Eczema or Dermatitis is a group of skin conditions, which can affect all age groups. Eczema is one of the commonest reasons for dry, sensitive skin, taking its name from the Greek word ECZEMA, meaning to boil. The severity of the disease may vary person to person. This is an apt description of the inflamed rash, which is often accompanied by an intense itching, which makes scratching almost inevitable. One person in ten has eczema at some time in their life, and it affects all age groups. The general predisposing causes are –age , allergy , family history, climate and psychological factors.
Eczema is classified in following categories
AYURVEDIC VIEW OF ECZEMA
In Ayurveda eczema is known as “Pamma” and “Vicharchika”. This is caused by the faulty dietary habits and life style. Climatory factors , heat , dampness , severe cold , psychological stress may promote eczema. The local factors like dry skin , greasy skin , excessive sweating etc. may predispose to eczema.
Due to the above factors the Pitta Dosha ( Which represents Fire in Ayurvedic Texts) gets aggravated and it also vitiates the other dosha and dhatues – Blood and Skin (Rakt , mamsa and twacha ). Theses all conditions produces ama “ the toxin” which menifests in skin and it goes deep into the body tissues “dhatus” causing eczema.
The broad categorize of Eczema are :
Three Type of Eczema are ::
If one can broadly categorize eczema or vicharchika, into three types, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, then herbal and dietary treatment is fairly straight forward and it is my experience that it generally works well. It is not hard to see how most skin problems fall easily into these categories:
Vata type: The skin tends to be rough, dry, hard, itchy and scaly. There may be associated constipation, wind and distension, anxiety and insomnia. The skin is aggravated by cold, wind, dryness and stress and relieved by the application of oils, especially sesame.
Pitta type: The skin is hot and inflamed; it is aggravated by heat and heating foods, exposure to the sun and application of most oils, reflecting a state of heat and toxicity in the body. There tends to be burning, redness, oozing, swelling and infection which can be associated with fever, irritability and feeling of heat.
Kapha type: Kapha skin problems are often accompanied by mucous congestion, lethargy and sluggish metabolism. The skin tends to be cold, clammy, sticky, oozing, swollen and itchy, with a pale complexion. It is aggravated by cold, damp, application of oils and eating dairy products and sugar.
Eczema is more common in Pitta types as Pitta can overheat the blood (Rakta dhatu) and predispose to toxic conditions which are expressed through the skin. Factors causing such skin problems include poor digestion (low agni), toxins in the bowel (ama), incorrect diet, over use of sour, salty, or pungent tastes, heavy, sweet or oily foods, as well as over-use of cosmetics, perfumes, synthetic creams, etc.
AYURVEDIC TREATMENT FOR ECZEMA