Eczema is a common skin problem that affects about 40 percent of the world’s population. It is a type of dermatosis that results from the action of various external irritants (exogenous factors) or as a result of systemic diseases, which is an endogenous factor. The main step in the treatment of eczema is to find and remove the cause of the problem, but sometimes there is the idiopathic eczema. When we have idiopathic eczema, the treatment is mainly symptomatic and its purpose is to soothe the symptoms.
It is characterized by symptoms such as itching in certain skin areas, as well as with skin dryness. Usually it occurs on the hands, face and legs, but it can also appear in other parts of the body. Intense scratching is not recommended in eczema because it may cause bleeding.
Eczema is associated with chronic lesions, which are solid formations. They affect people of different ages and appear in different places on the body.
Conventional methods of treating eczema do not show results in every person. And in most cases they have negative side effects. Ayurveda medicine helps in various skin diseases. Its healing therapies include the use of natural herbal remedies that do not have side effects on the organism and have a beneficial effect on skin problems such as eczema.
Eczema is characterized by inflammation of the skin, which is accompanied by severe itching, which is a common symptom. It can affect only one area or to spread all over the body. The most common forms of eczema are: atopic dermatitis (eczema in children, with allergic factor present), seborrhoeic dermatitis (eczema resulting from dandruff), contact dermatitis (resulting from contact with something that causes skin irritation), chronic eczema (characterized by thickening of the skin) and other forms.
Modern medical science cannot determine the exact cause of this health problem. The most common causes of eczema are skin irritants such as preservatives, coloring agents and other substances that are used in the food industry, as well as substances used in the production of synthetic fabrics, wool and various household products. Eczema can often be caused by simple foods such as chocolate, citrus fruits, nuts and meat, mushrooms and others. If someone in your family has this condition, there is a great chance that the rest of the family will also be infected in the future.
Researchers are of the opinion that there is a direct connection between eczema and asthma or hay fever. These diseases are the only reason why doctors observe the condition of kids suffering from eczema, in order to see whether there will be further development of the disease. The studies show that the most common cause of eczema in most patients is the stress factor.
What is eczema according to Ayurveda?
According to Ayurveda, eczema can be compared to another health factor called “Vi-char-chi-ka”. The symptoms include intense itching, purulent blisters and boils, loss of pigment in the skin or hyperpigmentation, secretion, rough skin, pain, very dry skin, which is also typical of eczema.
Recommendations of Ayurveda:
According to Ayurveda, there are several most common factors that contribute to the development of skin problems. If we suffer from a skin problem, it is good to think if we are doing some of the following:
- We often eat foods that are incompatible
- We eat too much fatty foods or foods that are hard to digest such as the dairy products
- We suppress the natural needs of our body, as well as our feelings.
- We perform intense physical activity or stay in too hot after abundant meal.
- We shower with cold water after staying in the sun for too long or we experience feelings such as tension and fear.
- We eat before the food from our previous meal has been absorbed properly from the organism.
- We consume a lot of grain products that have been harvested during the year.
- We consume a lot of yoghurt, curd, fish, salty foods, dairy products and sesame.
- We often sleep during the day.
Another curious fact is that Ayurveda considers the insulting of erudite people and teachers also a factor for occurrence of skin problems. Of course, some of the treatment methods of Ayurveda require more research in order to be proved as valid.
The ayurvedic medicine believe that Kapha and Pitta dosha become aggravated if we do some of the abovementioned activities. These also cause aggravation in Vata dosha. As the Vata energy moves through the veins and blood, it brings Pitta and Kapha to the skin and spreads them all over the body, causing skin problems such as eczema. Increased Kapha and Pitta make the skin dry.
Here are some helpful tips on how to deal with eczema according to Ayurveda:
- Successful treatment of eczema depends on several factors. Skin irritation indicates that Kapha and Vata dosha are increased, while the inflammations and pain are caused by an imbalance in Pitta and Vata. The presence of moist eczema means that Pitta and Kapha are out of balance. In chronic lesions, all three doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha are increased and this is a sign that we need to undergo a treatment.
- Take regular, short and warm showers using delicate dermatologically tested soap and soft towel, and we should dry the skin gently using tapping movements without rubbing.
- We should avoid the consumption of spicy, bitter, oily, and hard to digest foods, or frozen products.
- We should avoid hot and humid temperatures or living in such a climate.
- We should avoid too tight clothes and clothes made of synthetic fabrics. Instead we can choose cotton clothes that do not allow us to sweat.
- We should avoid stress
- We should avoid intimate contact at least 3 hours after eating.
- We should consume every day various foods including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, pulses, legumes, tender meat.
- We should avoid excessive consumption of alcohol, non-alcoholic processed beverages, as well as smoking.
- We should choose the fresh food and limit as much as possible the consumption of packaged foods containing preservatives.
- We should drink enough water to ensure the proper digestion and function of the intestines.
- We should consume ghee butter from cow‘s milk (2-4 teaspoons a day). Ghee butter is useful for treatment of eczema and skin problems in general.
Since, according to Ayurveda, healthy eating is an important step to overcome any health problem, Ayurveda recommends drinking fresh juices for skin cleansing.
Here is a recipe for skin problems:
- 1 cup of chopped carrots
- ½ cup of chopped celery
- 1/6 cup chopped parsley
- 1/3 chopped spinach
- ¼ red beets
- We blend these ingredients and drink the fresh juice once a day about an hour before breakfast.
Ayurveda offers various methods to balance the doshas.
- To balance Kapha is recommended to undergo a vomiting therapy.
- To balance Pitta and to cleanse the blood, Ayurveda recommends cleansing therapy and leech therapy.
- To balance Vata, Ayurveda recommends healing edema, as well as external therapies such as application of healing paste, herbal baths, herbal teas, herbal potions, as well as herbal oils.
Which effective herbal remedies are recommended by Ayurveda for eczema?
- In eczema, Ayurveda recommends to use tea tree oil on the area affected by the eczema.
- To soothe the inflammations Ayurveda recommends to use tea made of the bark of neem (Indian lily).
- To reduce redness and relieve itching, Ayurveda recommends the external use of neem oil.
- For dry lesions Ayurveda recommends the use of Aloe Vera gel and coconut oil.
If there is an intense itching, Ayurveda recommends the following healing method:
- Mix 100 ml of coconut oil and 1 teaspoon of pure camphor essential oil and stir well.
- Smear on the affected areas.