Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales. The condition is not infectious and most people are affected only in small patches on their body.
Causes of Psoriasis
- Disorder in the immune system.
- Drugs (Lithium, Beta-blockers, Anti-malarials, NSAIDs)
- Emotional stress
- Family history of Psoriasis
- Hormonal changes (Disease peaks during puberty and menopause)
- Injury to the skin (skin infection, inflammation, excessive scratching)
- Strong sunlight
- Streptococcal infections
Symptoms and signs
- Dry, red skin lesions, known as plaques, are covered in silver scales.
- Usually appear on elbows, knees, scalp and lower back(can appear anywhere)
- Plaques -itchy, sore or both
- The skin around joints may crack and bleed(in severe cases)
- Common among children and teenagers
- Small drop-shaped sores on the chest, arms, legs and scalp
- May disappear completely, or develop into plaque psoriasis.
- occur on parts of the scalp or on the whole scalp
- causes red patches of skin covered in thick silvery-white scales
- extremely itchy/ no discomfort
- hair loss( temporary)
- affects nails
- develop tiny dents or pits
- become discoloured
- grow abnormally
- nails become loose and separate from the nail bed.
- nails crumble(severe cases)
- affects areas of the skin that are in folds( armpits, groin and the skin
- between the buttocks and under the breasts)
- large, smooth red patches in some or all of these areas
- worsen by friction and sweating
- Generalised pustular psoriasis or von Zumbusch psoriasis.
- pustules on a wide area of skin developing very quickly
- pus consists of white blood cells and is not infected.
- pustules dry and peel off within a couple of days, leaving the skin shiny and smooth
- weight loss
- Pustules appear on the palms and soles
- Pustules gradually develop into circular brown scaly spots and peel off
- Pustules reappear every few days or weeks.
- Pustules appear on fingers and toes.
- Pustules burst, leaving bright red areas that may ooze or become scaly; leading to painful nail deformities.
- Intense itching, burning
- Skin biopsies
- blood tests
- X-rays of the affected joints (Psoriatic arthritis)
- Apply heavy moisturizers after bathing.
- Avoid scratching or excessive irritation.
- Bath soaks with coal tar or other agents that remove scales and reduce the plaque
- Do not use irritating cosmetics or soaps.
- Exposure to sunlight
- Soak in bath water with oil added
- Use an ultraviolet B unit at home under a doctor’s supervision
- Corticosteroids (Clobetasol, fluocinolone, betamethasone)
- Vitamin D-3 derivatives (calcipotriene)
- Coal tar
- Anthralin (tree bark extract)
- Retinoids (tazarotene)
UV-B light therapy
Psoralen (methoxsalen, trioxsalen) drug with ultraviolet A (UV-A) light therapy
Psoriasis in Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, all skin diseases are grouped under a broad heading of Kushta Roga Which is further divided in
Ekakushta is one such disease explained under the heading of Kshudra kushta (minor skin ailments)
The features of Ekakushta and Kitibh Kushta closely resemble the characteristic features of Psoriasis. Hence most clinicians co-relate these with psoriasis.
The intake of Incompatible Food and Accumulation of Toxins are the main causes of psoriasis.
Incompatible means consumption of food items that can’t be eaten together. The most common of these are fruit and dairy (therefore no fruit & yoghurt or strawberries & cream), meat and dairy, and fish and dairy. Even overconsumption of yoghurt, dark gram, fish, harsh and salted things etc. can activate the pathogenesis. Liquor and tobacco utilization will act as a catalyst here. A life full of anxiety & stress also leads to Psoriasis.
These combinations lead to toxin accumulation in the body that directly attacks the skin causing psoriasis.
Due to the above-said factors, all the three doshas (mainly Vata and Kapha) are vitiated and they further vitiate Twak (skin), Rakta (blood), and Mamsa (flesh), Ambu (lasika-serum). Thus, they lead to the manifestation of skin lesions in various parts of the body.
The main Psoriasis Ayurveda treatment is Panchakarma therapy.
First of all, do vamana, virechna.
Psoriasis Ayurveda Treatment is done by detoxification of the body or disposal of toxic material from the body. Psoriasis majorly occurs due to vitiated pitta in the body.
As the liver is the main detoxification organ so the patient is recommended to take some effective herbs for liver care & detoxification.
Then blood purifiers are given to the patients to reduce increased toxins inside the body. Neem capsules and a few herbal powders & arishta in classical medicines are famous like Gandak Rasayan, Panchtikt Ghrit Guggul, Chander Prabha Vati etc.
These medicines act as anti-allergic, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and antibiotics.
Psoriasis Ayurveda treatment includes the Rejuvenation of cells. This is done through immune boosters & modulator herbs like Amla, Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Brahmi, Tagar, Jatamansi etc.
Herbs for Psoriasis
- Panchatikta ghrita
- Mahatiktaka ghrita
- Mahatiktaka Kashaya
- Guggulu tiktaka ghrita
- Guggulutiktaka Kashaya
- Vasaguduchyadi Kashaya
- Mahamanjishthadi Kwath
- Triphla Powder
- Kaishora guggulu
- Gandhaka rasayana
- Amritadi guggulu
- Kushthkuthar Ras
- Neemghan Vati
- Giloghan Vati
- Kishore guggul
Best Yoga Mudra for Psoriasis Is VARUN MUDRA
Best deep breathing exercises Or Pranayama for Psoriasis are-
- Kapalbhati—–30 min
- Anulom-vilom 30 min
Yogasana for Psoriasis
- Viparita Karani
Diet and Lifestyle Changes
- Ayurveda stresses avoiding certain “faulty food combinations”. The most common of these are fruit and dairy (therefore no fruit & yoghurt or strawberries & cream), meat and dairy, and fish and dairy. These combinations lead to toxin accumulation in the body that directly attacks the skin causing psoriasis.
- Avoid excess intake of sugar and salt.
- Always eat cooked foods. This helps to stimulate the digestive fire, therefore, digesting all the food. This ensures that no food is converted into toxins.
- Eat Fresh Fruit and vegetables.
- Buttermilk is also specially recommended. For this simply blend one-quarter yoghurt and three-quarters water. To this one can add spices like cumin powder, cinnamon, grated ginger, and cardamom. Buttermilk has astringent qualities and helps to eliminate excess heat. A glass 3-4 times a day.
- Keep your bowels clean. Constipation can also lead to skin ailments including psoriasis.
- People suffering from dry flaky psoriasis should invest some time in regular ayurvedic oil massages. A self-massage with warm sesame seed oil is enough.
- Ayurvedic foot massages are known for its heat removing properties. For an enhanced benefit, ask your therapist to use “Ghee”, commonly called clarified butter.
- Separating your bedroom for sleep and your study for work is essential.
These simple approaches have a very high success rate in dealing with even the most stubborn psoriasis.
If you try these techniques and still find that you are suffering, please consult a registered Ayurvedic practitioner.
- Severe itching
- Secondary skin infections
- Skin cancer from light therapy
- Keep the skin clean and moist
- Take daily baths or showers
- Avoid scrubbing too hard, because this can irritate the skin and trigger an attack.