AARC Health, Jagriti Vihar, Meerut - 250004
Vitiligo or Leucoderma is a pigmentation disorder in which melanocytes (the cells that make pigment) in the skin are destroyed. As a result, white patches appear on the skin in different parts of the body. Similar patches also appear on both the mucous membranes (tissues that line the inside of the mouth and nose), and the retina (inner layer of the eyeball). The hair that grows on areas affected by Vitiligo sometimes turns white. The most widely accepted view is that the depigmentation occurs because Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease – a disease in which a person’s immune system reacts against the body’s own organs or tissues.
In Ayurveda, the reason behind autoimmune diseases is mostly virudh aahar sevan, that is, eating foods that are opposite in nature (such as eating fish and milk together). This results in toxin formation inside the body, which ultimately disturbs the immune system due to which the pigment producing melanocytes cells get degenerated, causing Vitiligo.
Additionally, Vitiligo is said to be associated with certain auto-immune and inflammatory diseases such as Thyroid, Diabetes, Psoriasis and Pernicious Anemia. Vitiligo may also be hereditary; that is, it can run in families. Children whose parents have the disorder are more likely to develop Vitiligo.
According to Ayurveda, Vitiligo or Shwitra is caused due to aggravation of Pitta in the body. Pitta is an Ayurvedic humor that symbolizes fire and is manifested in the skin, along with other organs. Pitta is of five types. One of them is Bhrajak Pitta, which gives coloration to the skin. In the case of Vitiligo, Bhrajak Pitta gets imbalanced, leading to the formation of ama, which consequently impairs deeper body tissues such as rasa dhatu (nutrient plasma), rakta (blood), mamsa (muscles) and lasika (lymph). This ultimately causes depigmentation of the skin.
The disease is deep rooted and needs specific treatment that includes right diet and specialized herbal combinations to pacify Pitta and cleanse ama from the body.