What is Ayurveda?
Thousands of years before modern medicine provided scientific evidence for the mind-body connection, Ayurveda was developed in the Indian subcontinent. It is one of the world’s most sophisticated and powerful holistic health systems.
More than a mere system for the treatment of physical illness, Ayurveda means the science of life (“Ayu” means life and “Veda” means science or knowledge). It is an ancient and evolving body of wisdom which helps people live in a vibrant, healthy and happy way.
Three types of skin disorders
Long before the existence of microscopic technology in modern science, Ayurveda recognised that the skin was made up of three main layers.
Apicharma or the superficial fascia is in contact with the outside world and so it constantly repairs itself to adjust to the outside atmosphere. As a result it tends to get dry, flaky and irritable frequently. People who are predominantly Vata, as it is made up of the qualities of air and ether, are more likely to suffer with irritable skin disorders at the most superficial layer of skin. Hence Vata people have a greater tendency to dry skin, dry eczema, irritable skin, and dandruff. Damp weather, dry, cold and raw food and stress tend to aggravate and increase Vata dosha. Reducing exposure to these aggravators can help to eliminate this disorder.
Applying the right moisturiser and simple adjustments to life style and diet can easily eliminate Vata eczemca. Just like vata people, vata type eczema comes easily and goes easily.
The middle layer or second layer of skin consists of more connective tissue, blood vessels and plasma. It tends to be more moist and warm. When Ama(toxins) circulate in this layer skin tends to get irritable, hot and red. Hot blooded ‘Pitta’ people (fire + water) are more prone to a type of eczema which is inflammatory, hot and red as well as rosacea, dermatitis and other types of inflammatory skin conditions. Stress and anger can further aggravate these types of skin disorders. The application of suitable moisturisers, following a Pitta reducing diet and stress reducing adjustments to lifestyle can help to significantly heal these types of disorder.
Pitta people are characterised by their dominant qualities and similarly these types of skin disorders, while they arise easily, they require some effort to eliminate.
Third layer or ‘addhus charma’ is made up of connective tissue, fat and blood. It tends to be the moistest layer of the skin which means it has a greater tolerance for toxicity and so is not so easily affected by disorders. However, when toxins build up to saturation point, disorders begin to appear slowly. When this third layer gets affected it is much harder to cure. Normally people with Kapha constitutions are more prone to disorders of third layer. Psoriasis is the most common disorder that appears in third layer of skin, as well as infected boils and wet eczema. Because of slow onset of the disorder and the way it sets in to the skin it is harder to cure. With much effort and long term application of the correct moisturisers, herbs, and adjustments to life style and diet as well as deep cleansing programmes like “Panchakarma”, Kapha skin disorders can be cured. Just like Kapha people, it takes a long time to come, is harder to eliminate but once gone it may never return.
So eczema and skin disorders vary according to your dosha. Being able to identify which type of disorder you have enables you to apply the correct creams and ointments, make the right adjustments to diet and life style and choose suitable remedies.
The basic advice which will significantly help your body eliminate the disorder is the same no matter which type of disorder –
Daily moisturising your skin with a suitable, healing cream such as Dermaved.
Protect your skin from extreme weather conditions
Improve your circulation by staying properly hydrated and taking regular exercise, especially stretching, yoga or walking
Make sure you sweat regularly to excrete toxins from the system
Ensure your diet allows you to maintain proper bowel movements once or twice a day
Pass urine regularly throughout the day whenever the body requires
Reduce your stress levels by doing some meditation or leisure activities