Eczema is a disease characterized by skin rashes that have redness, swelling, itching, dryness, and flaking. The skin itches and when scratched, results in a rash. In Ayurveda, this disease is known as Vicharchika. It occurs when the immune system becomes unbalanced, so the condition is often associated with other allergic conditions like allergic asthma, hay fever, etc. Genetic factors, debility, climate, and psychological factors can dispose one to the condition.
- Excessive consumption of foods that are dry, stale, cold, salty, spicy, sour, fermented or fried
- Late night work schedules
- Regular late night dinners
- Excessive physical, mental, and sexual activities; and stress are also factors
- Excessive intake of tea, coffee, aerated drinks, and alcoholic beverages
- Indigestion, acidity, constipation, and/or flatulence
- Redness on skin
- Dry and flaky skin
- Itchy blisters
- Inflammation on skin
- Small bumps on forehead, neck and cheek
- Rough and thickened skin
According to Ayurveda, Eczema or Vicharchika is caused due to a faulty diet and lifestyle, which leads to impairment of digestion and aggravation of Pitta Dosha (Ayurvedic humor representing Fire). Pitta manifests in the skin and causes accumulation of heating toxins known as ama. These toxins accumulate in body tissues, contaminating them at a deep level and causing Eczema. Use of local creams, antibiotics and steroids only mask the symptoms; they do not affect the root cause of this disease and that is the reason why this problem often reappears. Ayurveda recommends an individualized treatment plan for patients of Eczema, including proper diet and specialized herbal combinations. The line of treatment works on pacifying Pitta by enhancing the body’s digestion, as well as cleansing the body of accumulated toxins.
Diet & Lifestyle Advice
- Avoid spicy or oily food and a hot humid atmosphere.
- Wear loose, cotton clothes; avoid synthetic fibers as they inhibit perspiration.
- Avoid soap or use mild herbal soap for bathing.
- Use a soft, smooth towel and avoid rubbing the skin.
- Avoid tea, coffee, hot spices, and canned and preserved foods.
- Practice Bhujangasan and Agnisaar Pranayam to enhance your body’s immunity.
Some Home Remedies
- Prepare a decoction by boiling 20-30 margosa (neem) leaves in about 4-5 cups of water for 20 minutes. Let it cool and use this water to wash the affected area.
- Boil 30 grams of Indian gum tree (babul) bark and 30 grams of mango tree bark in 1 liter of water for 30 minutes. Use this water to make a hot compress (fomentation) on the affected part. After fomentation for about 15-20 minutes, clean the skin with dry cloth and apply purified butter as an ointment.
- Mix 1 teaspoon powder of licorice root with a small amount of sesame oil. Warm this in a pan and then apply to the affected part. Wrap a bandage over it and leave for 3-4 hours. Repeat twice a day.