Myths and Realities
Myths about vitiligo and its treatment
There is no perfect system of medicine or totally bad system of medicine in treating a particular disease. Modern medicine has advanced options to tackle vitiligo if managed in right way, right time and with right options according to patients disease characteristics.
Most have belief that natural medicines don’t have side effects. However, in reality anything under sun including sun can cause side effect. Basically side effects are undesired effects of particular drug. For example a natural drug like babchi or bakuchi which is a raw psoralen when used in vitiligo to get pigmentation can cause burning, blistering and scarring. This is also a side effect. So, side effects are not limited to only modern medicine. Side effect with any drug is dependent on dosage, duration and individual susceptibility. Most of the side effects due to individual susceptibility. When opting for any treatment one has to weigh risk vs benefits. If benefits are high compared to reversible and minimal side effects the treatment should be continued.
4. Better way to get pigmentation is to use babchi or other related products which burns the skin and gives darker pigment.
We have seen patients applying these products and suffering with burns. Trying to get pigment with such a harsh way may deplete the reservoir of cells and make vitiligo refractory. The stability of darker pigment is less and it tends to inhibit further pigmentation in surrounding areas.
There is no need for steroids in every patients. Even if it is used in some, it is for shorter duration. There is no utterly bad drug or a perfect drug. It is the person who is prescribing or taking the drug could do wrong. In a patient with aggressively spreading vitiligo where autoimmunity plays a role, steroid is one of the best ways to tackle it. When used in a right way with right instruction and for short duration it effectively stabilises the vitiligo.
Actually the skin patches are merely trailer of a full blown movie happening elsewhere in the body. There are tests to detect underlying contributory deficiencies and derangements which are managed easily if detected early.
Not necessarily it has to be hereditary. It might have genetic susceptibility. If some one has vitiligo there is no need that there should be a family history of it. It is not contagious or infective.
9. Surgery should be avoided in vitiligo.