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Leukoderma is a cutaneous condition, an acquired condition with localized loss of pigmentation of the skin that may occur after any number of inflammatory skin conditions, burns, intralesional steroid injections, postdermabrasion, etc. It is largely a cosmetic problem, and is neither infectious nor contagious.
The most common form is non-segmental vitiligo, which tends to appear in symmetric patches, sometimes over large areas of the body.
Causes and pathophysiology
The cause of vitiligo is unknown, but research suggests that it may arise from autoimmune condition in which immune system of body destroys its own cells & tissues, genetic, stress. There are different theories suggesting autoimmune syndrome (a condition whereby the immune system of body destroys body’s own tissues & cells), impaired hepatic function as jaundice, gastric disorder, typhoid fever etc.
Leucoderma may appear due to certain external accidental causes, such a burn, a cut or an ulcer. These external factors damage melanocytes, the cells beneath skin which produce the melanin pigment. It results in diminished skin colour patches, which later converts white and prominent, forming white patches.
Studies[specify] have shown that immunomodulator creams such as Protopic and Elidel cause repigmentation in some cases, when used with UVB narrowband treatments. A 1997 report[specify] suggests that combining vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements with sun exposure caused repigmentation in 62% of cases.
The incidence worldwide is less than 1%.
Society and culture
The change in appearance caused by vitiligo can affect a person's emotional and psychological well-being and may create difficulty in getting or keeping a job. People with this disorder can experience emotional stress, particularly if vitiligo develops on visible areas of the body, such as the face, hands, arms, feet, or on the genitals. Participating in a vitiligo support group may improve social coping skills and emotional fortitude.
- pigmentation. CollinsDictionary.com. Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 11th Edition. Retrieved December 06, 2012.
- James, William D.; Berger, Timothy G.; et al. (2006). Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. Saunders Elsevier. p. 864. ISBN 0-7216-2921-0.