In Ayurveda, Psoriasis is recognized as “Kithibha,” an autoimmune condition characterized by the development of plaques, which are red, thick, dry patches of skin that can be itchy or sore. Psoriasis can affect any part of the body.
This condition is observed across all racial groups, but its occurrence rates vary. Typically, Psoriasis manifests between the ages of 15 and 35, although it can emerge at any age.
Itchiness is a common complaint among individuals with psoriasis, particularly when it affects the scalp, palms, or soles of the feet. Inflammation and redness around these scaly patches are frequently observed. The psoriatic scales usually appear whitish-silver and manifest in thick, red patches. In some cases, these patches may crack and bleed.
What happens in Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a result of an accelerated skin production process. Normally, skin cells undergo nourishment deep within the skin and gradually move to the surface before eventually shedding off. The typical life cycle of a skin cell is about one month. However, in individuals with psoriasis, this production process can occur in as little as 5 days, leaving insufficient time for skin cells to naturally shed. This rapid overproduction leads to the accumulation of skin cells.
Scales often develop on joints, such as elbows and knees, but they can appear anywhere on the body, including the:
Types of Psoriasis
The most common type of Psoriasis, Plaque Psoriasis, manifests as red and inflamed patches that extend over the skin’s surface. These patches are covered with whitish-silver scales or plaques and are often found on the elbows, knees, and scalp.
Guttate Psoriasis is frequently observed in children. It results in small pink spots that appear on the torso, arms, and legs.
Primarily affecting adults, Pustular Psoriasis leads to the development of white, pus-filled blisters and extensive areas of red, inflamed skin. Typically, it is localized to smaller regions of the body, such as the hands or feet.
Inverse Psoriasis affects areas characterized by bright red, shiny, inflamed skin. These patches tend to develop under the armpits, breasts, or in the skinfolds around the genital area.
Erythrodermic Psoriasis is a rare and potentially life-threatening form of Psoriasis that can cover large portions of the body simultaneously. Individuals experiencing this type of Psoriasis should seek immediate medical attention.
Symptoms for Psoriasis
The symptoms of Psoriasis can vary from person to person, depending on the type of Psoriasis they have. However, some common symptoms associated with Psoriasis include:
1. Inflamed patches of skin
2. Development of plaques on the red, inflamed patches
3. Dry skin that may crack and bleed
4. Soreness around the affected patches
5. Itching and burning sensations in the affected areas
6. Thickened or pitted nails
7. Swelling in the joints
It’s worth noting that factors like high stress levels and heavy alcohol consumption can potentially trigger or worsen Psoriasis flare-ups in some individuals.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Psoriasis
According to Ayurveda, Psoriasis is believed to be caused by impurities in the blood related to emotional factors. This condition is associated with an imbalance in all three doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha), but primarily with Vata and Kapha imbalances. Ayurvedic treatment for Psoriasis adopts a holistic approach aimed at addressing the root cause of the disease while restoring harmony to both the body and mind.
Vata imbalance is primarily responsible for symptoms like pain, dryness, and scaling of the skin. Pitta vitiation leads to sensations of burning, redness, inflammation, and so on. Kapha imbalance manifests as rashes, itching, discharge, and thickening of the skin. It’s crucial to carefully analyze these symptoms to determine the specific dosha involvement in each patient, a critical aspect of Ayurvedic treatment for Psoriasis, and the management of any disease.
Lifestyle factors such as an irregular routine, the consumption of incompatible food combinations (e.g., mixing dairy with fish, yogurt, paneer, black gram, seafood, sour, and salty items), along with alcohol and tobacco use, can trigger the disease process. Ayurveda also recognizes the role of stress in the development of Psoriasis.
At Abhay Ayurvedic Hospital, our approach to Psoriasis treatment focuses on blood purification and balancing the doshas to achieve a symptom-free state. Our treatment includes:
1. Shodhana Chikitsa (Detoxification): This involves Panchakarma therapies like Vamana, Virechana, Rakta Mokshana, etc. For chronic cases of Psoriasis lasting more than five years, repeated detoxification may be recommended.
2. Shamana Chikitsa: We use proper management with internal medications and external applications to provide relief.
3. Rasayana Chikitsa (Immunomodulation): This helps prevent recurrence and boosts immunity.
4. Diet and Lifestyle Modifications: We suggest changes in diet and daily routines to support the healing process.
5. Stress Management: Addressing and managing stress is a crucial aspect of our treatment approach.
Our goal is to provide holistic care that not only alleviates the symptoms of Psoriasis but also addresses its underlying causes, promoting long-term health and well-being.