In Ayurveda, all skin diseases are grouped under a broad heading of Kushta Roga. The pathology of skin diseases originates from the deranged physiology of seven factors connected to the skin. The three dosas vata, pitta and kapha are vitiated and this effects four factors, rasa, rakta, mamsa and ambu (lymphatic system).
There are seven major types of Kushtha and eleven Kshudra Kushta (minor skin ailments) manifested by these seven morbid factors. Both preliminary and fully manifested Kushtha gradually afflicts the whole body.
Seven Major Kushtha
- Kapala kushtha
- Udumbara kushtha
- Mandala kushtha
- Rishyajivha kushtha
- Pundarika kushtha
- Sidhma kushtha
- Kakanaka kushtha
Eleven Kshudra Kushtha (minor)
- Eka kushtha
- Charmakhya kushtha
- Kitibha kushtha
- Vaipadika kushtha
- Alasaka kushtha
- Dadru kushtha
- Charmadala kushtha
- Pama kustha
- Visphota kustha
- Sataru kustha
- Vicarcika kustha
Variations in a single dosa cannot cause Kushtha and even with similar presentations there are varying clinical features including the sensation, color, location, and level of vitiation from each of the dosas. Therefore, there are innumerable types of Kushtha.
Ekakushta (Related to Psoriasis)
Ekakushta is one skin disorder explained under the heading of Kshudra kushta. Even though in terms of severity, incidence and prognosis, Psoriasis is not considered minor. The features of Ekakushta closely resemble the characteristic features of Psoriasis, hence it is related as such.
Causative Factors of Ekakushta
- Unwholesome, processed, old foods
- Excessive intake of food before feeling hungry
- Excess intake of oily foods
- Combining sour and salty foods together
- Suppression of natural urges, especially vomiting and urinary
- Excess intake of alcohol
- Excess intake of mulaka (radish), lashuna (garlic), etc.
- Prolonged intake of aquatic and marshy fish with milk
- Intake of pippali, kakamachi, lakucha with curd and ghee
- Combining mulaka (radish) with jaggery
- Combining green leafy vegetables with milk
- Combining honey and meat after hot and spicy foods or vice versa
- Combining hayanaka, yavaka, chinaka, or uddalaka with milk, curd, or oil
- Intaking honey, molasses, fish, radish with indigestion
Origin of Ekakushta
Due to the above causative factors, all three dosas (mainly vata and kapha) are vitiated and they further vitiate twak (skin), rakta (blood), mamsa (flesh) andambu (lymph). This manifests in skin lesions in various parts of the body.
Premonitory Symptoms of Ekakushta
- Reduced or increased perspiration
- Roughness of the skin
- Discoloration of the skin
- Pricking sensation
Clinical Features of Ekakushta
- Reduced sweating
- Extended skin lesions
- Scaling of skin like fish scales
- Pink discoloration
- Black or blue skin discoloration
Vicharchika (related to Eczema)
Another skin disorder grouped under a broad heading of Kushta Roga is called Vicharchika, which is related to eczema. Vicharchika symptoms appear as a spreading red rash with raised bumps with a profuse discharge, intense itching and often black or blue discoloration. Some people experience painful, dry, and mild to moderate itching lesions.
Causative Factors for Vicharchika
- Intake of hayanaka, yavaka, chinaka, or uddalaka with milk, curd, or oil
- Intake of radish and garlic with milk, especially cold milk is prohibited
- Intake of aquatic and marshy fish with milk
- Combining pippali, kakamachi, lakucha with curd and ghee
- Combining deer meat with milk
- Combining radish with jaggery
- Excessive use of alcohol
- Combining foods with sour taste with milk
- Combining green vegetables with milk
- Intake of honey and meat after hot spicy foods and vice-versa
- Combing fish, lemon, and milk together
- Excessive use of newer grains, curd, fish, sour and salty foods
- Excess use of sesame seeds, milk and jaggery
- Physical exercise or sun bathing after heavy meals
- Sexual intercourse during indigestion
- Regular sleep during the day
- Exercising after snehapana (internal oleation) and vamana (emesis)
- Entering cold water when afflicted by fear exhaustion or sunlight fatigue
- Withholding of the natural urges
Premonitory Symptoms of Vicharchika
- Decreased or excess sweating
- Rough skin
- Discoloration of the skin
- Mild burning sensation
Clinical Features of Vicharchika
- Bluish or black skin discoloration
- Oozing eruptions
- Redness and bleeding
Products for Skin Disorders
Nimbamrita Asavam helps to remove excess moisture from the body, purifies the blood channel (Raktavahasrotasa), reduces inflammatory condition of skin disorders, & chronic skin ulcers.
Dantiharithaki Leham helps to remove excess accumulated ama pitta and kapha dosa and rejuvenates the skin. It acts as a detoxifier.
Durvadi Coconut Oil is used externally to relieve itching sensation and eczema. Also reduces dryness of skin. This herbal oil acts as a skin tonic and detoxifier and helps to heal skin ulcers quickly.
Mahatiktaka Lepam Tube for external application for all skin diseases which gives soothing effect on the skin, reduces itching sensation and redness.
There are many types of skin disorders understood by Ayurveda and it takes a trained Ayurvedic doctor to fully understand the correct holistic management. If you have a chronic skin condition, we recommend consulting with Dr. Vishwanath, our own senior Ayurvedic Doctor, who is also a staff member.
An Ayurvedic consultation will help you understand the root cause of your skin condition as well as the best protocol for fast relief from the discomfort caused by skin disorders. If you would like an Ayurvedic consultation, visit our website to meet Dr. Vishwanth and schedule your appointment.
Original source: Dr JV Hebbar, EasyAyurveda.com
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