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Psoriasis Types, Causes, Treatment in Ayurveda

The skin disorders can arise due to infections or toxic infections. Skin disorders cause two types of issues. One is the health issue and the other is cosmetic aspect. The main causes of skin disorders are microbial infection, exposure to toxic conditions, food poisoning etc. People who are working in chemical-paint-toxins emitting industries are more prone to chronic skin disorders. But other factors such as improper lifestyle and stress aggravate it. One of the skin disorders among others  is Psoriasis.

Psoriasis is an auto-immune condition of the skin which affects not only the skin but other body organs as well. It usually starts in the scalp, below the knees, back of the ears or elbows. Mostly, it is mistaken for dandruff until the dermatologist confirms it as psoriasis. The cytokines, inflammatory cascade and keratinocytes play an important role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. Being an auto-immune disease, it is quite difficult to treat in modern medicine.

Psoriasis can have a significant impact on the patient’s quality of life, sometimes profoundly altering their everyday life. 

What are the common types of Psoriasis?

The common types of Psoriasis are:

  • Psoriasis vulgaris
  • Psoriatic psoriasis
  • Guttate psoriasis
  • Inverse psoriasis
  • Pustular psoriasis
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis
  • Scalp psoriasis
  • Nail psoriasis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Oral psoriasis
  • Eruptive psoriasis

What are the causes of Psoriasis according to Ayurveda?

According to Ayurveda, the vitiation of Vaata and Kapha doshas causes psoriasis. According to the principles of Ayurveda, Vaata and Kapha are the basic energies that uphold the balance of body equilibrium. Strong genetic disposition, intense streptococcal infection on the upper respiratory tract, sun deprivation etc. are some of the factors that can aggravate psoriasis.

Other causes of psoriasis are related to diet and lifestyle such as consumption of food stuffs in the wrong combination such as eating dairy products with fish or chicken, too much intake of yogurt, taking sour fruits with milk etc. can trigger the psoriasis inducing pathogenesis. Other factors that can cause psoriasis are stress, consumption of alcohol and tobacco. 

Also Read: Anorexia: Symptoms, Causes, Ayurvedic Treatment and Home Remedies

What is the treatment of Psoriasis?

 Modern treatment of Psoriasis gives only  temporary relief and causes side effects as well. Thus, the chronic and recurring nature of the disease hampers the quality of life to a great extent.

Treatment of Psoriasis according to Ayurveda:

There are several types of Psoriasis which can be related to certain diseases mentioned in Samhitas (ancient Ayurvedic texts). The description of Kushtha is mentioned since Vedic period. Ekakushtha is mentioned in all Ayurvedic text books under Kshudra kushtha heading which has predominance of Vaata and Kapha doshas. Therefore, the causative factor of Eka kushtha is similar to Kushtha. Ayurveda also describes that excessive consumption of Drava, Snigdha, Guru aahar, vega dhaarana especially of vomiting are major aetiologies.

In Ayurveda, the treatment principles of Jirnajwara chikitsa, Vatarakta chikitsa, Rasayana chikitsa and Kustha chikitsa are implemented together.

The treatment protocol is adopted for Samprapti bhedana (to counteract the pathophysiology) where Kushthagana aushdhi along with Rasayana medicines are given. These medicines also help in Agnidipana (improvement of the digestive fire), Aamapachana (digestion of toxins), Rasaprasaadana (improvement in the quality of blood) and Raktaprasaadana (purification and vitality of blood).

Along with Ayurvedic medicines, Ayurveda focuses on dietary changes as well as the intake of Viruddh Aahara (the unwholesome dietary practices) is one of the most important causative factors in the etiopathogenesis of skin disorders.  Therefore, the patient should avoid Virudhh Aahara for better treatment response, speedy recovery and to avert the recurrence in chronic skin ailments.

Various scientific reports reveal the promising effects of Guggulu (Commiphora mukul) against different chronic disorders such as psoriasis, dermatitis and other skin disorders, infectious diseases, arthritis etc. due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties that target multiple signalling pathways. The terpenoidal constituents, flavonoids, steroids, amino acids etc. present in Guggulu are responsible for its therapeutic effects. Guggulu in Ayurveda is well known for its yogvaahi (synergistic conveyor) property in Ayurveda. It acts as a drug carrier by entrapping the active pharmaceutical ingredients and mediate their sustained release action. 

Kaishore Guggulu is an Ayurvedic polyherbal formulation that is indicated in Vaatarakta (gout) as well as for restoring skin’s natural radiance and suppleness. It reduces inflammation and purifies the blood as well. Furthermore, Kaishore Guggulu is ananti-allergic, anti-bacterial and blood purifying agent. Therefore, it acts as a natural blood cleanser due to its pacifying effects on deep seated vitiated doshas of psoriasis.

Another most common use medicine for skin disorders in Ayurveda is Gandhak Rasayan. Gandhak (Sulphur) in Ayurveda has kushthagana (skin diseases fighting) property. It’s Garavishahar (anti-poisonous) and Rasayan (rejuvenation) properties help to cure the skin disorders by correcting the vitiated doshas. Gandhak possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties which play an important role in the treatment of auto-immune disorders such as psoriasis. In Gandhak Rasayana, purified sulphur has been treated with different medicinal herbs to improve its pharmacological actions to many folds for human consumption. It is known for its Kushthagana, Aamapachana, Raktaprasaadana, Kledghana and Rasaayana properties.

For external application, coconut oil is recommended as it improves the symptoms of skin disorders by its moisturizing, emollient and soothing effects. Coconut oil possesses anti-inflammatory activity. Therefore, it suppresses the inflammatory markers such as cytokines, prostaglandins and leukotriens and protects the skin by improving the skin barrier function. Thus, the topical application of coconut oil inhibits the various cytokine levels.

Few Health tips for Psoriasis are:

  • Avoid pricking, peeling and scratching the skin.
  • Make sure to pat your skin dry after washing and avoid rubbing vigorously.
  • Avoid cold water bath immediately after heavy work.
  • Avoid the intake of food stuff that causes indigestion.
  • Avoid excessive consumption of salty and acidic food stuffs, white sugar, curd, fish and other sour foods.
  • Use cotton clothes.

Thus, multi-model Ayurvedic treatment along with strict diet plan, stress reduction and regular follow-ups help in speedy and substantial recovery from chronic the disease psoriasis. The importance of a wholesome diet as a health promoter is also considered. For stress reduction, patient should follow Meditation as Meditation is the best medicine for reducing stress and anxiety. The internal and external medications of Ayurveda help to correct the complex pathophysiology of chronic diseases like psoriasis.

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