Dr.R.S.Roy, BAMS
Chief Consultant, Amrita Ayurveda Medical Centre
 
Skin and Ayurveda

Ayurveda, the science of life uniquely deals with the proper maintenance of health along with the preventive and curative aspects of various diseases. Apart from the worldwide acceptance of Ayurveda, its pure and classical form is restricted to Kerala alone.
 
Ayurveda is based on the theory of Tridosha and Panchamahabhuta. A balanced state of the three elements namely vata, pitha and kapha is essential for normal body functions. Dietary factors, lifestyle variations, stress, over medication, hereditary factors, environmental pollution etc lead to vitiation of tridoshas. This in turn affects the vital internal organs.
 
Skin is one of the most important organs of the body as it protects the internal organs from environmental influences. Various discolorations, thickening, itching, discharge, scales, excessive sweating, hair fall, numbness, crusting etc are symptoms produced in the skin due to homeostatic imbalance and subsequent impaired functioning of internal organs. Health of the skin is also affected by factors like nutrition, hygiene, age, immunity, genetic factors and medications. Normal colour, lustre and softness of skin are maintained by tridoshas and hence the vitiation of tridoshas directly affects the beauty and integrity of skin. The poshaka dhatus (nourishing elements) of the body are Rasa and Rakta. Decreased nutrition affects the quality of these elements leading to poor nourishment of further dhatus and skin leading to diseases. Virudha ahara (incompatible diet) are certain combinations of food articles which on long term use will hamper digestive power causing aggravation and accumulation of vitiated doshas in the blood – a definite cause of skin diseases.
 
Eg: intake of fish and milk together.
 
Itching, whitish discolouration, thickening of skin etc denote kapha. Burning sensation and redness show involvement of pitha and pain, dryness, blackish discolouration etc are manifestations of vata. The nature of discharge also is diagnostic of the involved dosha.
 
 
Assessment of tridoshas from the clinical features, proper diagnosis and appropriate management with quality assured ayurvedic medicines can cure skin diseases. Padhya (modifications on diet and habits) is an essential factor in the treatment of skin diseases as it will help the medicines act faster more effectively.
   
 
   
Vitiligo is an acquired disease having an autoimmune aetiology in which the melanocytes in localized areas of the body stop producing melanin. In Ayurveda Vitiligo is termed as switra or kilasa. It is a non infectious non exudative skin affection. It involves rakta, mamsa and medo dhatu. This disease spreads fast and becomes incurable very quickly.
 
 
 
 
Psoriasis is a chronic non contagious disease characterised by inflamed lesions with silvery white scabs of dead skin. It is considered as an autoimmune disorder. Different types of psoriasis can be correlated with certain types of skin diseases described in ayurvedic classics. As these conditions vary in their doshic involvement, treatment also varies accordingly. Hence the protocol changes from patient to patient.  
   
Ayurveda insists on early management of this condition. The affected skin will be dry and light red in colour in vata predominant switra. Coppery red in colour with burning sensation and scanty hairs in pitha, thick white skin often with itching in kapha. Ayurveda offers effective treatment for these conditions.
 
   
The treatment is broadly classified into sodhana and samana. Sodhana therapy or Panchakarma chikitsa has a key role in curing skin diseases as it purifies each and every tissues of the body. Samana treatment includes internal medicines and some therapeutic procedures. The recurrence and complications of these diseases are prevented by Rasayana treatment which is a specialized branch of Ayurveda having proven efficacy in the management of autoimmune disorders.
 
   
AMBITION

Nowadays, a good percentage of the world population is the victim of skin diseases such as psoriasis, vitiligo etc. As a doctor who is practicing on skin diseases,Dr R.S.ROY earnestly wishes to popularize the tremendous scope of Ayurveda in curing even severe and chronic cases of skin diseases, which will give relief to lakhs of ailing patients round the world.