Skin Diseases
357 Case Studies
48 Member Stories
24 Research

Ayurveda views chronic skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne, to be caused by toxins that are generated by imbalances in the blood, lungs, and liver.

What are skin diseases?

Skin disorders vary greatly in severity and symptoms.  They are temporary or permanent and can be painful or painless.  Some have situational causes, while others could be hereditary.  Some skin conditions are minor, while others may be life-threatening. Some of the common skin disorders are given below.

1.  Acne (Acne vulgaris)

Acne, the most common skin disease in the U.S., is a source of stress for every adolescent.  Additionally, the prevalence of acne is increasing in adults, also.  Acne is caused by blocked hair follicles and oil (sebaceous) glands of the skin, often triggered by hormonal fluctuations.  Acne is most common among teenagers, regardless of how it affects people of all ages.

2.  Atopic dermatitis (Eczema): Atopic dermatitis is among the most frequent forms of psoriasis found in children.  The specific cause of atopic dermatitis isn't known, but researchers believe it could involve genetics, the environment, or the immune system. 

3.  Psoriasis: Psoriasis speeds up the entire life cycle of skin cells and is a common skin condition.  It induces cells to build up quickly on the surface of the skin.  The excess skin cells form the drops and red patches which are itchy and sometimes painful.  Psoriasis Is a chronic disease that often comes and goes.  The principal purpose of therapy is to block the skin cells from growing so fast.

4.  Vitiligo is a disorder that causes the loss of skin color in blotches.  The extent and speed of color loss from vitiligo are unpredictable.  Additionally, it's unpredictable wherein the body will affect the skin -- it can affect any area of the body.  It might also have an effect on the interior of the mouth.

Chronic skin conditions typically are not curable, but they may be treated using holistic therapies like Ayurveda, and by paying close attention to your lifestyle.  An expert Ayurveda practitioner understands not only which medications may help, but also knows its limits as well as its potential adverse effects.

See: Ayurveda treatment for acne & pimples

Ayurvedic view of skin diseases

Skin is an organ that reflects some internal abnormalities and anxiety conditions within one's body.  Tvak (Skin) is exactly like a mirror reflection and manifesting various sorts of internal abnormality or diseased conditions.  In Ayurveda, major skin diseases are categorized under the heading of Kustha.  According to Ayurvedic classics, the term Nidana (Causative Factors) includes two meanings viz., causative factors, and identification.  It's extremely important that you understand the cause of disease because, in any disease where the cause is known, therapy becomes quite straightforward.  It's in this light only that Chikitsa has been described as 'Nidana Parivarjanam' which means to prevent causative factors.  The causative factors are grouped into two classes namely Bahya (outside ) and Abhyantara (inner ).  Bahya Karanas are exogenous & Abhayantara are endogenous.  Mainly four factors are responsible for the causation of Kushtha.  Treatment of skin diseases based on Ayurveda is based on several factors of Ayurveda diet and lifestyle management.

According to Ayurveda, the epidermis has six layers, located not just superficially but extending into the deeper levels of their human body.  A skin disorder is, mostly, rooted deeply into different dhatus or tissues like muscles, fat, blood, etc. Most skin treatments are usually external applications like oils or lotions.  These, however, never reach the deeper layers of skin.  Because of this, the symptoms disappear briefly, and the disease isn't rooted out permanently.  Ayurveda always attempts to root out the disease by treating it especially according to its origin.  As the disorder is deep-seated it's tough to fix the issue quickly.  Ayurvedic skin treatments might take a couple of weeks to eliminate the signs but the diseases are treated indefinitely.

Ayurveda states that chronic skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne, are caused by toxins that are generated by imbalances in the blood, lungs, and liver.  By Ayurveda's view, skin-disrupting radicals originate from surplus rakta dhatu (blood vessels ), which together with rasa dhatu (plasma) nourishes the skin.  Rakta dhatu gets imbalanced when we ingest heating foods, imbibe alcohol or other liver irritants, suffer intense sunlight exposure, work too, or experience extreme negative emotions--anything, in a nutshell, that has the features of the pitta dosha.  Unsurprisingly, pitta-dominant people experience more skin ailments than Vatas or Kaphas, if only because pitta tends to overheat the blood.  In contrast, when rasa and rakta dhatus are nicely balanced, the skin is smooth, moist, and glowing.

Ayurveda Dermatology means how it explained in Ayurveda Text. It's causing distress to the individual: disfigurement, disability, decrease in quality of life, the comparative financial cost to households of treating trivial skin ailments and even distress to doctor: Description in classics extensive and scattered, screening skin for a broad assortment of illnesses, treatment options multiple nevertheless perplexing.

It's interesting to know some language used in Ayurveda text for skin care and it's ailments. Twak is the term used for Skin Care in Ayurveda  is exactly like a mirror reflection and manifesting various sort of internal abnormality or disease or condition.  In Ayurveda major skin diseases are categorized under the heading of Kustha.All the Kustha happen as a result of participation of Tridosha using their Tiryak Gati(vertical and Cross).  


Kustha is a result of the morbidity of seven variables. 

They're the 3 doshas Vata, Pitta, and Kapha that get vitiated from the causative factors and four dhatus of the body viz.  Twak (Skin), Rakta (Blood), Mansa (Muscle), and Laseeka (Lymph) that get vitiated from the morbid Doshas. These groups of seven variables produce all the varieties of Kushtha.In Ayurveda too.  Our Acharya has described the seven layers of the skin and is listed below:

1. Avbhasini

2. Lohita

3. Shweta

4. Tamra

5. Vedini

6. Rohini

7. Mamsdhara 

The above seven correspond to western medical science.  You might also want to find out some interesting terminology  used for the symptoms of skin diseases in Ayurveda:

Pidika, Pitika-- Papule, Vesicle, Pustule

Mahavastu-Plaques, stains 

Sphota- Bullae, Blister

Mandala, Parimandala, Utsanna Mandala- Weal

Kotha- Weal

Vrana- Wound

Matsya Shkalopmam- Fish skin patches

Hasti Charmavata- Lichenification

Sphutanam- Cracks

Vivarnata -- Discoloration, maculae


Skin Diseases described in Ayurveda Text are listed below:

•Kushtha

•Shittapitta

•Visarpa

•Udarda

•Kotha and  Uthakotha

•Visphotaka

•Masoorika

•Romantika

•Kshudra Roga

•Updansha

•Phiranga

 Ayurveda views significant provocation variables of Skin Diseases and is also important to understand. Nowadays, people are having plenty of lifestyle ailments and they're taking various allopathic medications as part of their everyday life.  Drugs that can activate the illness, worsen symptoms, or cause a flare-up to contain:

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, drugs used to treat hypertension and heart Issues 

Beta-blockers, drugs used to treat hypertension and heart Issues 

Chloroquine, a medication used to treat malaria

Lithium for bipolar disorder treatment

Indomethacin, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)

 Note: Additional NSAIDs, for example, meclofenamate, may actually enhance the condition. Now we have to understand how the causative factors to the origination from the Skin Diseases based on Ayurveda.

See: Ayurveda sattvic diet for psoriasis

Ayurvedic view of causative factors

Two of the primary causes of diseases in Ayurveda are the wrong lifestyle and diet, which an individual follows either knowingly or unknowingly.  After a diet or lifestyle that's contrary to the Prakriti (nature) of an individual, creates an imbalance in bodily energies, thus contaminating the body cells to make a skin disease. 

From an ayurvedic perspective, the major underlying cause of the illness is an improper diet and lifestyle.  If you pursue a lifestyle or diet that goes against your character (called your Prakriti), you can create a physiological imbalance that gives rise to skin ailments.

Based on Ayurvedic classics, the term Nidana carries two meanings viz, causative factors, and identification.  It's extremely important that you understand the cause of disease because, in almost any ailments where the cause is known, therapy gets easier.  It's in this light only that Chikitsa has been described as'Nidana Parivarjanam' (Su.  U. 1/25).

The causative factors are grouped into two classes namely Bahya (outside ) and Abhyantara (inner ).  Bahya Karanas are exogenous & Abhayantara are endogenous.

 There are mainly 2 types of use of Nidanas:

 (1) Roga Parakha (For Diagnosis Purpose) 

(2) Roga Chikitsakara (For Disease Management)

All of the Nidanas work in the following ways

(1) Dosh Dushyakara(Vitiated Dosha&Dhatus)

(2) Dhatu Shathilayakara(Sluggish Dhatus)

(3) Khavaigunayakara(Space for Accumulation of  Vitiated Dosha and Dhatus)

Abhyantara Karana   (Internal Factors):

These are the seven causative factors namely the 3 Dosas that are left unattended through their annoyance & the four Dushyas viz.  Twak, Rakta, Mamsa & Lasika, which are vitiated by the morbid Dosas.  These seven Dravyas are collectively termed as Prakruti (C. Ni.  5/3-4).

Bahya Karanas (External Factors):

Aharaja (Dietary):-Improper dieting, excessive eating, taking of beef with milk or carrying the meal shortly after preceding meal, taking of fish with milk, excessive ingestion of Hayanaka, Kakamachi, etc. with excessive consumption of milk curd & buttermilk might be contained under this group (C. Ni.  5/6).

Viharaja (lifestyle):-     Suppression of the natural urges, suppression of nausea, sudden switching over from Apatartana into Santarpana or vice versa, misconduct, murdering the virtuous men, physical exercise, excessive sexual indulgence, etc. could be included under this heading (C. Ni.  5/6)

Papakarma:-The effect of activity done in the past & present birth can be regarded as a favorable factor of Kustha Roga.  (C. Sh.  1/116).

Sankraman (Contact):- When someone converses with an affected individual, rolls him inhales his expired air & vapors or sleeps with him about precisely the exact same bed, uses his garments by the affected person, may get influenced by the skin diseases in addition to by others contact ailments too (Su.  Ni.  5/32-33).

Hereditary (Prakruti Dosa):-  Kustha might be produced from the kids by the vitiated humors of the patient's Shukra (Sperm) & Shonita (Ovum).


Pathogenesis of Skin diseases

The procedure for this disease formation, right in the touch of the etiological factors together with the body to the fullest manifestation of this disease is referred to as pathogenesis or Samprapti (C. Ni.  1/11).

Kustha Samprapti(Pathogenesis) based on Charaka

Due to the various causative factors, all of the 3 Doshas are concurrently provoked & induce flaw the four body components (Twak, Rakta, Mamsa & Laseeka).  The four Dushyas become morbid & shed their character.  This triggered Doshas settling themselves in those vitiated body elements & becoming localized there, then vitiate them farther & create Kustha (C. Ni.  5/6).

Based on Chakrapani datta, the vitiated Doshas become stable in the body element, then they cause Kustha, not when they're in circulating or fluid state.


See: Leucoderma Ayurvedic Treatment (Vitiligo)

Ayurvedic treatment for skin disorders

Before treating skin ailments from an ayurvedic perspective, it's necessary to analyze the individual and their skin condition/s.  The physician diagnoses the Doshic composition of the person, their lifestyle and diet, their heartbeat, and their skin wellness.  A proper diagnosis needs to be achieved by an Ayurveda practitioner to analyze the root cause and recommend the perfect approach to remove it.

The objective of ayurvedic treatment is to restore Doshic balance.  Treatment methods involve a nutritious diet and lifestyle with an appropriate balance of food, exercise, herbs, meditation, and daily routines.  Additionally, there are a number of ayurvedic remedies, such as traditional ayurvedic massage (abhyanga), designed to restore balance and promote skin wellness.

Since eliminating toxins is the foundation for treating skin problems, detoxification treatment, and Panchakarma form the core of the treatment procedures.  The allergy management treatments help in battling allergy symptoms, preventing and controlling them from reoccurrence, of course.  Nowadays allergy tests can be completed in any good laboratory to know certain allergens.  This is beneficial in fast-tracking the treatment procedure.

Elimination of toxins in the body is the core principle of Ayurvedic therapy for allergies and skin difficulties.  So, any comprehensive treatment plan includes:

Medicated massages to decrease blockage of flow to tissues and to improve skin condition.

Ayurvedic medicine for enhancing digestion and elimination processes.

Colon cleansing with gentle laxatives and enema therapy.

Vata balance-restoring solutions to enhance the natural healing process.

Panchakarma treatments.

Ayurvedic drugs for boosting immunity.

Internal cleansing herbal preparations and nutritional supplements for eliminating free radicals in the body and to remove the built-up toxins.Stress reduction and management remedies.

Recommendation of lifestyle and diet modifications.

According to the requirements of the ailment, other healing techniques like stress management, meditation, yoga are also helpful.

Recommended Diet & Lifestyle For Healthier Skin

For those suffering from allergies or dermatological diseases, we recommend the following:

Prevent Pitta-aggravating acidic food that's heavy on spice, sourness, and petroleum.

Quit smoking.

Do not consume alcohol, caffeine, fermented food, chocolates, ghee, or candies.

Protect the skin from prolonged exposure to sunlight (UV rays).

Avoid irritants like pollution, dust, smoke as much as you can.

Include amla, neem, coconut, turmeric, mustard, etc. in the diet.

Avoid wearing tight clothes.

Refrain from non-vegetarian food.

Switch to herbal alternatives of pain-killers.

Engage in stress-reducing actions.

Virechana is the principal treatment for skin ailments.  While medications are essential throughout the treatment process, mere medicines aren't enough to treat the problem.  By using Virechana, practitioners expel the accumulated waste (due to vitiated Pitta) and to re-balance the doshas.  Preparatory (Purvakarma) remedies for this condition typically consist of oil program therapies (both external and internal ) and medicated steam.  Accompanying internal medications are prescribed to increase the digestive fire (Deepana) and burn waste (Ama Pachana).

The best treatment to deal with the accumulation of toxins in the body is ayurvedic detox (panchakarma).  As a comprehensive application of cleansing and detoxifying, panchakarma flushes all toxins in the body at the cellular level.  After the body is clear of toxins, it increases equilibrium, and the organs, including the skin, begin to function normally again.

Ayurveda always looks for the origin of the disease.  While there are lots of helpful herbs and ointments that bring temporary relief to wounds, skin irritation, or lesions, Ayurveda always appears to the underlying cause so the patient may restore their body to healthful equilibrium and remove the signs of skin disease.

See: Ayurvedic Diet

Home Remedies for skin disorders

Removing the main cause is the most important line of treatment in Ayurveda.  Therefore eliminating all of the foods and activities that increase pitta is the most important treatment.  Here are a few general remedies for all types of skin diseases.

In Ayurvedic terms, though skin ailments are caused because of imbalances in each of the three doshas, the prime dosha involved is pitta.  Pitta symbolizes fire or heat.  Therefore those foods or activities that raise the fire element in your system ought to be eliminated.  Including hot, hot, fried, oily, and fatty foods.  Acidic foods such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, yogurt, and vinegar ought to be avoided.  Exposure to heat and sunlight, drinking too much tea, coffee, and alcohol, and smoking also aggravate the pitta.


Ayurveda states that slow liver (dysfunction of the liver) related to Doshic imbalance causes skin ailments.  The accumulation of toxins (ama) from the liver breaks out through the skin. As most cases of contact dermatitis exhibit the impact of too much pitta--red, hot allergies and migraines --they react well to cooling topical remedies, such as aloe vera and calendula cream, when the source of irritation is removed. 


Ayurveda also uses these and other topical remedies to treat the symptoms of chronic skin disorders, but since these ailments stem primarily from excessive rakta dhatu, the principal focus is on purifying the blood.  And because the blood is nourished and cleansed from the liver and lungs, cleansing and supporting both of these organs - by taking expectorants and diaphoretics for the lungs, and alteratives (blood purifiers) and bitter tonics for the liver - can have a dramatic influence on the skin.


- Herbal alternatives, which can be taken internally, are primarily cooling and have bitter and astringent tastes.  Together with cleansing the bloodstream and so curing the skin, they also kill germs and reduce fever.  These herbs include aloe, burdock, dandelion, echinacea, and red clover.


- Purifying formulas and herbs are best taken in hot weather when pitta is increasing or some time heat symptoms worsen.  Take alteratives no more than two to three months at a time, and avoid during pregnancy or when Vata is high.


- Taking gentle or mild laxatives to clean the bowels can also be beneficial in treating skin diseases.  A teaspoonful of Triphala powder can be taken at bedtime each night, with warm milk or water.  Any other natural laxatives such as prunes, figs, and raisins may also be taken.


- Fresh juice of apricot leaves can be applied to affected areas of the body.  It gives relief in eczema and scabies.

Wheatgrass juice is also beneficial in skin ailments since it boosts the immune system, which helps to fight the illness.


- Aloe vera can also be beneficial for skin ailments as it purifies the blood.  Fresh aloe vera gel can be obtained in the dose of a couple of tablespoonfuls on an empty stomach every day.


One should avoid tea, coffee, alcohol, hot spices, fried foods, salty and salty foods.  White sugar, white flour products, and maintained or tinned foods should also be avoided.  Consumption of meat, particularly red meat, should be minimized.  Following these simple remedies and dietary ideas may alleviate even the most bothersome skin issues. 

See: Blood Cleanser & Purifier Natural Herbs, Foods & Tea

Summary

Ayurveda is an ancient medical practice, but research on its effectiveness and safety is limited.  Some herbal and herbal products, such as turmeric and aloe vera, are common in handling some skin diseases.  The yoga and meditation practices that accompany Ayurveda may also help people with skin ailments support their health and mental wellbeing.

However, scientific evidence for the positive effects of Ayurveda on chronic skin ailments is minimal for broader application. If skin disorders symptoms become moderate-to-severe and don't react to Ayurvedic therapies, individuals should talk to their doctor about other choices.  As always, seek professional medical care for your health when serious issues arise.  

See: Aloe vera nutrition facts and health benefits

References

1. Gaurang Joshi. Ayurveda dermatology-Ayurvedic perspective of skin diseases (psoriasis, eczema), 2nd International Congress on Restorative & Alternative Medicine, DOI: 10.4172/2327-5162-C1-038

2. Binorkar SV. Consultations in Ayurvedic dermatology. Anc Sci Life. 2015;34(4):245–246.

3. Acharya VD. Kushtha Chikitsa. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Surbharati Publication; 2014. Charaka Samhita, Chakrapani Tika; pp. 450–9. 

4. Sharma P. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Visvabharti Publications; 2005. Sushruta Samhita, Dalhana Tika, Kushtha Chikitsa; pp. 358–74. 

5. Mitra J. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Sanskrit Series Office; 2006. Ashtanga Sangraha, Indu Tika, Kushtha Chikitsa; pp. 546–59.

6. Binorkar SV. Saarbrücken, Germany: LAP Lambert Academic Publishing; 2014. Skin Diseases – Principles of Diagnosis and Treatment in Ayurveda; pp. i–ii. 

7. Rastogi S. Dordrecht, London. New York: Springer, Heidelberg; 2012. Evidence-based practice in complementary and alternative medicine perspective, protocols, problems, and potential in Ayurveda; p. 16. 

8. Hewageegana H. G. S. P, Arawwawala l. D. A. M. , Ariyawansa h. A. S, Tissera m. H., Dammaratana i., A review of skin diseases depicted in Sanskrit original texts with special reference to Ksudra Kushtha. 

See: Successful Ayurvedic Treatment for Vitiligo White Patches on Skin

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