Psoriasis is a non-infectious, inflammatory disease of the skin. It is characterized by well-defined erythematous (reddish) plaques with large adherent silvery scales. The main abnormality in psoriasis is an increased proliferation of the skin layers due to excessive division of the cell in the basal layers of the skin. Severe itching may associate with the plaques. Dryness of the skin and silvery scaling are characteristics of this condition. 1% to 3% of the most population has Psoriasis. It is often seen between 15 to 40 yrs of age.
The exact cause of psoriasis is not known. It is believed that a combination of several factors contributes to the development of this disease.
Some common causes of psoriasis are the following:
- Psoriasis occur when the immune system overreacts, causing inflammation and flaking of skin.
- Abnormality in the mechanism in which the skin grows and replaces itself causes psoriasis.
- Heredity also plays a role in the development of psoriasis
- Environmental factors such as trauma, sunlight, infection, emotional stress, climatic changes etc
- Streptococcal infection of the upper respiratory tract may exacerbate the condition.
- Raised, red patches of skin topped with loose, silvery scales, usually on the knees or elbows
- Thick, red patches known as plaques, and dry, silvery scales appearing on the scalp, face, elbows, knees, palms, and soles of the feet.
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
- Joint swelling, tenderness, and pain
- Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
- Many may develop zero- negative inflammatory arthritis, which is characterized by multiple involvements of joints and pitting on nails.
- According Ayurvedic references, Psoriasis can be considered as the vitiation of Vata and Kapha. (Two of the basic energies/humours, which maintains our body equilibrium)
- Accumulation of low potency poisons (Dooshi vishas), are the basic pathological changes taking place in the system.
- Irregular food habits, consumption of foodstuffs that cannot be eaten together (Eg: diary products with fish),
- excessive intake of yogurt, black gram, seafood, sour and salted items etc can activate the pathogenesis.
- Alcohol and tobacco consumption will act as a catalyst.
- Ayurveda do emphasize on the effect of stress in the pathogenesis of Psoriasis.
By treatment, Ayurveda aims at the detoxification of the body or elimination of toxins from the body fluids. It is achieved by “Panchakarma” treatments.
The treatment schedule comprising of various treatment aspects of Ayurveda. This includes internal and external medications purely of plant origin.
- Consumption of medicated ghee, considering the Dosha type of the Psoriasis and the person, for 5 to 7 days.
- Detoxifying, by inducing vomiting (Vamana) and purgation (Virechana). This is followed by medicated buttermilk dripping overhead (Thakradhara) and pasting the entire body with a paste of medicines.
- Basthies (medicated enemas) are being done for 8 days and internal medicines like herbal concoctions; medicated ghee has to be consumed for at least 90 days.
A strict diet regime has to be followed during the entire treatment period.
- A vegetarian diet is most preferable
- Yogurt, black gram, chillies and salted thing have to be restricted.
- Avoid refrigerated/chilled foods. Psoriatic must keep a state of mental calmness.
- At Ayurclinic, a personalised diet tailored according to the individual constitutional needs, will be advised.