Leukoderma, which is skin depigmentation and appearance of white patches of skin can be diagnosed by visual observation, physical examination, analysis of medical history, differential diagnosis and laboratory tests.
Visual and physical examination for diagnosis of leukoderma.Irregular white patches of skin, especially on sunlight exposed ares of body such as hands, feet, arms and face can make the doctor to suspect the possibility of leukoderma.
The prominence of skin depigmentation on the face particularly around mouth, eyes, nostrils and ears and also around the other orifices of the body like umbilicus, anal opening and genital opening could be the indicator of leucoderma disease.Physical examination white patches is also done to look for the presence of other depigmentation diseases, dermatitis and psoriasis.
Analysis of medical history for the diagnosis of leukodermaThe medical history of the patient is analysed.
If the patient suffers premature greying of hair, the white patches could be vitiligo.
In a patient having family history of leukoderma in near blood relatives this depigmentation may be leukoderma.
If the patient had in the recent past sunburn, burn injury, physical or mental stress or illness there is a likelihood of these white patches turning out to be vitiligo.Patients with the medical history of sun sensitivity or autoimmune diseases are likely to get this depigmentation disease.
Laboratory tests and differential diagnosis of leukodermaLaboratory tests are carried out to differentiate and diagnose this white patches disease.
Samples from the vitiligo suspected areas are taken and examined under microscope. Depigmentation affected area will be devoid of melanin producing cells (melanocytes).
If inflamed cells are observed in the sample, the white patches of depigmentation could be due to some other underlying cause.
KOH test is done to rule out fungal infections being the cause of depigmentation.
As in many cases vitiligo is associated to hyperthyroidism or pernicious anemia, blood test is carried to check the possibility of the presence of these conditions.
Blood test is done to check for the presence of autoimmune disease by looking for the antinuclear antibodies.
Sometimes inflammation of the eye occurs in vitiligo patients. Eye examination of the patient is done to look for possibility.In the diagnosis if these white patches of skin are proved to be leukoderma, various options for treating this skin depigmentation have to be considered.