Vitiligo patients finding succour in herbal remedies

| | New Delhi
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Vitiligo patients finding succour in herbal remedies

Saturday, 18 September 2021 | PNS | New Delhi

Many patients with vitiligo which is an autoimmune disorder characterised by the loss of skin colour in parts of a body seem to be finding succor in herbal remedies like Lukoskin developed by government’s premier research agency Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO).

Consider this. Till now, more than one lakh patients suffering from the skin condition, also known as leucoderma, have been treated with Lukoskin with  an average success rate of 70 per cent, said Dr Nitika Kohli from AIMIL Healthcare which is manufacturing and marketing the drug.

An ayurveda expert herself, Dr Kohli said, that after DRDO transferred the technology, clinical trials were conducted on the patients and then in 2011 it was launched in the market. “In these ten years, over one lakh patients have been treated with the drug. We found a 70 percent success rate,” she said.

An estimated four to five per cent of the Indian population suffers from leucoderma. The condition is characterized by patches of the skin losing their pigment. The condition is noticeable in people with dark skin.

For better success rate and with an aim to reach out to more patients, the AIMIL is in the process of launching the advanced version of the drug. DRDO is already working  in this direction.

Dr Kohli was speaking at a conference “Clinical management of tough skin diseases” held online to mark the ten years of launch of Lukoskin as well as of AIMIL Healthcare.  Representatives and doctors from various medical streams including allopathy  who  had participated in the programmes  also highlighted the role of herbs in general and Lukoskin in particular in the treatment of leucoderma.

The ointment has seven herbal ingredients having properties such as anti-blister, anti-irritation, anti-septic, wound healing properties, while the oral formulation is designed to improve the auto  immune system and supplement copper which checks the emergence of new spots, shared Dr Kohli.

Infact, in India, vitiligo has social stigma attached to it, as people confuse it with leprosy. However, experts made it clear that Vitiligo or leucoderma is neither contagious nor life-threatening.

Others who spoke on the occasion included reputed  ayurveda experts such as Dr Surendra Chaudhary, Dr Bhagwan Sahay and Dr Prabhakar Rao among others who were of the opinion that dermatologists should identify this condition carefully, especially humanistic factors in social life, and perform individualized “non-drug” treatment.

In fact, Dr Hemant Pande, senior scientist from DRDO’s  Pithoragarh lab Defence Institute of Bio-energy Research (DIBER)who last year won prestigious ‘Science Award’ on National Technology Day for developing the herbal drug had said that though remedies of vitiligo viz., allopathic, surgical and adjunctive were available, none of them were very effective or without side effects.

“Moreover, these are either costly or single molecule based, with very low level of efficacy and develop side-effects like blister, edema, irritation in the skin with the result most of the patients discontinue the treatment,” Pandey, a recipient of several prestigious awards for his contribution in herbal medicine field had said.

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