Eczema Ayurvedic Management :- Causes, Signs and Curative Methods
It is an inflammatory condition and is found to be common nowadays. The nature and severity are changing day to day as the changes happen in lifestyle. Stress and mental health also impart the manifestation of eczema-like skin conditions.
① What is Eczema?
Eczema is considered an inflammatory condition of the skin, typically characterized by itchiness, redness, and rashes. The area of occurrence may vary from person to person. It may be a small area to the entire body. It’s also known as dermatitis (inflammation of the skin)
② What are the causes of Eczema?
The exact causes of eczema are not well known. Even though we can enlist some factors which trigger the condition.
- environmental: allergic reactions, chemical exposures, etc
- malnutrition: like essential fatty acid deficiency
- genetic factors
③ Pathophysiology of Eczema?
The eczema is manifested through some reactions that take place in the epidermal skin layer. The activated keratinocytes metabolize very faster and this is associated with increased proliferation of basal cells and secretion of various cytokines. Interleukins-i is abundant in the epidermis of the skin and is released when the epidermis is damaged. Followed by neutrophil infiltration of the epidermis. Lymphocytes are stimulated by the interferons to perpetuate the perivascular lymphocytic infiltrate. This leads to the thickening of skin and scaling. Cytokines finally cause edema, blistering, and oozing associated with itching.
④ Types of Eczema?
The eczema is classified according to the clinical presentation. Here below are details about the Types of Eczema:-
Atopic dermatitis: it’s a type of inflammation of the skin, which lasts for a long time associated with itchy, red, swollen, and cracked skin.
Allergic contact dermatitis: this is a type of dermatitis caused by contact with a substance that acts as an irritant.
Irritant contact dermatitis: it’s a form of contact dermatitis that can be caused by chemical or physical irritants.
Seborrhoeic dermatitis: this is found to be a long-term skin condition. Associated with red, scaly, greasy, itchy, and inflamed skin. And are commonly found over the areas of skin that are rich in oil-producing glands.
Stasis Dermatitis: these types of eczema are related to the blood flow. The insufficient venous return-like condition may lead to eczema-like skin conditions due to blood pooling-like conditions.
Symptoms of Eczema may vary according to the forms of the condition.
- redness of the skin
- rashes associated with oozing
Common areas of Manifestation:
- dorsum of the foot
- rarely: genital areas – vulva & scrotum.
⑥ How to Diagnose Eczema?
There are no specific diagnostic criteria for eczema
Mostly the diagnosis is done through clinical examination and interrogation. Basic and routine blood checks may give the signs of inflammation.
Newly developed tests/methods for eczema diagnosis are;
- pruritus screening
- trigger factor enlisting (irritants, climate, overheating, contact allergy, etc)
- patch testing
- specific IgE blood tests – Radioallergosorbenttest (rast)
⑦How to Manage Eczema?
Eczema is not that easy to cure completely, but it can be managed with internal and external treatments.
- The cleanliness of body parts is the most important thing.
- soap substitutes
- topical corticosteroids
- topical calcineurin inhibitors or immunomodulators
Apart from this, intake of certain medications is also recommended for eczema management;
Apart from these, diet and lifestyle modifications also help in eczema management.
Ayurvedic Management for Eczema
There are more than 20 types of skin diseases mentioned in Ayurveda which are explained in detail with clinical presentation and treatment. Apathy, Ahara, and Vihara are the main contributory reasons for skin diseases. From an ayurvedic point of view, eczema can be correlated with the condition called vicharchika which shares a similar clinical presentation. Eczema is described in Samhitas as:
सकण्डु पिडकाशयावा लसीकाड्या विचर्चिका
The condition is characterized by intense itching, rashes with discoloration, and scaly lesions known as vicharchika. Like all other skin diseases, vicharchika is also manifested from the vitiation of the dosha by the nidana (causative factors), followed by vitiation of the dhatus and malas which finally presented as vicharchika. As it is a deep-seated condition, which needs proper management by which the root cause can be removed and further progression can be arrested.
For such conditions, Ayurveda explains a very detailed treatment protocol which is in a very classical way:
- Deepanam & Pachamama
- Snehanam (Bahya & Abhyantaram)
❶Ayurvedic Pathophysiology of Eczema (Vicharchika)
The nidana or causative factors are mentioned in Ayurveda very clearly. So for such reasons the Agni (digestive fire) of our body will get impaired and it leads to agnimandhya (reduced or impaired digestion). Which leads to the sama avastha (indigestion). This vitiates the tridosha (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha). This vitiation transferred to the dhatus- rasa, rakta, mamsa and finally manifested as vicharchika.
- Agnideepanam (correction of digestive fire): as the root cause of vicharchika is agnimandhya, the treatment should start from that itself. For the improvement of digestive fire (Agni) oral herbal medications are provided which improve digestion and also enhance metabolic activity.
- Snehana (oleation): the process of application/administration of medicated oil or ghee as a preparatory phase for purification. It should be given internally (Abhyantara Snehana) and externally (Bahya Snehana). Abhyantara Snehana is the administration of medicated ghee as a preparatory phase for the Sodhana (Purifactory) karma. During this period, the person is advised to drink medicated ghee in an increasing dosage every day till the body shows certain symptoms which determine the saturation of ghee in the body. During the Snehapana procedure, the patient is advised to use only warm things.
- Swedanam (sudation): as the ghee is spread all over the body, the mechanism by which toxins are brought back to the gut is known as swedanam.The swedana procedure is done till the symptoms of proper swedana are shown.
- Sodhanam (purification): this is the main part of treatment where the elimination of vitiated doshas takes place through the anal route- virechanam. Medicines for virechana are given orally which cause irritation and enhance the motility of the intestinal wall along with excessive secretion, which helps in smooth and easy expulsion of doshas.
- Samsarjana Krama (post purification diet): after the purificatory procedure the digestive fire has to be improved by the light and easily digestible food like how grass gets fire from a small spark. The duration of the diet plan varies according to the rate of sodhana karma.
- Samanakriya (internal and external application): this step includes internal medications and external applications like lepam (medicated herbal pastes), Dhawana (washing the area with medicated decoction)
- Raktha Shodhana (purification of blood): by all these procedures, the body becomes purified, but extra care is to be taken for blood. Blood purification is done by the removal of impure blood from the body by different clinical techniques.
Jalookava Charanam: the medicinal leeches are allowed to bite on the specific site with lesions and suck blood (impure) from the site. The leeches used are clinically proven for blood purification (hirudinaria medicinalis)
Siravyadham: the affected area veins are punctured to drain the impure blood for the reduction of inflammation, discoloration & swelling. Agni ayurvedic village offers the best ayurvedic management for eczema in Mumbai. We offer a classical way of approach to eczema with the team which includes traditional Kerala Panchakarma treatment and diet which are customized. If you are looking for the best and most effective Ayurvedic Treatment for Eczema in Mumbai then, visit our website for online doctor consultation.