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Eczema

Ayurveda about eczema

According to Ayurveda all types of skin disorders are described under the term kushta, Kushta is of 2 types Mahakushta and Kshudrakushta. 

Kushta is caused due to vitiation of all three doshas and depending on which dosha is more dominantly vitiated, particular symptoms develop related to that dosha.

Eczema is known as vicharchika, it is one type of Kshudra Kushta and occurs when kapha vitiation is more dominant, this results in skin itching.

Ayurveda has a positive result while treating eczema, the line of treatment follows on the principles of treating the root cause of the ailment. Based on the chronicity, severity of the disease and prakruti of an individual, the line of treatment will consist of only medicines or a combination of medicines and panchakarma. Also there is a myth that skin disorders have to be mandatorily treated with panchkarma but sometimes only medicines are enough to get rid of the ailment.  Therefore there are no fixed rules for treating Eczema.

The word “Eczema” originates from the Greek word “ekzein” which means to “boil over” or “break out.” Itching is the first symptom of Eczema and hence sometimes also known as "the itch that rashes" 

Eczema is mostly observed in the younger segment of society but adults can be affected by it too, often marked by itchy and inflamed patches of skin. 

Eczema is not restricted to any particular body part but mostly affects areas are, the arms, inner elbows, backs of the knees, or head (particularly the cheeks and the scalp). Eczema usually starts on the face followed by the hands and feet. It is generally observed that Eczema affects children and adults differently, in children it affects the elbow and knee creases, neck, wrists, ankles, and feet and in adults the hands and feet tend to be the most commonly affected areas. 

Eczema can flare up, subside for a while, and then flare up again. Eczema is not contagious - you cannot get eczema from, or give it to, another person. 

Since Eczema is very itchy, scratching an affected area may worsen the rash and increase the probability of an infection.

Although there are many types of Eczema, Atopic dermatitis is the most common type, which is why many use Atopic dermatitis and Eczema interchangeably. 

The primary risk factor for atopic dermatitis is having a personal or family history of eczema, allergies, hay fever or asthma. Infants who are 6-12 weeks old can get atopic dermatitis as a patchy facial rash. Moisture from drooling makes it worse. In some cases, the condition goes away by age 2. But about half of people who had atopic dermatitis as a child will have it as an adult too.

Potential causes of eczema are:

  • Factors that cause the skin to become dry and more vulnerable to irritants or infection.
  • Genetic factors – eczema runs in families.
  • Immune system dysfunction causing an unwanted inflammatory response in the skin.

Symptoms include:

  • intense itching
  • red or brownish-gray patches
  • Small, raised bumps, which may leak fluid and crust over when scratched
  • thickened, scaly skin
  • Scratching eczema further irritates and inflames the skin

Common triggers of eczema flare-ups include

  • Chemicals found in cleaners and detergents that dry out the skin
  • Rough scratchy material, like wool
  • Synthetic fabrics
  • Raised body temperature
  • Sweating
  • Temperature changes
  • Sudden drop in humidity
  • Stress
  • Food allergies
  • Animal dander
  • Upper respiratory infections

There is no known cure for eczema, but current line of treatment aims to control symptoms by reducing inflammation and relieving itching