Table of Content
About Psoriasis in Ayurveda
Psoriasis is a persistent inflammation of skin. This disease is not contagious. Here is a brief introduction about this disease. The cause of psoriasis is still not clear. Psoriasis mainly affects skin, nails and joints. According to Harvard Medical School this disease can increase incidences of cardio vascular disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and can also cause mental trauma. This can affect both men and women. It can occur at any age. It affects around 2% of world population. Ayurveda broadly classifies psoriasis under “Kushta Roga” (skin diseases). Symptoms, causes and treatment are explained in texts of Ayurveda, for this skin disease.
What Happens in Psoriasis ? An Ayurveda View
In psoriasis the affected parts of skin becomes inflamed, red and scaly. These are called psoriatic plaques. There will be excess production of skin cells which accumulate on affected area and look shiny and flaky. These plaques may become itchy. Psoriatic patches may appear on any part of body like scalp, elbows, genitals etc. These skin changes are response of our body immune system to certain factors.
Texts of Ayurveda explain pathophysiology of psoriasis as follows.
Based on principles of Ayurveda, vata dosha and kapha dosha, when get imbalanced due to causative factors, this disease occurs . Imbalanced doshas affect body tissues like Twacha (skin), Rakta (blood), Mamsa (muscles) and ambu or lasika (serum). This leads to the disease which manifests with discoloured with thin scales and itchy skin patches which are red or copper coloured.
Types of psoriasis
There are mainly 5 types of psoriasis
This is a common type of psoriasis. The psoriasis patches appear like raised , inflamed parts of skin with shiny flakes.
Guttate psoriasis appears as small round patches which cover large areas of body.
Pustular psoriasis is like small raised sores which resemble blisters due to presence of pus in them. It usually occurs on hands and feet.
Inverse Psoriasis :
Psoriasis which occurs in armpits, groin , between buttocks, under breast, between folds of genitals.
It appears like red inflamed skin almost all over body. This type of psoriasis is very rare and very dangerous.
Causes of Psoriasis – According to Ayurveda
Causes of psoriasis are still debated and unclear. But many factors can trigger this disease. They are as follows
- Heredity – There is one school of thought that this may be due to heredity. You have 15% of chances to get this disease if one of your parent is affected and 60% chances if both of them are affected.
- Throat infections like tonsilitis, cough etc may trigger psoriasis.
- Continuous Trauma or injury to skin like cuts, bruises or burns may cause psoriasis.
- Few medications or skin irritants like chemicals can initiate psoriasis.
- Unhealthy habits and addictions like Smoking and alcohol can activate psoriasis.
- Mental stress or psychological trauma and psoriasis have a strong link which can flare up this disease.
Ayurvedic Reasons for Psoriasis
As said earlier imbalance in vata dosha and kapha dosha and its effect on skin, blood, muscles and serum causes psoriasis. Let us know what causes imbalance of these doshas.
Consumption of opposite foods (bad food combination or viruddhahara)
According to Ayurveda we must eat foods which complement our prakruti or constitution and strength of agni (digestion power). The foods we consume must complement each other in their qualities. If we do not follow this food rule our digestive system suffers and we land up with indigestion and improper absorption of food. Improperly digested food releases toxins which trigger psoriasis.
Controlling natural urges
Texts of Ayurveda strongly recommend not to suppress 13 natural urges of our human body. Suppressing urges can lead to diseases and psoriasis is one among them. Check this table which gives a brief introduction to this concept.
Exposure to severe climatic conditions
We have to follow ayurvedic daily routine or dinacharya and ayurvedic seasonal routine or rutucharya to keep doshas in balance. While explaining causes of psoriasis they recommend not to expose ourselves to severe environments like too much heat (working in high temperature) or too much cold (as in aircondition environment). This disturbs the water element in our body and can lead to psoriasis.
Salt, sour and heavy foods
Consuming too much of salty, sour and heavy foods (foods which take long time to digest). These foods imbalance dosha and water element of body (aap)
Sleeping during the afternoon
It is always good to sleep at night for 8 hours. Sleeping in afternoon causes imbalance of doshas.
Taking bath in cold water immediately after physical exertion.
After a physical exertion we must allow our body to warm down slowly. If we take bath in cold water immediately after a physical exertion our body functions suffer and lowers immunity.
There is a strong relationship between psoriasis and stress. Severe mental stress can trigger psoriasis. And psoriasis causes stress. This is like a vicious circle which has to be broken.
Symptoms of psoriasis
Symptoms of psoriasis are mostly common in all patients. The affected skin part or plaque looks red and inflamed. It will be covered with white, shiny silvered coloured flakes. The skin on affected area will be dry. The flakes of skin may fall on clothes or on places where they sit. It is very embarrassing. Many complain of severe itching and mild irritation. Some times it may be painful too. Psoriasis can be easily diagnosed and there is no need to run any tests. Sometimes this may require a skin biopsy.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Psoriasis
The treatment for psoriasis varies from person to person as each person differs in his prakruti or constitution. The treatment includes
External application of oils and creams. Cold pressed coconut oil and sesame oil are very helpful.
For bathing use ayurvedic soaps for psoriasis with natural ingredients.
Internal use of ayurvedic medicines for psoriasis.
Phototherapy (light therapy)- UV light therapy approaches such as UVB phototherapy and psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA) can effectively reduce psoriasis symptoms. But the treatment involves quite a lot of effort because you need several sessions per week. Repeated and long-term light therapy can also increase the risk of skin cancer.
Texts of Ayurveda recommend the following treatments for psoriasis
- Taking herbs internally.
- Following an ayurveda diet for psoriasis and ayurveda lifestyle for psoriasis.
- Applying soothing ayurvedic oils (Read 7 best ayurvedic oils for psoriasis) and creams (Read 7 best Ayurvedic Creams for Psoriasis ) . Oils like coconut oil, sesame oil and castor oil are highly recommended for psoriasis.
- Always use ayurvedic soaps for psoriasis as they are natural and very smooth on skin.
- Undergoing detoxification therapy or panchakarma treatment for psoriasis.
- Consuming immunity boosters.
(Whats App Dr.Savitha Suri @+ 91 6360108663/ to know more about ayurvedic treatment and remedies for psoriasis )
Author : Dr. Savitha Suri Consultant Ayurvedic Physician
Call us at +91 9945995660 / +91 9448433911
Whats App + 91 6360108663/