Eczema or dermatitis is a chronic inflammation of the skin, characterized by scales, fissured skin, intense itching and inflammation and sore pain. When the skin is excessively scratched by nails, or any hard object, the surface begins to bleed. When the disease gets chronic, there is oozing from the scratched site.
Eczema can affect all age groups, but, the severity of the disease can vary. The general predisposing causes are age, debility, familial tendency, allergy, climate and psychological factors. Most of the time, family history of allergies, including asthma, eczema and hay fever could be the cause. Also various conditions of the skin such as dry skin, greasy skin, varicose veins and excessive sweating may predispose to eczema.
Eczema can spread through contact with infected person and this is a common form of the malady. Those working in gas, chemical and drug manufacturing units are the common victims.
In the concept of Ayurveda, aggravation of vata, pitta and kapha is the primary cause, although, excess use of soap, allergy to specific food items, poultry products, sea-foods, sweets, chocolates, drinks, etc may be other causes.
Ayurvedic treatment methods
Eczema is mostly constitutional, although at times it is due to local influences. Therefore, although the poisons eliminated through the skin manifestations are carried by the blood. Hence eczema should be treated as a constitutional disease, and external application of medications alone, will be inefficient in most cases.
So the treatment method would include an Ayurvedic blood purifying process, beginning with snehana (to ‘oleate’), swedana (to induce sweating by application of heat) and panchakarma (cleansing procedures – vamana, vasti, virechana, sirovirechana and andrakata mokshana).
- Pound root of Kasundi herb and reduce to a fine powdered form. Mix it in kanji (gruel) and apply the paste on affected areas. Avoid use of soap or detergents that further precipitate the disease.
- Mix 250mg of Paribhadra Ras, 125mg of Udaya ‘bhaskar and 240 mg of Chakramardabja churna. Have this thrice a day with Khadirarishta.
- Apply and rub juice of Amaltas leaves (Cassia fistula) over the affected portion, and ensure to keep it away from cold and heat.
- Apply the juice of tender leaves of Terminalia catapa over the affected parts.
- The emulsion made from karanja tel (oil extracted from pongamia pinnata seeds) mixed with lemon juice, makes a useful application.
- Boil one part of sesame oil, 16 parts of milky juice of calotropics gigantica and one part of turmeric. Apply it externally.
- Pancha Tikta Ghrita Guggul – 2teaspoonful mixed in warm milk on empty stomach is an effective remedy for eczema.
- Take 20ml Kadirarista mixed with equal quantity of water twice a day after meals.
- Take half to one teaspoonful Panchanimbaadi choornam twice a day after meals.
- Mahaa marichyaadi taila, Guduchyaadi tailam are advised for external application.
Skincare routine to manage Eczema
Avoid scratching with your nails or any other object. Instead, a soft cloth may be used for the purpose, in case of unbearable itching.
Keep the surface free from dust, allergens, and avoid eatables that are likely to aggravate the condition.
For dryness of skin, give a good oil massage to the skin an hour before bath. Add olive oil to bath water. Replace soap with gram flour and mustard oil, or if necessary, use very mild glycerine soap.
Have a light diet. Avoid allergenic foods including tea, coffee, excess salt, cheese, fish, eggs, sugar, hot spices and food additives.
Be aware of the fact that eczema is a chronic, but not a serious disease by itself, and therefore do not get depressed. Avoid unnecessary stress, anger, resentment and frustration.