Scleroderma a type of skin disorder that causes tightening & hardening of the connective tissue & skin. It is commonly seen in men as compared to women between the ages of 30 & 50. This disease affects the quality of life of an individual. In most, cases scleroderma affects the skin but sometimes it can reach beyond the skin & affects blood vessels, digestive tract, & internal organs (such as lungs & kidneys). The blood vessels become thickened & not work in the way that they should be. This leads to high blood pressure & damaged to the tissues. In allopathic treatment patients are given steroids & nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that reduce pain & swelling.
What Parts of the Body are Affected in Scleroderma?
The different body parts affected in scleroderma are:
- Skin: In a scleroderma patient hardening and tightening of patches of skin is seen. These patches may be seen like straight or oval lines that cover the area of limbs & trunk. The number, size, & location of the patch may vary. The skin appears shiny that affects the area.
- Toes or Fingers: The earliest sign of systemic scleroderma is Raynaud’s disease that causes small blood vessels to contract your toes & fingers in response to emotional stress & cold temperature. Your toes & fingers turn to bluish discoloration, numbness, & pain is felt by the patient.
- Digestive System: Scleroderma may cause digestive disorder if it affects the esophagus that you might feel heartburn or difficulty in swallowing. If your intestines are affected than it may cause bloating, cramps, diarrhea or constipation. Patients with scleroderma faces problem in absorbing nutrients.
- Kidneys, Lungs, or Heart: The functioning of these three organs is disturbed if you have scleroderma. If not treated at the right time than it can create a life-threatening situation.
What are the Types of Scleroderma?
Scleroderma is mainly of two types one is localized & another is systemic. These both are further divided into another kind.
1. Localized Scleroderma
This type of scleroderma mainly affects the skin of a person. Localized scleroderma is further divided into two parts:
- Linear: The lines or streaks of thickened skin is formed on the legs, face, or arms.
- Morphea: Morphea develops oval-shaped & hard patches on the skin. When they are started they appear red or purple in color after that turn whitish in the center. Sometimes it affect the blood vessels or internal organs. It is also known as generalized morphea.
2. Systemic Scleroderma
It is also known as generalized scleroderma that involves many parts of the body or system. This type is further divided into two parts:
- Limited scleroderma: This type comes on slowly that affects the skin of the face, feet, & hands. It damages the esophagus, intestines, or lungs that carries food from mouth to stomach.
- Diffuse scleroderma: It affects the upper arms, hands, thighs, middle part of the body, thighs, feet. These become thick & affect the internal organs such as the gastrointestinal tract, heart, kidneys, & lungs.
What are the Signs & Symptoms of Scleroderma?
The different signs & symptoms seen in scleroderma patients are:
- Thick & hard skin on the face & hands
- Fingers & toes are cold
- Swelling & pain in joints
- Small red spots on chest & face
- Sore or ulcers on fingertips
- Swelling & pain in toes and fingers
- Shortness of breath
- Dryness in mouth & eyes
- Weight loss
What are the Causes of Scleroderma?
Scleroderma mainly occurs due to the accumulation of collagen in the body & its overproduction. Collagen makes the body’s connective tissues that involve the skin. This disease is caused by factors such as genetics, immune system problem, & environmental changes.
What is the Ayurvedic View for Scleroderma?
In Ayurved, Scleroderma is correlated with “Uttana Vatarakta” that causes imbalance of dosha, dhatu, & dushya. The imbalance of three doshas (vata, pitta, & kapha) is responsible for the scleroderma.
What is the Ayurvedic Treatment for Scleroderma?
In Ayurved, there are many herbs that will treat the scleroderma naturally without causing any side-effects on the body. Chandigarh Ayurved Centre introduces “Sclero Care Kit” for the proper treatment of scleroderma. This kit contains six ayurvedic medicines.
Here are the details of the medicines:
1. Curcumin Capsules
The standardized extract of the herb turmeric is used for the preparation of these capsules. The anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, & analgesic properties of this herb reduce all the signs & symptoms in scleroderma patients.
Recommended Dosage: Take 1 capsule twice daily with normal water.
2. Detox Premium Powder
This herbal powder contains akik pishti, shwet parpati, tal sindoor, kamdudha rasa, etc that reduces pain, swelling, tightness, stiffness, & swelling of the skin in scleroderma patients.
Recommended Dosage: Take 1 sachet twice daily with normal water.
3. Vaat Nashik Vati
This is a classical herbal tablet that balances the vata dosha in the body. The tablets are prepared from giloy, jahar mohra, & abhrak bhasma, etc. It reduces swelling, pain, stiffness, & tenderness in joints, etc.
Recommended Dosage: Take 1 tablet twice daily with normal water.
4. Dhatu Poshak Churna
Dhatu-poshak churna provides strength, stamina, & power to the body. This herbal powder is prepared from herbs such as Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Gokhru, etc. It deals with all the signs & symptoms related to scleroderma patients.
Recommended Dosage: Take 1 teaspoonful twice daily with normal water.
5. Panchsakar Churna
This herbal churna is prepared from Haritaki, Shunthi, Trivrit, etc that remove ama (toxins) from the body. It deals with all the signs & symptoms related to scleroderma patients.
Recommended Dosage: Take 1 teaspoonful at bedtime with lukewarm water.
6. Trikatu Syrup
This herbal syrup is prepared from three herbs Black pepper, Dried ginger, & Long pepper that maintains the pain, swelling, & tightness of the skin.
Recommended Dosage: Take 2 teaspoonful twice daily before meals.
What is the Panchakarma Treatment for Scleroderma?
Along with Ayurvedic treatment, Panchakarma provides good, effective, & best results in a few days. As it removes all toxins, pain, stiffness, & swelling in the skin & joints. So in panchakarma follow the given below therapies:
- Patra pinda sweda: In this therapy, in a potli medicated leaves are put & tied. After that dip it in lukewarm medicated oil & apply of the affected area of the skin.
- Shashti shali pind sweda: In this procedure, a potli with the shashti rice is tied that is cooked in milk & oil. After that in a lukewarm oil it is put, & massage it over the whole body of the patient.
- Abhyangam: A massage with medicated oil is done over the whole body. It will remove pain, stiffness, & swelling in scleroderma patient.
- Vasti: In this vasti (medicated oil enema) is given to the patient. This will help to remove all toxins out from the body.
Healthy tips & lifestyle
- Eat fresh vegetables & fruits as it is good for health.
- Avoid junk & processed food items.
- Drink plenty of water & avoid carbonated drinks.
- Do perform yoga poses such as Paripurna Navasana, Ardha Matsyendrasana, Sarvangasana, Ardha Chandrasana, etc. Also meditate for 30 minutes in a day.
- Walk for 30 minutes daily.
Dr. 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 1 Lakh Plus patients worldwide.