Skin is the biggest organ of the human body, constituting of seven layers. Unlike what many of us think, skin is not merely peripheral, but stretches itself to deeper levels in the body. Hence, Ayurveda believes that skin diseases have deep-rooted causes. Most skin diseases are rooted deeply into various tissues, and ‘dhatus’ like fat, blood, muscles etc.
July and August, the monsoon months, or ‘varsha ritu’ as mentioned in Ayurveda, is the time for aggravation of pitta. All the heat generated by ‘Greeshma ritu’ (Summer season) gets aggravated in the monsoon season, and hence several skin diseases are prevalent during this time. Knowledge of Ayurveda can help in prevention and treatment of these painful skin disorders.
Although topical application of oils and creams help in disappearance of symptoms temporarily, they do not reach deeper layers of skin. However, Ayurvedic treatments are not merely ‘skin deep’, and rather goes into roots of the problem. Ayurveda believes that skin diseases are caused through aggravation in pita and vata, due to some external influences or due to imbalances in internal system.
Some major skin diseases are: Itching, Erythroderma, Psoriasis, Urticaria, Eczema, Blisters, Angioedema, Metastatic skin cancer, Widespread blistering, Photosensitivity, Acne, Scabies, Pressure sore, and Vitiligo.
Itching (Pruritus) – provokes a desire to scratch, sometimes accompanied by a scaly rash, and is a common symptom of primary skin diseases and underlying medical disorders.
Erythroderma – Eczema, drug eruptions, psoriasis, lichen planus may all rarely progress to erythroderma, which presents itself with or without scaling on all of the body surface.
Urticaria – This is also known as Nettle Rash or Hives, characterized by itchy or burning swellings, occurring throughout or anywhere in the body and lasting less than 24 hours.
Photosensitivity – Sunlight is the main cause of several skin diseases, due to exposure from UV radiation and visible light. Face, particularly nose and cheeks or area under the chin, hands, are usually light-exposed sites subjected to photosensitivity.
Eczema – Presents itself with symptoms like redness and swelling, ill-defined margin and papules, blisters, vesicles, cracking or scaling.
Psoriasis – is a non-infectious inflammatory disease of skin, presenting with defined erythematous plaques with large adherent silvery scales. It is believed to be due to excessive division of cells in basal layers, and is well-treated in Ayurveda.
Vitiligo (Leucorderma) – This disorder is due to little or no melanin in the skin, and is an acquired condition, with depigmented patches developing often in the wrists, knees, neck and around the body orficies.