Vitiligo is a skin condition in which the pigment making cells of the skin called melanocytes are destroyed in certain areas of the body. These random skin patches spread around the body due to a skin losing pigment called melanoctyes which is destroyed in certain parts. Basically the skin leaves its natural color and lighter color spots appear to give an unattractive look to the person affected by this disease.
Ayurveda has mentioned this disease thousands of year back and is called shavitra or shweta Kushta.Charak smhita an ancient Ayurvedic medical text book has mentioned this disease and its treatment in very details.
The condition can take a long time to relapse. It can indeed increase if not properly treated. The patches of skin affected become white and have sharp margins. It also affects the hair on the skin which can become white. This disease can affect both sides of the body. It can also spread to the inside parts of the mouth, lips and nose. Also the sun can exacerbate the patches on those parts that are directly exposed to it.
Vitiligo affects over 1% of people in the world. Both genders are affected equally. It is observed that the disorder is easily found in people above 40 and some before 20.These days we are getting many patients under 10 year of age, reason may be pollution or use of preservative foods.
This disease is rather believed to be an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune process mistakenly attacks and destroys certain cells within the body. People also believe that Vitiligo is generic and can be seen in patients who inherit traits of this disease from their ancestors as the condition tends to run in families. There could be multiple other factors that influence this malady, one of which is thyroid dysfunction. It does not cause any significant health conditions but is more related to emotional and psychological consequences.
There are certain allopathic treatments available today but they do not offer 100% cure although Ayurveda has longstanding benefits and can greatly achieve significant progress in handling vitiligo.
Basically, Vitiligo is greatly visible in dark skin people who have high exposure to the sun. This disorder affects the person with depression and social stigma. Although how exactly it occurs is a matter of investigation, but some autoimmune diseases like hyperthyroidism, pernicious anemia and alopecia areata are found in Vitiligo patients. The disease can bilaterally affect the body also which is called non-segmental Vitiligo and there is also the segmental one in which there is no spread of the condition. There is definite testing for Vitiligo and the most common method is tissue biopsy to confirm if a person has vitiligo or any other disease.