What is Leukoderma?

Jacob Queen

Leukoderma is a medical term describing any situation where skin pigments begin to fade, and it's a symptom of many different conditions. Sometimes this can be cured, and even when it isn't curable, there is usually some form of treatment available that can help hide the problem. Leukoderma isn’t actually dangerous by itself, but it can be emotionally damaging, and some of the conditions that cause it can be dangerous. Sometimes leukoderma will spread over time, but that also depends on the cause.


When people have leukoderma, they generally have paler patches on their skin. In the beginning, these may be virtually unnoticeable, but when it’s caused by something progressive, the areas may have a tendency to gradually grow. These patches can appear anywhere on an individual’s body.

Sometimes people are simply born with a genetic predisposition to pigmentation problems, and they may even have leukoderma spots present at birth. In addition, there are other people who develop leukoderma because of various infections, like leprosy. It can even be a symptom of injuries or chemical poisoning, and there are some digestive issues that can cause problems with someone’s skin pigment.

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Due to the potential danger of some of these causes, it is usually considered a good idea for people to treat any loss of skin pigment as a serious sign. Doctors may have to do significant testing to determine what is happening in a particular case. The treatment approach will vary a great deal depending on what is discovered, but there are some treatments that are more focused on the cosmetic aspects of the disorder, and those are fairly universal.

Even though leukoderma on its own doesn’t actually make people sick, it can be very difficult emotionally. Sometimes people will get spots in very visible places, such as their faces or hands, and they may eventually suffer from depression and loss of confidence if they don’t find a way to mask them. Many leukoderma sufferers rely on skin pigmentation therapy for cosmetic purposes. Usually, doctors will inject various medications into the areas where skin discoloration is happening and, eventually, some or all of the pigmentation may return. Another approach is to actually remove pigment from the rest of the skin so that everything matches, and there are also creams that can dye a person’s skin in the faded areas so that it’s closer to the natural color.

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