Leucoderma is also known as vitiligo and it is a distressing skin disease. Leucoderma exactly means white skin. There is a steady loss of melanin pigment from the upper layers of the skin which finally results white patches on skin. These patches seem hideous, particularly if sufferer is of dark complexion. In leucoderma there is loss of pigment from different parts of skin resulting in uneven white patches. Leucoderma (Vitiligo) is a common and hereditary disease; around 2% of the total population has it.
The problem typically begins with a tiny white spot and afterward it grows as big patches. In the beginning these patches are pale in color but later on they become whiter and whiter due to loss of pigment. As spots increase, they combine with each other and, after some time they form a very large patch. In some severe cases, most of the body skin may be covered with these types of white patches. Extend of the disease is generally slow and progressive. Symmetrical look on both the sides of the body, means on legs or hands, etc. is common.
This disease does not cause any organic damage. It actually brings great psychological tension and pressure to the patient who is more embarrassed than the sufferer of any other ache or disease. Besides being a medical problem, it also becomes a social dishonor for patient.
Leucoderma is a common disease and it affects around 1 or 2% of world's population. The frequency is bit higher in India. This disease can happen at any age and in both sexes. Though, it is more frequent in women than men. The most affected body parts are the neck, hands, the back and the wrist.