Psoriasis is defined as a long-lasting autoimmune disease which is characterized by patches of abnormal skin that are usually red, dry, itchy, and scaly. It is a common skin condition that speeds up the life cycle of skin cells. It affects men and women equally and can begin at any age, but it is most common between the age of 15-35 years and again between 50-60 years. Psoriasis is commonly associated with several other conditions, including- type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel syndrome, heart diseases, psoriatic arthritis, etc.
In Psoriasis, both environmental and genetic factors contribute to its pathogenesis. In particular, body weight, nutrition, and diet may trigger the disease. The worldwide prevalence of psoriasis is around 2 to 4%, but studies in developed countries have reported higher prevalence rates of on average about 4.6%.
What are the Causes of Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is mainly thought to be an immune system problem. Common causes are-
- Genetics – Having one parent with psoriasis increases your risk of getting the disease.
- Immune system – In the case of Psoriasis, white blood cells also known as T cells mistakenly attack the skin cells. This attacks the skin cell production process to go into overdrive. Overactive T cells attack the healthy skin cells and causing redness and sometimes pus in pustular lesions.
- Viral and Bacterial infections – People with HIV are more likely to develop this condition. Infections, such as strep throat.
- High-stress levels may increase the risk of psoriasis.
- Tobacco or smoking not only increases your risk of psoriasis but also increase the severity of this disease.
- Injury to the skin, such as cut, a bug bite or a severe sunburn.
- Heavy alcohol consumption.
- Cold, dry weather causes lack of moisture in the air worsens the Psoriasis.
- Vitamin D deficiency.
- Medications like Lithium are prescribed for bipolar disorder, anti-malarial drugs, beta blockers, etc.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Psoriasis?
Sign and symptoms are different in every individual but most of the common are –
- Red patches in the skin, covered with thick silvery scales
- Itching, burning sensation
- Swollen and stiff joints
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
- Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
How many Types of Psoriasis are there?
Psoriasis patches can range from a few spots of dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions that cover the large area and are of several types –
- Plaque psoriasis – It is the most common type and causes dry, raised, red skin lesions covered with silvery scales. They can occur anywhere on your body, including your genitals and soft tissues inside your mouth.
- Nail psoriasis – It mainly affects the fingernails and toenails thus cause pitting, abnormal nail growth, and discoloration. The Psoriatic nail might be loosened and also separate from the nail bed.
- Guttate psoriasis – This type of psoriasis primarily affects young adults and children. It is marked by small, water-drop-shaped, scaling lesions especially occur on arms, legs, scalp, and trunk.
- Inverse psoriasis – Inverse psoriasis causes smooth patches of red, inflamed skin that worsen with friction and sweating. It mainly affects the armpits, groin region, under the breasts and around the genitals.
- Pustular psoriasis – This can occur in widespread patches or in smaller areas on your hands, feet or fingerprints.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis – This is the least common type which covers your entire body with a red, peeling rash that can have itching and burning sensation.
- Psoriatic arthritis – Psoriatic arthritis affects the joint and symptoms range from mild to severe. It can cause stiffness and progressive joint damage and can lead to permanent deformity.
What is an Ayurvedic view of Psoriasis?
In Ayurveda, Psoriasis is co-related with the ‘Kitibha’. It is one of the varieties of eleven Ksudrakushta. It is commonly caused by the imbalance in the Vata and Kapha Dosha. Clinical features are – Syavam (Blackish brown discoloration of the skin), Kinakharsparsa (affected skin will be rough to touch like the scar tissue), and Parusa (hard to touch).
Kitibha can also enter into deep tissues which cause damage to tissue including bone, muscles, and joints which causes joint related pathology. If Vata dosha is predominant in the combination, excessive dryness and flaking are seen and if Kapha is predominant we can find silvery wet scaling with a lot of itching and considerable swelling.
What is an Ayurvedic Treatment of Psoriasis?
Even though this autoimmune system is said to be incurable, but many people seem to be finding an effective result through Ayurveda. Ayurvedic remedies are the best treatment that helps in curing psoriasis permanently of its root. Chandigarh Ayurved Centre facilitates the ‘’Psoriasis Care Kit’’ which contains all the natural herbs. This kit is especially made for the purpose of curing the skin disorders from the root with no side effects. The herbal kit is prepared from products like – Detox standard powder, Manjisthadi Churna, Skin Khada, Panchtikta Ghrit Guggulu, Sarvin Tablets.
All products description in detail
1. Detox Standard Powder
This is a herbo-mineral preparation that contains ingredients like Parwal pishti, Giloy satv, Shukta pishti, Kamdudha ras, Gandhak rasayan, etc. This powder mainly acts as an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and relieves redness, inflammation and heals the dry skin.
Recommended Dosage: Take 1 sachet twice daily with normal water.
2. Manjisthadi Churna
Manjisthadi is mainly known as a cleanser that supports a healthy flow of blood. This churna is prepared from the combination of two herbs Manjistha (Rubia cordifolia) and Neem (Azadirachta indica). It is also proved to be effective in dealing with imbalanced kapha. The churna acts as an anti-toxic, complexion enhancer that reduces itching, flaking, thick, white patches in a psoriasis patient.
Recommended Dosage: Take 1 teaspoonful twice daily with normal water.
3. Skin Khada
This herbal syrup gently and deeply cleanses the skin. It makes your skin fair and bright. The syrup contains – Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia), Dalchini (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), Methi Dana (Trigonella foenum-graecum), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Haldi (Curcuma longa), Bahera (Terminalia bellirica), Chirata (Swertia chirata), etc. that removes all toxins from the body. It reduces redness, swelling, and decreases the itching and burning sensation.
Recommended Dosage: Take 1 teaspoonful twice daily.
4. Panchatikta Ghrita Guggulu
Panchatikta Ghrita Guggulu is an ayurvedic preparation mainly used for skin diseases. This tablet promotes detoxification and rejuvenation and also engenders vibrant and healthy skin.These herbal tablets balance Pitta and Kapha doshas in the body. It contains ingredients like Neem (Azadirachta indica), Patola (Trichosanthes dioica), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Vasa (Adhatoda vasica), Patha (Cissampelos pariera), Vidanga (Embelia ribes), etc. that give very good result to Psoriasis patients.
Recommended Dosage: Take 2 tablets twice daily with plain water.
5. Sarvin Tablets
The herbal tablets are prepared from ingredients like Shudh Gandhak (Purified Sulphur), Shudh Hartal (Arsenic Tri Oxide), Kali Jeeri (Centratherum anthelminticum), Khair Chall (Acacia catechu), etc. that reduces inflammation & redness in psoriasis patients. It cleanses the body from inside. The formulation promotes the digestive fire, regulates the liver function, clears body channels and has a mild laxative action which helps to eliminate the toxins out of the body and beneficial in reducing the symptoms of skin problems.
Recommended Dosage: Take 2 tablets twice daily with plain water.
What is the Panchakarma Treatment of Psoriasis?
With the aim of better control of Psoriasis, Ayurveda also has a specific schedule comprised of various Panchakarma treatments. Chandigarh Ayurved Centre provided you the best panchakarma therapies which detox the body in a natural way and ultimately cures the condition of psoriasis.
The Therapies for psoriasis patients are –
- Shashtika Shali Pinda Sweda – In this therapy heated medicinal rice puddings are applied externally in the form of boluses tied up in a cotton cloth in a specific manner for a specific period of time. This therapy helps to improve circulation, nourishes the body and improves the strength of the tissues of bones and muscles.
- Patra Pottali Pinda Sweda – This therapy induces perspiration by using a heated pack of specific herbal leaves. In this, various herbal leaves are cut into small pieces to prepare a mixture. Vatahara tail is added to a mixture of grated leaves. Patra Pottali Pinda Sweda mainly works on Vata-Kaphja vyadhi and has an excellent result in relieving the pain, stiffness, and swelling.
- Anuvasan Basti –Basti therapy is highly useful as both a detoxification procedure and a route of delivery of medicine. Anuvasan basti contains lipophilic emulsions which facilitate direct absorption of the medicine into the per-rectal venous system and general circulation. Basti by eliminating the morbid content of large intestine will impact other tissues and promotes the health of the entire organism.
- Body Lepam – Lepam is a therapy in Panchakarma where a broad herbal paste is spread on the affected area of the body and allowed it to dry. This therapy is great in arthritis and all skin problems. Lepam is recommended to patients who are suffering from pain, inflammation, tingling, burning sensation, dryness, itching, etc.
Healthy Tips and Diet for Psoriasis Patients
By following the mentioned points you should minimize the condition of psoriasis –
- Avoid acidic (sour) foods, citrus fruits (lemon, orange), curd, buttermilk, pickles, and mangoes.
- Avoid all fermented food and bakery items.
- Grains such as whole grain bread, cereal, and brown rice are the best for psoriasis patients.
- Avoid red chilies, onion, dried fruits, preserved jams or juices.
- Having natural baths are helpful in keeping areas of psoriasis lesions clean and soft. After that, applying natural soothing oils, such as coconut or olive oil which may help to soften the skin and relieve itching and discomfort associated with psoriasis.
- The use of garlic is most beneficial as it has a lipoxygenase inhibitor that can help to stop the activity of enzymes responsible for inflammation.
- Carrots and squash can produce an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
- Yoga plays an important role as it improves blood circulation, balancing hormones, scavenging free radicals, delivering more oxygen to cells. These asanas can provide your skin healthy – Uttanasana, Trikonasana, Bhujangasana, Janu sirsasana, Pawanmuktasana, Viparti karani, etc. These can help to remove toxins and skin may be left healthy and glowing.
Vaidya Karanvir Singh is the younger Vaidya in Chandigarh Ayurved & Panchakarma Centre. He is the fourth generation in his family who is practicing as a general consultant in Ayurved & Panchakarma treatment at Chandigarh. In his practice, he had treated more than 1000 plus patients worldwide.