Vitiligo is considered a noncurable disease and treatment results are unsatisfactory. Ayurvedic treatment for Vitiligo has shown remarkable and promising results. This article will help you to understand more about vitiligo and a view on ayurvedic treatment for Vitiligo.
Vitiligo is also known as leucoderma or white patches in the common man’s language. Vitiligo is as old as mankind and not new to Ayurveda. In Ayurveda vitiligo has been described as Shwitra. In the Sanskrit language, shwitra means whitish. Its also called shweta kusta, kilasa, aruna, shouklya.
Shwitra is one of the skin diseases which is considered to be challenging to treat or cure. Ayurveda texts have explained about causes, symptoms, and ayurvedic treatments for vitiligo in detail.
What is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a condition where the skin turns white in patches. Progressive loss of melanocytes in the skin (which are responsible for skin color), results in depigmented patches of the skin.
Vitiligo can affect the skin on any part of the body. The patches may vary from smaller to big. The vitiligo patches grow bigger or spread with time.
Vitiligo can affect the hair and on inside of the mouth.
Types of Vitiligo
Vitiligo has been classed into two major forms
- Segmental Vitiligo
- Non-segmental Vitiligo
Vitiligo affects 0.5%-1% of the world’s population.
Vitiligo can start at any age but is predominantly seen between the age of 20 and 30 years
Though vitiligo affects both males and females, female cases are a little higher compared to the male population.
What causes Vitiligo?
The exact cause of vitiligo is unknown. The researchers say that vitiligo is a result of different mechanisms working together. Vitiligo is considered an autoimmune disease. In autoimmune diseases, immune cells attack the body’s own tissues by mistake. Researchers say that there is a high chance that people with vitiligo can get other autoimmune disorders.
Genetic factors are also responsible for vitiligo as approximately 30% of the patients have a family history of vitiligo.
Symptoms of Vitiligo
The main symptom of vitiligo is depigmentation or loss of natural color.
- In skin, white patches are seen usually on hands, feet, arms, face, etc… the patches can occur anywhere in the body.
- In Hair, it can turn to white when the skin loses pigment such as on the scalp, eyebrow, beard, and eyelashes.
- Mucous membranes of the mouth and nose get whitish patches.
Who can get Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is seen more in people who have a family history of vitiligo or who have any autoimmune diseases.
Anyone can get vitiligo anytime and at any age. The majority of people see white patches appearing before the age of 20 years or even in childhood.
Vitiligo is also seen in people who are having certain autoimmune diseases.
Disorders associated with vitiligo
- Thyroid disease (hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism)
- Addison’s disease
- Pernicious anemia
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Alopecia areata
- Morphoea and lichen sclerosus
- Halo naevus
- Malignant melanoma
Vitiligo is gradually progressive, but sometimes can spread rapidly and can remain stable for a long time.
Tests in Vitiligo
The diagnosis of vitiligo is done in a clinical examination as it shows a specific appearance.
Wood’s light examination is done when the symptoms are not clear and mimics other hypomelanotic disorders.
Vitiligo has no cure. Vitiligo treatments can help to slow the progression of the discoloration. Results of the vitiligo treatment vary from person to person and are unsatisfactory.
- 1st line of treatment – Topical corticosteroids, and topical calcineurin inhibitors.
- 2nd line of treatment – Phototherapy.
- 3rd line of treatment – Surgical methods.
Vitiligo – An Ayurvedic View
Vitiligo is known as Shweta kushta in Ayurveda. Shwitra, Kilasa, Aruna, Shouklya are also the synonym for vitiligo in Ayurveda.
Causes for Shwitra according to Ayurveda
Ayurvedic texts mention the following factors are responsible for shwitra
- Indulgence in incompatible food
- Improper diet
- Improper physical and mental activities
- Suppression of natural urges
- Family history
- Behavioral misconduct
- Antisocial activities
- Sinful deeds
How does shwitra start? Ayurvedic view
Due to the causative factors the three doshas vata, pitta, and kapha gets aggravated travel through channels(siras) to reach rasa (watery element), rakta (blood), mamsa (muscle) dhatus (elements) and disturb their functions. Then the doshas travel to the external surface of the body and produce vitiligo (shwitra)
Vitiligo classification according to Ayurveda
Vitiligo classification ayurveda has done depending on the dosha predominance. They are three in number as follows
- Vataja Vitiligo – Non-glistening, mild and red in color, and non-exudative.
- Pittaja Vitiligo – Coppery red in color or resembles the lotus petal, burning sensation, loss of hairs
- Kaphaja Vitiligo – Whitish in color, thick, heavy patches with itching.
Vitiligo which has black hairs on the skin, very few patches, not joined together, recent onset, and which is not due to burning by fire is considered curable.
When the lesions appear on genitals, palms, and lips are incurable even if they are newly started.
When more than one colored lesion and a combination of two or more doshas are considered difficult to cure.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Vitiligo
Ayurvedic treatment for vitiligo includes both purificatory and administration medicines.
Due to its chronic nature, one may need to undergo repeated purificatory procedures such as panchakarma treatments.
Other treatments include lepana (external application, snehana (external application of oil/ghee and internal administration of oil/ghee), and swedana (sudation).
Ayurvedic medicines for Vitiligo
Following are the few classical ayurvedic medicines used in treating vitiligo
- Guluchyadi Kashayam
- Mahamanjistadi Kashayama
- Mahathiktakam Kashayam
- Patolamooladi kashayam
- Thiktakam Kashayam
- Vajrakam Kashayam
- Avalgujabeejadi choorna
- Eladi choorna
- Panchanimbadi gulika
- Shiva Gulika
- Swayambhuva guggulu
- Eladi thaila
- Markava Thaila
- Maha vajraka thaila
- Thiktaka Ghrita
- Mahathiktaka Ghrita
- Agarwadha mahathiktaka ghrita
- Markava Rasayana
- Madhusnuhi rasayana
What’s good in vitiligo?
- Have light food
- Use bitter predominant vegetables
- Old shali rice
- The meat of arid land
- Green gram
- shake gourd
- Medicated food
- Medicated ghee
What to avoid in Vitiligo
- Heavy food
- Sour predominant food and drinks
- The meat of marshy land
- pungent and salty food
- Spicy food
Vitiligo is known as shwitra in ayurveda. As vitiligo is having no cure treatments help to prevent the progression of the disease.
ayurvedic treatments for vitiligo include purification of the body to expel morbid doshas and medicine help to normalize the doshas.
Application of medicated oils, ghee, powders, and paste are also advised depending on the severity of the disease.
ayurvedic treatments for vitiligo show remarkable results in vitiligo by preventing further progression of the disease along with improving pigmentation on the lesions.
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