Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis with Natural Herbal Remedies
Atopic dermatitis (atopic eczema) is a skin inflammation which is characterized by relapsing, chronic, pruritic, eczematous eruptions of skin. It usually starts in early childhood but the severity of the diseases varies on years. The symptoms are worsened by scratching and have increased risk of infections.
Risk Factors for Atopic Dermatitis
The exact etiology of atopic dermatitis still remains unclear but it is proven that multi factors will increase the risk of atopic dermatitis.
- Environmental Factors :- indoor air pollution, environmental tobacco smoke, outdoor exposure to allergens, hard water
- Genetic factors :- mutation in FLG (fillagrin – a protein coding gene, important for the structure formation of the epidermis)
- Socio Economic Factors :-small family size, migration from rural to urban places, increased use of antibiotics etc
Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis
The symptoms of atopic dermatitis have peaks and valleys in accordance to different manifestations. The victims often have dry and scaly skin. It may be red, itchy and and cracked. Flare ups are triggered in winter season. Lichenification (thick leathery appearance) can occur in chronic lesions.
- Under the age of one year :- much of the body may be affected
- Older Children :- back of the knees and front of the elbows are mostly affected
- Adults :- hands and feet are commonly affected
Atopic Dermatitis & Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, atopic dermatitis is included under vicharchika. Aggravation of thridosha is in account for this. Along with tridosha aggravation, rakta dushti plays a vital role in atopic dermatitis. Itching and oozing is caused by the aggravated kapha where redness, inflammation and burning sensation by aggravated pitta. Aggravated vata makes the skin dry and scaly and causes itching. The aggravated vata moves through veins and vessels along with vitiated pitta and kapha and this gets lodged in the skin causing eczema.
Ayurveda mentions about the causative factors for atopic dermatitis including
- Frequent intake of incompatible foods
- Excessive intake of fatty, oily, difficult to digest foods like dairy products
- Suppression of natural urges
- Exposure to intensive exercise and heat after meals
- Exposure to cold immediately after intense exposure to sun, heat and exertion
- Excessive sleeping during the day time
- Excessive indulgence in sexual intercourse before the meals gets digested
- Excessive use of nava dhanya (harvested within a year), curd, fish, salted foods & sesame seeds
Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis is a public health concern worldwide and has enough financial burdens. So the treatment protocol charted should be cost effective and aimed at the improvement of the quality of living of patients. Treatment should be implemented in accordance to age of the patient, severity of the disease, distribution and extent of the illness. The treatment protocol of atopic dermatitis includes :-
- Pharmacological Therapy :- Medicines and panchakarama
- Cutaneous Hydration :- Stay hydrated. Water rich fresh fruits and veggies will help
- Identification and elimination of aggravating factors
- Pruritic relief
- Patient education
Ayurvedic Tips to Manage Atopic Dermatitis
- Have short warm showers with very mild soap. Pat dry the skin after shower using soft cotton towel. Don’t rub the skin with towel
- Foods that are salty, sour, spicy, fatty & refrigerated foods
- Avoid stress and relax well. You can resort to pranayama or meditation techniques for the same
- Stay away from hot & humid atmosphere. Wear loose cotton dress. Avoid synthetic ones. This will help to avoid perspiration. More perspiration more itching
- Avoid the use of strong alcoholic beverages and tobacco
- Have water rich fresh fruits and veggies. Always stay hydrated
- Limit the use of packaged and processed foods
- Cow’s ghee can be used (2 – 4 tsp a day)
- For itching & inflammation – tea prepared from bark of neem (azadirachta indica)
- For dryness & itching – apply neem oil
- For dry lesions – gently apply coconut oil or aloe vera gel
- Avoid all the aggravating factors or the subjects which may trigger your flare ups. This differs for each individual. Individualized screening is necessary to pick out the specific factors.
Herbal Remedies for Atopic Dermatitis
Ayurvedic treatment is a best way to cure Atopic Dermatitis.Planet Ayurveda offers various herbal remedies for Atopic Dermatitis that provides effective results on symptoms associated with this disease.
1. Radiant Skin Hair Nails Capsules
This is an excellent formulation that makes your skin healthy and radiant. The herbs used are manjishta (rubia cordifolia), pitta papda (fumaria officinalis), chirata (swetia chiretta), & aloe vera. This herbal product will resolve the rakta dushti. It also reduces the symptoms like redness, itching, inflammation and fight epidermal super infections.
Dosage :- 1 capsule twice daily with lukewarm water after meals.
2. Gandhak Rasayan
It is the most effective medicine in Ayurveda for any kind of skin diseases. It rejuvenates the body and helps in prophylaxis. It also has anti bacterial property. It is a potent anti inflammatory drug prepared out of shudh gandhak. It also has anti oxidant and Adaptogenic properties. It helps to relieve any itching or burning sensation due to any underlying pathology. It helps to improve the skin health.
Dosage :- 2 capsules twice daily after meals with lukewarm water.
3. Navakarshik Choorna
It is a very effective blood purifier. It corrects the protein metabolism and cleanses the blood. It is very effective for pain management in arthritic condition. As the name indicates it contains nine ingredients, each taken in karsha pramana (12 gms). The ingredients are amalaki (emblica officianalis), haritaki (terminalia chebula), vibhitaki (terminalia bellerica), neem (azadirachta indica), vacha (acorus calamus), manjishta (rubia cordifolia), katuki (piccorrhiza kurrao), guduci (tinospora cordifolia), daruharidra (berberis aristate). It balances the tridoshas.
Dosage :- Half tsp daily after meals.
4. Vetpalai Thailam
External application of this thailam on affected areas create wonders. This helps to relieve burning sensation and itching of the skin. It also moisturizes the skin by reducing the dryness of the skin.
5. Manadarin Orange Soap
This can be used for bathing. It is a mild handmade soap specially designed for skin diseases. It is skin friendly and keeps the moisture content of the skin. It revitalizes and replenishes the skin.
6. Lippu Oil
Gently application of lippu oil is recommended on affected area. This reduces dryness and itchiness. It controls epidermal water loss and is useful in lichenified skin
All these herbal products are useful in atopic dermatitis and make the skin healthy. The effectiveness of these products varies from person to person & according to the severity of the disease.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan
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