Skin is a vital part of our body’s health and wellbeing. Our skin integrates our whole body “under one roof”. Skin senses pain, temperature and pressure. It is prone to injuries both externally and internally.
Skin diseases indicate that something is wrong inside the body. Lack of internal equilibrium manifests through the skin. From an ayurvedic perspective, skin diseases are caused by doshic imbalance, and therefore treatment focuses on imparting harmony and balance for the individual. Ayurveda can cure long-term skin diseases and chronic conditions such as dermatitis and eczema.
Causes of skin diseases
From an ayurvedic perspective, the major underlying cause of disease is improper diet and lifestyle. If you pursue a diet or lifestyle that goes against your nature (known as your prakriti), you can develop a bodily imbalance that gives rise to skin disorders.
While imbalance of any dosha may cause skin disease, it is associated more with pitta imbalance (the heat element). Any activity that increases the fire or heat element in the body aggravates pitta and can lead to skin problems.
Ayurveda states that sluggish liver (dysfunction of the liver) associated with doshic imbalance causes skin diseases. The accumulation of toxins (ama) in the liver breaks out through the skin.
Some of the common skin condition mentioned in Ayurveda:
skin cancer, psoriasis, dermatitis and atopic eczema
any persistent rash or itch
skin discolouration, static or changing
acne, rosacea and other common inflammatory skin conditions
stubborn acne or acne scars
bacterial, fungal and viral skin infections
How does Ayurveda approach skin disease?
Before treating skin diseases from an ayurvedic perspective, it is necessary to analyse the person and their skin condition/s. The doctor diagnoses the doshic composition of the individual, their diet and lifestyle, their pulse and their skin health.
The goal of ayurvedic treatment is to restore doshic balance. Treatment methods involve a healthy diet and lifestyle with proper balance of food, exercise, herbs, meditation, and daily routines. There are also several ayurvedic therapies, such as traditional ayurvedic massage (abhyanga), designed to restore balance and promote skin health.
The best therapy to treat accumulation of toxins in the body is ayurvedic detox (panchakarma). As a complete program of cleansing and detoxifying, panchakarma flushes all toxins from the body at the cellular level. When the body is clear of toxins, it gains equilibrium, and the organs, including the skin, begin to function normally again.
Ayurveda always looks for the root cause of disease. While there are many helpful herbs and ointments that bring temporary relief to wounds, skin irritation or lesions, Ayurveda always looks to the underlying cause so the patient can restore their body to healthy balance and eliminate the symptoms of skin disease.