remember

Protect your skin. Use a sunscreen (SPF 30), enriched with echinacea, a natural moisturiser, which protects the skin from the sun’s harmful rays. It helps guard the skin from sunburn and long-term damage. It also minimises tanning — this makes the contrast between normal and depigmented skin less apparent

Conceal imperfections. Cosmetics that cover the white patches on skin may improve one’s appearance and help one feel better about oneself. Such products may be particularly effective if one has vitiligo limited to the exposed areas of the body. Speak to your homeopathic doctor about products that are safe and also suit the affected individual’s skin best

Fish and milk myths. There is no need for dietetic restrictions in vitiligo.

Also Read: 10 reasons Homoeopathy is good for Vitiligo

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