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Understanding Vitiligo Treatment: Diagnosis, and Ayurvedic Approach



Let’s Know about Vitiligo, a condition where segments of skin lose their pigment and this can be classified into segmental vitiligo or non-segmental vitiligo.


Key Takeaways on Vitiligo:

1. Understanding Vitiligo: Vitiligo is a condition where segments of skin lose their pigment, leading to white patches. It can be classified into segmental or non-segmental types.

2. Causes and Symptoms: Vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder where the body's immune system attacks healthy cells, leading to pigment loss. Symptoms include white patches, loss of skin and hair color, and sensitivity to sunlight.

3. Causative Factors: Vitiligo can be inherited, triggered by stress, autoimmune disorders, viral infections, or exposure to chemicals and sunlight. Dietary habits and lifestyle choices also play a role.

4. Pathogenesis: According to Ayurveda, vitiligo results from an imbalance of vata and pitta doshas. Understanding the underlying doshic imbalance is key to Ayurvedic treatment.

5. Ayurvedic Management: Ayurveda offers holistic treatments for vitiligo, including Panchakarma therapies like Snehana, Swedana, Virechana, Vamana, and Vasthy. External applications of medicated pastes and internal medications are also prescribed.

6. Herbal Remedies: Various herbs like Bakuchi, Bhallataka, Manjistha, Neem, Aragwadha, and Guduchi are used in Ayurvedic formulations to manage vitiligo and restore skin color.

7. Dietary and Lifestyle Tips: Bitter herbs and vegetables, antioxidant-rich foods, hydration, and stress management are essential. Avoiding specific food combinations, sun exposure, and late nights can help manage vitiligo.

8. Home Remedies: Mustard oil and turmeric paste, zinc-rich foods, copper vessel water, and herbal applications like walnut powder and papaya paste can be beneficial in managing vitiligo.

9. FAQs About Vitiligo: Common questions about the condition, its treatment, prevention, and impact on skin color and overall health are addressed.

10. Holistic Approach: Ayurveda emphasizes a holistic approach to vitiligo management, focusing on balancing doshas, supporting immunity, and restoring skin health naturally.



Skin, being the most essential organ of the body, acts as a protective shield against harmful microorganisms, external pollution, and skin cancer. It also imparts melanin which is  a very important pigment that gives color to our skin. When there is a gradual loss of this pigment in our skin, it causes a white patch known as leucoderma (Leuco – white, derma – skin) or what we call as Swithra or Shwetha kusta in Ayurveda. Leucoderma is also known as vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system   of your body attacks the healthy cells and as a result, it starts affecting your own body.

As vitiligo is not contagious,it can reduce ones self-confidence and social exposure. This can be seen in any age groups, including people with vitiligo, and also any parts of the body like mouth, hair, eyes, lips and it can vary from person to person. Ayurveda has diagnosis and treatment that effectively solve the issues of patients with vitiligo.


Here’s is a list of few causative factors of vitiligo

·       One can inherit from their family traits

·       A unsolved  stress with a period of long duration can cause vitiligo

·       Various auto immune disorder may result in vitiligo

·       Viral infection can cause vitiligo

·       Exposure to hot scorch can cause it

·       Exposure to high loaded chemicals can cause vitiligo

·       High intake of antibiotics for any kind of infectitious diseases can cause vitiligo

·       Suppressing the vamanavegas(vomiting )

·       Heavy intake of fresh grain ,curdamd fish

·       Sinful acts

·       Disrespecting and teasing elders


As we all know the symptoms includes

·       White patch of the skin

·       Loss of skin color

·       Loss of color of retina

·       Whitening of hair  in eye brows ,beard ,eye lashes and scalp

·       Skin sensitivity to sun light

·       Hearing loss

·       Vision disturbances

·       Visible spots

·       The lesions appearing in palms ,lips ,soles ,genitals is considered to be incurable while others can be managed


Pathogenesis of vitiligo

As per ayurveda , due to imbalance of vata and brajaka pittha ,a subtype of pitta ,vitiligo is caused 


Some of the dietary  and life style tips to be followed in case of vitiligo

·       Incorporate bitter herbs and vegetables like bitterguord  and gourd varieties

·       Avoid frozen food stuffs

·       Take fruits and nuts in plenty

·       Hydrate adequately

·       Avoid foods that are difficult to digest, sour foods, excess salty and oily foods, curd, fish to not exacerbate the condition of people with vitiligo.

·       Avoid keeping  awake at night

·       Avoid wrong food combinations like fish and milk ,fish and curd etc

·       Avoid direct exposure to sun

·       Drink water from copper vessel

·       Include antioxidant rich foods in your diet

·       Avoid tattoos

·       Practice meditation and pranayama to keep yourselves away from stress

·       Exercise regularly to sweat away toxins


How does ayurveda help out in managing vitiligo ?

Treatment of vitiligo using Panchakarma therapies can help to build up the immunity of the body and specified therapies  like

·       Snehana

Oleation therapy like administration of ghee internally followed by sudation therapy can help to manage vitiligo

·       Swedana

·       Therapy of sudation can bring out the toxins which are accumulated due to the snehana therapy

·       Virechana

Therapeutic purgation helps helps to remove the toxicity of your body and vitiated pitta which could be the aggravating factor of the disease 

·       Vamana

·       Therapeutic emesis which has promising results in vitiligo .Usually its done in spring seasom which can help vitiligo in  a wider aspects

·       Vasthy

Therapeutic enema which can clear the colon and can get vata dosha under control

·       Lepana

External application(localized vitiligo topical treatment ) of medicated paste like seeds of bakuchi can help in alleviating vitiligo 

 

Some of the single herbs helping to manage vitiligo

 

·       Bakuchi (Psoralea cordifolia) –

One of the commonly used ayurvedic medicine for treating vitiligo .The powder with combination of  other herbs like amlaki ,khadira can help in imparting colour to the skin.


·       Bhallataka (Semicarpus  anacardium ) –

most of the formulation of bhallataos indicated in arshas (haemorhoids) ,kusta (skin dieorders) and being a rejuvenatory medicines

·       Manjistha(Rubia cordifolia)

This helps to restore colour to the skin and its commonly used in all formulations used to treat skin disorders

·       Walnut (Akhrot)

Foods rich in anti oxidants and omega 3 fatty acids are particularly helpful in limiting the inflammation and promoting immunity against vitiligo

·       Neem (Azaridacta indica)

Being antioxidant ,neem can help to destroy the free radicals and also protect melanocytes against damage caused due to free radicals

·       Aragwadha( Cassia fistula )

One of the common herb used to achieve spotless radiant skin .It helps protecting skin from oxidative damage due to the harmful UV rays and hence reverse the various skin ailments

·       Hareetaki( Terminaliachebula )

Depression faced by patients suffering from vitiligo  can be really helped using hareetaki due to its rasayana properties .Being rich in anti oxidants it can remove the free radicals that causes damage to melanocytes

·       Guduchi (Tinosporacardifolia )

It helps to prevent the progression of vitiligo through various treatment options, including applying ointment to the affected area of skin.  the destruction of melanocytes due to its immune modulatory benefits

·       Khadira (Acacia catechu )

This herb ,when used initial stages of vitiligo can be really beneficial .On regular use of khadira ,it has potency to reduce the vitiligo in early stages


Internal medicines administered

Drakshadikashayam ,Mahathikthakakashayam ,Mahathikthaghritham ,Bakuchichoornam .Lohasavam ,Chitrakasavam ,Aragwadharistam ,Markhavarasayanam


Some of the external applications like

Somarajithailam, Tuvarakathailam, Markhavathailam, Satha dowthaghritham


Some of the home remedies for leucoderma

These small remedies can help to control the white patches but in initial stages

·       Application of mustard oil and turmeric on affected patches .Do it twice daily  until you get desired results

·       Incorporate foods rich in zinc as a supportive treatment for vitiligo.

·       Drinking water from copper vessel can help in getting the symptoms under control

·       Internal administration of bakuchichoornam can help in reducing the symptoms

·       Application of walnut powder over the affected area can help for better results

·       Application of lemon and tulsi juice can in affected portion can stimulate the production of melanin

·       Application of red clay and ginger juice in  white patches can help to reduc the symptoms because its rich in copper

·       Application of papaya paste in affected portion or drinking of papaya juice daily can help to work out on symptoms

·       External application of aloe gel can redudc the inflammation

·       Include carrots and beets in your diet regularly

 

Can vitiligo be cured permanently?

Its not curable but treatments can help to restore the normalcy of skin colour


What is the main cause of vitiligo?

The exact  cause is unknown but its claimed to be an auto immue disorder


How can I reduce vitiligo naturally?

You need to follow  a strict diet pattern and healthy life style changes and atted to it in initial stages where you can restore the colour of the skin


How does vitiligo start?

Thats  when the auto immune system attacks the melanocytes and destroy them from producing the pigment for skin colour


Who is at risk for vitiligo?

Those who have a strong family inheritance


Can vitiligo go away with age?

There are less possibilities


How do you stop vitiligo from spreading?

You can avoid exposure to chemicals and hot sun rays and skin injuries


What foods stop vitiligo?

Foods rich in anti oxidants and omega 3 fatty acids


Which vitamin can stop vitiligo?

Vit C E D and B12


Can laser treatment cure vitiligo?

It can help in vitiligo but there can be no hope of cure permanently


Does vitiligo cure itself?

No.Treatments at apt time an help in stopping to worsen the condition


How long does it take for vitiligo to go away?

Depigmentation can take more than 1 year


Does vitiligo come back after treatment?

Yes it can because it a progressive disorder


What is depigmentation treatment?

Its a treatment that can remove skin pigmentation such as mbeh .It involves application of creams to the affected area


Do the discolored patches itch or cause any other symptoms?

Yes it can itch along with pain some times


How can I prevent vitiligo?

There coild be no way to prevent vitiligo but you can reduce the risk factors of it by following a regular life style and diet


How common is vitiligo?

It can affect 0.5 to 1 percentage / of population


How does vitiligo affect black skin, and what does it look like?

Its more noticeable when it affects black skin because the white macules are more shown up due to dark skin tone


How is vitiligo diagnosed?

Skin biopsy, personal examination, and tests for autoimmune disorders 


Is piebaldism the same as vitiligo?

In piebaldism, a portion of the skin doesn’t have melanocytes and you are born with piebaldism where as in vitilogo.the melanocytes are destroyed for some reasons


Is vitiligo a serious condition?

Not a life-threatening one


Is vitiligo contagious?

No, Vitiligo is not contagious.


Is vitiligo genetic?

Yes, it have influenced from genetics


Is vitiligo painful?

Can be painful too but only in some cases.


What are the types of vitiligo?

It can be segmental and generalised. 


Will my natural skin color return with vitiligo?

About 10-20 percentage / of patient population can regain their normal colour tone naturally, the rest of the population can try various treatments to treat the condition. 

 

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