Leucoderma? Let’s do surgery - This is said that all patients of leucoderma are suitable candidates for surgery. It’s not true. Patients are suitable for surgery if disease is stable (not progressive with no new patches for one year). Medical treatment is usually necessary to stabilize leucoderma. Excimer laser are comparatively newer and even safer modalities in which psoralens are not required. Surgical modalities aim to introduce pigment bearing cells where they have been lost, from the patient’s own reservoir in other parts of the body.
It is incurable - There is a myth for leucoderma that there is no hopes for all patients, but that is definitely not the case, There is definitely hope and present modalities of treatment as well as research has offered undeniable hope to patients of leucoderma. Cosmetic camouflage with colour the shade of the patient’s skin can be a good option. After application, leucoderma lesions are not discernible at all.
There are no options other than surgery - There are options for patients awaiting results of medical or surgical treatment or not interested in medical or surgical therapy. Cosmetic camouflage with coloring the patient’s skin with the shade of the person can be a good option. After application, leucoderma lesions are not discernible at all. There is common myth for leucoderma that it involves major surgery. The procedure is done under local anesthesia and mostly does not take long. If done by a trained dermatologist, the risk of complications is negligible. Medical treatment may take an average of 1-2 years. Medical treatment may need to be continued to achieve optimal results of surgery. Surgery for residual areas may also be necessary.
It is related to other skin disorders - Leucoderma is not related to other skin disorders such as albinism and skin cancer. There are clear distinctions between each of these disorders, none of them being related to leucoderma. Individuals with albinism are born with little or no melanin in their skin, whereas leucoderma onset occurs during one’s lifetime as the melanocytes become damaged. Also, leucoderma rarely encompasses the entire body like albinism. While skin cancers arise from mutations in DNA, the genetic information within skin cells cause them to behave abnormally and grow uncontrolled unlike leucoderma, which is a completely separate skin disorder, occurring through different mechanisms.
It has limited treatment options - Leucoderma is surely treatable, Medical science has given us an entire armament to battle the disease -- treatments like immunomodular drugs, steroids, Ultraviolet A and the newer narrow band Ultraviolet B are available. In addition, various surgical options like punch grafting and split thickness grafting, can be done. The latest technique is melanocyte transfer, in which only melanocytes from normal skin are harvested and inoculated into the vitiliginous patches. Treatment is difficult and slow and not all patients respond alike; however, it is more important to treat the stigma than the disease as the mental impact is far more than the effect on physical well-being.
All white patches are Leucoderma - Not all the white patches on the skin are Leucoderma. Fungal infections, healed eczemas, sun allergies and guttate hypomelanosis are common conditions which can mimic early leucoderma. So, when one sees white-colored patches on the body, they should consult a dermatologist to verify the diagnosis and allay fears.