Psoriasis in Ayurveda is a well-known disease as “Kithibha” is an autoimmune ailment that causes plaques, which are itchy or sore patches of thick, red, dry skin. Psoriasis affects any part of the body.
Psoriasis happens in all racial groups, but at variable rates. Psoriasis often occurs in the ages between 15 and 35, but it can develop at any age.
Itchiness is the most communal complaint in people with psoriasis. People feel itchy especially when psoriasis affects their scalp, palms of the hands or soles of their feet. Inflammation and redness around the scales is common. Generally, psoriatic scales are whitish-silver and develop in thick, red patches. Sometimes, these patches will crack and bleed.
What happens in Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is the consequence of a sped-up skin production process. Generally, skin cells nurture deep in the skin and slowly rise to the surface. Finally, they fall off. The regular life cycle of a skin cell is one month. But in people with psoriasis, this production development may arise in just like 5 days since skin cells don’t have time to fall off. The fast overproduction leads to the build-up of skin cells.
Scales regularly develop on joints, such elbows and knees. They may grow anywhere on the body, including the:
Types of Psoriasis
There are five types of psoriasis:
Plaque Psoriasis is the most communal type of Psoriasis. It occurs to red and inflamed patches that cover over the area of the skin. These patches are covered with whitish-silver scales or plaques which are found on elbows, knees and scalp.
Guttate Psoriasis commonly occurs in children. This causes small pink spots which occurs on torso, arms and legs.
Pustular Psoriasis is very common in adults. This causes white, pus filled blisters and broad areas in red, inflamed skin. Generally, it is localized to smaller areas of the body such as hands or feet.
Inverse Psoriasis occurs in the bright areas of red, shiny, inflamed skin. These patches grow under armpits or breasts or around skinfolds in the genitals.
Erythrodermic Psoriasis is a rare type of Psoriasis often covers large sections of the body at once. This type of Psoriasis can be life threatening and hence individuals should consult doctor immediately.
Symptoms for Psoriasis
Symptoms of Psoriasis differ from person to person which depends on the type of Psoriasis.
The most common symptoms of Psoriasis include:
- Inflamed patches of skin
- Plaques on the red patches
- Dry skin that may crack and bleed
- Soreness around patches
- Itching/burning sensations around patches
- Thick/pitted nails
- Swollen joints
- Stress – Unusual high stress may trigger a flare-up.
- Heavy alcohol also triggers flare-up.
Ayurveda Management for Psoriasis
Ayurveda believes that impurities in the blood related to emotional aspects are the cause of the disease. Psoriasis is believed to occur due to reduction in all three doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) in varying degree, but mainly Vata and Kapha according to the Ayurvedic treatments.
The vata mainly causes pain, dryness and scaling of skin. Pitha vitiation leads to burning feeling, redness, inflammation etc. and that of kapha causes rashes, itching, discharge, thickening of skin etc. From these symptoms, the involvement of Dosha is analysed carefully in each patient, which is most important in the management of the disease.
The irregular lifestyle, consumption of foodstuffs such as dairy products with fish, yogurt, paneer, black gram, seafood sour and salted items that are advised not to be eaten together which activates the pathogenesis. The consumption of alcohol and tobacco will act as a catalyst here. Ayurveda also looks on to the effect of stress in the pathogenesis of Psoriasis.
Shathayu Ayurveda Retreat focuses on blood purification and balancing the effect on dosha and aiming for symptom free stage.
- Shodhana chikitsa (Detoxification) can be done through Panchakarma therapies like Vamana, Virechana, Rakta mokshna etc., for chronic cases of 5 plus years of psoriasis repeated detox may be advised
- Shamana chikitsa through proper management of internal medication and external applications
- Rasayana chikitsa (immunomodulation) to arrest recurring and boost immunity
- Changes in diet and lifestyle
- Management of Stress
Ayurvedic remedies for Psoriasis
- Jasmine flower paste to get rid of itching and reduce inflammation
- In order to reduce inflammation Guggul can be used.
- Neem to boost the immunity levels and to purify the blood in the body.
- To reduce inflammation, redness, and swelling turmeric can be used.
- Boswellia (Indian frankincense) to reduce inflammation and increase the immunity levels of the body.