Skin And Hair Conditions And Treatment In Ayurveda

Skin is the largest organ and the first line of protective barriers for the body. This is why it is susceptible to infections and inflammations because of any changes in environment, body’s defense mechanism or metabolism. The health and appearance of skin also correlates with the lifestyle and dietary habits a person is following. Use of harsh chemical based cosmetics, exposure to excess heat or pollution, stress and imbalanced diet can create imbalance of doshas and can lead to common skin and hair problems like acne, black heads, dark spots, eczema, psoriasis, hives , vitiligo , premature greying of hair, alopecia etc. A visibly superficial skin or hair problem can also be because of some underlying pathology. Hence, a thorough medical check-up under an expert is advised before starting with any treatment or therapy.

Some of the common skin disorders or conditions are as follows

  • Acne

    Acne vulgaris, the common form of acne, is the formation of comedones, papules, pustules, nodules and/ or cysts as a result of obstruction and inflammation of sebaceous gland. Black heads, white heads, puss filled acne are the usual presenting features. As per Ayurveda, acne is caused by imbalanced pitta which further vitiates the rakta and meda dhatu. Increase in pitta dosha causes accumulation of toxins in the deep skin layers. Detoxification therapies and mukhalepam with herbal paste are some of the effective therapies for the common acne.
  • Urticaria or Hives

    Urticaria are red and itchy bumps on skin, that can be caused by an allergic reaction to food, food additives, medicines, insects etc or because of an underlying health condition. A complete investigation to rule out any underlying pathology, followed by therapies to boost the defense mechanism is usually advised.
  • Psoriasis

    Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, in which your body’s own immune cells start attacking the healthy cells that causes raised scaly patches on skin due to systemic inflammation. Ayurveda believes that impurities in the blood related to emotional aspects are the causes of the disease. Psoriasis is occurred due to vitiation of all three doshas but mainly vata and kapha are affected. Ayurveda therapies focus on blood purification and balancing the vitiated doshas, with Shodhana therapies, Shamana medicines and Rasayana chikitsa.
  • Vitiligo

    Vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder which causes patches of skin to lose pigment or color, which appear as white spots. As per Ayurveda, Shwitra is caused by imbalance of all three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) which further vitiate the Rakta, Mamsa and Medhas Dhatus. Strong detoxification in the form of Snehana, swedana, shodhana and Lepana are recommended along with dietary and lifestyle changes.

Hair disorders are the diseases primarily associated with the follicles of the hair. In Ayurveda, hair disorders are described in three broad categories

  • Loss of Hair (Khalitya)

    Hair fall can be the result of heredity, hormonal changes, underlying medical condition or a normal part of ageing. In Ayurveda, Pitta (fire) is considered to be the root factor that governs skin and hair health. Vitiated pitta in association with vitiated vata causes the falling of hairs from the scalp. After that, vitiated rakta and kapha block the orifices of the hair follicles which restrict the growth of the new hair. Ayurveda recommends local treatments like application of medicated oils and pastes over the scalp, nasya (nasal drops) with medicated oils, Dhoomapana(medicated smoke) , Leech therapy etc along with Rasayana medicines to prevent hair fall and promote new growth of hair.
  • Premature Greying Of Hair (Palitya)

    Premature greying of hair is defined as the onset of greying before the age of 20 years in Caucasians and before the age of 30 years in Africans and Asians or when 50% or more of scalp hair turns grey before the age of 50. It may be hereditary or as a result of some pathological conditions like hypothyroidism, skin diseases or as an after effect of a prolonged high fever like Malaria and systemic diseases, chemotherapy or malnutrition. Use of concentrated hair dyes, faulty dietary habits, stressful lifestyle also can lead to the greying of hair prematurely. As per Ayurveda, the agni and pitta of the body having recourse to the head owing to overwork and fatigue, and excessive grief or anger tend to make the hair prematurely grey. Nasya treatment is stated as the best treatments for Palitya, in which variety of herbal oils like Vidarigandha taila, Sahcharaditaila, Bhringrajataila etc are used for nasal drops. Along with that herbal lepas(pastes) of different yogas ,like tiladi yoga, Triphala-bhringraja yoga etc are used for local application.
  • Alopecia (Indralupta)

    Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that can lead to unpredictable hair loss, hair often coming in clumps ,the size and shape of a quarter. As per Ayurveda, indralupta is a result of vitiation of all four doshas including Vata, Pitta, Kapha and Rakta. Medicated oils and pastes are applied with specifically chosen herbal medicines followed by Siravedhana (by venesection) and are found to be very effective therapies.
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