Skin problem is becoming one of the major issue in the modern day due to a lot of pollution and use of the chemicals.
Skin is the biggest organ of the human body and the most perceptible and prodigious.
Some of the common types of skin issues are Acne, Eczema (Dermatitis), Psoriasis, Urticaria etc., and most of the time it is because of inflammation.
Skin and Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, skin is known as Twak.
According to Charaka has Twak (skin) has six layers whereas Sushruta has described the same in seven layers known as avabhasini, lohita, shweta, tamra, vedini, rohini and mamsadhara sequentionally.
Avabhasini is the outermost layer which reflects the complexion and Mamsadhara is the innermost layer which provide skin’s stability and firmness
Skin health and Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, several factors are responsible for skin health and youthfulness.
As per Ayurveda, skin issues are associated with all the three Doshas (i.e. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) alone on in combinations.
According to Ayurveda, most of the time it is caused by an imbalance of Pitta dosha. Pitta dosha is associated with the fire element (i.e Agni) which is responsible for the metabolism (digestion and assimilation) of the ingested foods.
When the digestive fire is not working, there is incomplete digestion of foods, and Amma (toxins) gets accumulated in the body and causing several problems.
Vata dosha also causes skin related problems to a lesser extent in which generally the skin is dry and begins to peel, so proper miniaturization is recommended. Pitta dosha causes inefficient blood circulation to the different layers of the skin.
Improper moisture balance in the skin is due to Kapha dosha. Kapha dosa causes very minimal skin complications. In this case, the skin becomes slightly greasy.
Out of seven Dhatu, three dhatus (Rasa, Rakta, and Mamsa) also affect skin health.
Rasa Dhatu, nutritional fluid supports all the body tissues, predominantly keeping the skin healthy.
Rakta Dhatu in association with liver function detoxifies the skin of toxins.
Mamsa Dhatu provides firmness to the skin.
How to treat skin diseases ?
One can choose a suitable treatment option based on the dosha associated with skin issues.
If it is associated with Pitta dosha, one should use foods that are cool and should avoid hot foods such as spices. Some of the suitable vegetables and fruits include; beans, cabbage green leafy vegetables, oranges, mango.
Vata dosha person should eat slightly warm and sweet foods.
Kapha dosha people should not use cool food rather they should use hot foods. Usage of spices such as basil, red and black pepper, pepper, and ginger is highly recommended.
Usage of dosha specific oils and oil massage are also helpful in managing skin issues.
Some of the common skin diseases
The problem of Acne (also known as Acne vulgaris) arises due to an imbalance of Pitta and Kapha Doshas.
Some of the Ayurvedic treatments involve;
- Detoxification of the body to remove Amma (Toxin)
- Minimizing the use of sour and hot spices.
- Use of Vita and Kapha specific diets.
- Herbs and herbal formulations such as Triphala, Neem, Yashtimadhu, Shatavari, and Turmeric application will be useful.
- Shitali and Shitkari pranayama will be helpful.
Psoriasis is due to hyperproliferation of skin epidermis and constant shedding of dead skins.
Psoriasis is a kind of non-infectious, autoimmune, and inflammatory disease of the skin.
This involves all the three dosha imbalances and accumulation of Amma plays an immense role in its pathogenesis.
- During Vata’s, condition the skin is dry with excessive scaling.
- During Pitta’s condition, the skin displays copper discoloration with a burning sensation. This also affects the hair follicles.
- During the Kapha’s condition, there is whitish discoloration on the skin and itching.
Ayurveda has the following treatment option;
- Panchakarma therapy to remove Amma and use of external and internal oleation is helpful.
- Detoxifying process such as inducing vomiting (Vamana) and purgation (Virechana) are useful.
- Some of the useful herbs for psoriasis treatment include the use of Yashtimadhu, Giloy Guggulu, and Bhumi amla.
- External use of Jasmine oil and jasmine flower paste are very useful.
Eczema is also known as dermatitis. It is a kind of superficial inflammatory skin disease.
Similar to psoriasis this also involves all the three dosha imbalances.
- Vata specific eczema has symptoms like fissures, cracks, pain, dryness, and scaling.
- Pitta specific eczema shows symptoms such as redness, burning sensation, pustule formation, and inflammation.
- Kapha dominated eczema has symptoms such as itching, swelling, and fluid secretion.
Ayurvedic treatment option for eczema involves;
- Detoxification by Panchakarma with external and internal oleation is important to remove the root cause.
- Some of the useful herbs for eczema treatment include Khadira (Acacia catechu), Giloy, Turmeric, Neem, Yashtimadhu, and Bhumi amala.
- External use of Neem and jasmine flower paste are very useful.
- Di Meglio P, Villanova F, Nestle FO. Psoriasis. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2014;4(8):a015354. Published 2014 Aug 1. doi:10.1101/cshperspect.a015354
- InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Eczema: Overview. 2013 Sep 26 [Updated 2017 Feb 23]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279399/
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