Leucoderma affects 1% or more of the world’s population and can occur at any age in either gender, though it is more common in women than men. The most affected areas are the hands, neck, back and the wrist.
The problem usually starts with a small white spot and later on it develops into patches. These patches are pale in the beginning but become whiter and whiter as time passes due to loss of pigment. As spots enlarge, they merge to form a broader patch. In some cases, the body may be covered with white patches.
Contrary to popular beliefs about the causes of leucoderma, it is not caused by strange food combinations, germs or bad blood. It is neither infectious nor contagious.
The main causes of leucoderma are excessive mental worry, chronic or acute gastric disorder, impaired hepatic function such as jaundice, worms or other parasites in the alimentary canal. Ailments like typhoid, which affect the gastrointestinal tract, defective perspirative mechanism and burn injuries may also contribute to the condition. Often the hormone-secreting glands are involved in this disorder. Heredity is also a causative factor and about 30% of patients have a family history of the disorder.
Leucorrhoea, commonly known as whites, refers to a whitish discharge from the female genitals. It is an abnormal condition of the reproductive organs of women. If not treated properly in the initial stages, it may become chronic.
Recent investigations have shown that secretions from the uterus and upper part of the vagina flow down and are reabsorbed in the lower parts of the vagina. This is the normal constant flow within the female organs. The whitish discharge is caused by the presence of infection in any of these tissues and a variety of other factors. The condition may continue for weeks or months at a time.