SKIN- Concept of Ayurvedic Skin Care
In Ayurveda,the word” tvak “ or “carma “is used for skin. Tvacha is derived from “tvach-samvarne dhatu meaning the covering of the body. Skin is an exterior differentiation of what is perceived by the sense of touch. This sense of touch spreads over the entire body and is derived from the power of vayu.
Sushruta described the process of formation of tvacha in developing foetus. He says that after fertilization of ovum, tvacha develops just like a cream on the surface of milk, which gradually increase in thickness, differentiating into 7 layers of skin, and is produced by all 3 dosas particularly by pitta dosha.
Skin has three major functions –
1.visarga – the process of receiving ,which is presided over by pitta.
2.adana-the process of giving out or ejecting which is presided by kapha.
3.viksepa-the process of moving about or pulsativity which is presided by vata.
Nidana of skin disease-
*ati sevana (excessive intake) of pickles, sauce, bakery stuff, black gram, curd, seafood, meat, fried food, sesame oil.
*mithya ahara –which is related to faulty food patterns and sequences, excessive intake of alcohol.
*virrudha ahara-like fish with milk
*mithya vihara-improper physical,vocal and mental activities
So due to the above causative factors, there is vitiation of tridoshas and saithilyata in the dhatus such as tvak,rakta,mamsa and lasika and hence kustha gets manifested. In Ayurveda all skin diseases comes under the roof of kustha (means disease which disfigures the body).
COMMON DISORDERS AND TREATMENT:-
1)Acne vulgaris –which is referred to” yuvanapidaka “ acc to Ayurveda are the so called “pimples” in common language which are mostly found in adolescents .It is the most common of all skin problems. Acne are mostly seen on the face, upper part of chest and the back. They are mostly triggered by eating too much greasy food, chocolates and outside food. Other factors like stress, heredity, oily skin contribute to the development of acne. Oral contraceptive pills can also cause outbreak of acne.
-Eat more fibre rich diet such as whole grain cereals helps in balancing normal hormonal levels in body.
-Drink 8 glasses of water /day to ensure adequate hydration of skin
-Cut down on sweets which aggravates acne. Apart from this there are number of internal medication which can be given according to one’s body type and the dosha involved.
2) Dandruff –is a common scalp condition in which the scalp becomes tough, itichy,dry and cracked. According to Ayurveda this is mainly due to kapha and vata involvement and is referred as “darunaka”.This appears to run in families. Stress, fatigue, weather extremes, oily skin, infrequent shampoos or skin cleaning, use of lotions that contain alcohol, skin disorders (acne) or obesity may increase the risk. Avoiding fried foods, dairy products, chocolates, nuts, seafood and foods containing refined sugar or flour could help in preventing this condition.
-Use of natural/herbal hair products should be done for hair wash
-Avapida nasyam, sirovasti and abhyanga are advisable
-There are number of hair paste which destroys darunaka within no time along with internal medication in severe cases.