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SKIN CARE
Acne Vitiligo Psoriasis

Causes

Symptoms

Prevention

Home Remedies

Diet

Causes

Symptoms

Home Remedies

Herbal Treatment

Therapeutic Treatment

Types

Home Remedies

Diet

Treating psoriasis through Ayurveda

Medication


 
Psoriasis is a autoimmune disorder that appears on the skin. It occurs when the immune system sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells. The body does not shed these excess skin cells, so the cells pile up on the surface of the skin and lesions form. Psoriasis is not contagious. Most people with psoriasis have thick, red skin with flaky, silver-white patches called scales.

Some people have such mild psoriasis (small, faint dry skin patches) that they may not even suspect that they have a medical skin condition. Others have very severe psoriasis where virtually their entire body is fully covered with thick, red, scaly skin. Fingernails and toenails are frequently affected (psoriatic nail dystrophy) and can be seen as an isolated symptom. Psoriasis can also cause inflammation of the joints, which is known as psoriatic arthritis. Between 10% and 40% of all people with psoriasis have psoriatic arthritis.

Psoriasis is considered a non-curable, long-term (chronic) skin condition. It has a variable course, periodically improving and worsening. Sometimes psoriasis may clear for years and stay in remission. Some people have worsening of their symptoms in the colder winter months. Many people report improvement in warmer months, climates, or with increased sunlight exposure.

Psoriasis is seen worldwide, in all races, and both sexes. Although psoriasis can be seen in people of any age, from babies to seniors, most commonly patients are first diagnosed in their early adult years.

Patients with more severe psoriasis may have social embarrassment, job stress, emotional distress, and other personal issues because of the appearance of their skin
Types
There are five types of psoriasis: plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular and erythrodermic.

Plaque psoriasis: This is the most common form of psoriasis (about 80 percent of people with psoriasis have this type). In plaque psoriasis, skin rapidly accumulates at these sites, which gives it a silvery-white appearance. Plaques frequently occur on the skin of the elbows and knees, but can affect any area, including the scalp, palms of hands and soles of feet, and genitals. In contrast to eczema, psoriasis is more likely to be found on the outer side of the joint.
Inverse psoriasis: Causes smooth red lesions in the folds of the skin.

Guttate psoriasis: Causes small skin lesions that look like drops of fluid.
Pustular psoriasis: Forms blisters filled with thick white material.
Erythrodermic: Causes extensive reddening and swelling of skin.
Psoriatic arthritis i
s a form of joint disease that is similar to rheumatoid arthritis plus psoriasis.
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Causes

The exact cause is unknown. Current information suggests that psoriasis is related to the result of three main factors:
  • An inherited predisposition
  • An autoimmune response
  • Environmental factors such as trauma, sunlight, infection, emotional stress, climatic changes etc also causes

 

The following may trigger an attack of psoriasis or make the condition more difficult to treat:
  • Bacteria or viral infections, including strep throat and upper respiratory infections
  • Dry air or dry skin
  • Injury to the skin, including cuts, burns, and insect bites
  • Stress
  • Too little sunlight
  • Too much sunlight (sunburn)
  • Too much alcohol
In general, psoriasis may be severe in people who have a weakened immune system. This may include persons who have:
  • AIDS
  • Autoimmune disorders (such as rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Cancer chemotherapy
Up to one-third of people with psoriasis may also have arthritis, a condition known as psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriasis is not contagious. You cannot get psoriasis from touching someone who has psoriasis, swimming in the same pool, or even intimate contact. Psoriasis is much more complex.
So complex, in fact, scientists are still studying what happens when psoriasis develops. We know that the person’s immune system and genes play key roles. In studying the immune system, scientists discovered that when a person has psoriasis, the T cells (a type of white blood cell that fights unwanted invaders such as bacteria and viruses) mistakenly trigger a reaction in the skin cells. This is why you may hear psoriasis referred to as a “T cell-mediated disease.”
This reaction activates a series of events, causing new skin cells to form in days rather than weeks. The reason T cells trigger this reaction seems to lie in our DNA. People who develop psoriasis inherit genes that cause psoriasis. Unlike some autoimmune conditions, it appears that many genes are involved in psoriasis.
Scientists are still trying to identify all of the genes involved. One of the genes that has been identified is called PSORS1 (SORE-ESS-1). This is one of several genes that regulates how the immune system fights infection.
Scientists also have learned that not everyone who inherits genes for psoriasis gets psoriasis. For psoriasis to appear, it seems that a person must inherit the “right” mix of genes and be exposed to a trigger. Some common triggers are a stressful life event, skin injury, and having strep throat. Many people say that that their psoriasis first appeared after experiencing one of these. Triggers are not universal. What triggers psoriasis in one person may not cause psoriasis to develop in another.
Despite research over the past 30 years looking at many triggers, the "master switch" that turns on psoriasis is still a mystery.
Ayurvedic texts have explained skin diseases that resemble Psoriasis. Psoriasis can be considered as the vitiation of Vata and Kapha. (Two of the basic energies/humours, which maintains our body equilibrium) Accumulation of low potency poisons (Dooshi vishas), are the basic pathological changes taking place in the system. Irregular food habits, consumption of foodstuffs that cannot be eaten together (for example, consuming dairy products with fish), excessive intake of yogurt, black gram, seafood, sour and salted items etc can activate the pathogenesis. Alcohol and tobacco consumption will act as a catalyst here. Ayurveda do emphasize on the effect of stress in the pathogenesis of Psoriasis.
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Symptoms
Psoriasis can appear suddenly or slowly. In many cases, psoriasis goes away and then flares up again repeatedly over time.
People with psoriasis have irritated patches of skin. The redness is most often seen on the elbows, knees, and trunk, but it can appear anywhere on the body. For example, there may be flaky patches on the scalp.

The skin patches or dots may be:
  • Itchy
  • Dry and covered with silver, flaky skin (scales)
  • Pink-red in colour (like the colour of salmon)
  • Raised and thick
Other symptoms may include:
  • Genital lesions in males
  • Joint pain or aching (psoriatic arthritis)
  • Nail changes, including nail thickening, yellow-brown spots, dents (pits) on the nail surface, and separation of the nail from the base
  • Severe dandruff on the scalp
Psoriasis typically looks like red or pink areas of thickened, raised, and dry skin. It classically affects areas over the elbows, knees, and scalp. Any body area may be involved. It tends to be more common in areas of trauma, repeat rubbing, use, or abrasions.
Psoriasis has many different appearances. It may be small flattened bumps, large thick plaques of raised skin, red patches, and pink mildly dry skin to big flakes of dry skin that flake off.
There are several different types of psoriasis including psoriasis vulgaris (common type), guttate psoriasis (small, drop like spots), inverse psoriasis (in the folds like of the underarms, navel, and buttocks), and pustular psoriasis (liquid-filled yellowish small blisters). Additionally, a separate entity affecting primarily the palms and the soles is known as palmoplantar psoriasis.
Sometimes pulling of one of these small dry white flakes of skin causes a tiny blood spot on the skin. This is medically referred to as a special diagnostic sign in psoriasis called the Auspitz sign.
Genital lesions, especially on the head of the penis, are common. Psoriasis in moist areas like the navel or area between the buttocks (intergluteal folds) may look like flat red patches. These atypical appearances may be confused with other skin conditions like fungal infections, yeast infections, skin irritation, or bacterial Staph infections.
On the nails, it can look like very small pits (pinpoint depressions or white spots on the nail) or as larger yellowish-brown separations of the nail bed called "oil spots." Nail psoriasis may be confused with and incorrectly diagnosed as a fungal nail infection.

On the scalp, it may look like severe dandruff with dry flakes and red areas of skin. It may be difficult to tell the difference between scalp psoriasis and seborrhoea (dandruff). However, the treatment is often very similar for both conditions.
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Prevention
Psoriasis can have an emotional, as well as a physical, impact on people. Psoriatic arthritis, a form of joint inflammation that occurs in some people who have arthritis, can be painful and disabling.
There is no known way to prevent psoriasis. Keeping the skin clean and moist and avoiding your specific psoriasis triggers may help reduce the number of flare-ups.
Doctors recommend daily baths or showers for persons with psoriasis. Avoid scrubbing too hard, because this can irritate the skin and trigger an attack.

Also:
  • Avoid injury to the skin including sunburn. 
  • Eliminate alcohol and smoking
  • Avoid drugs that may worsen the condition
  • Control stress
  • Limit the skin's exposure to water. Make showers and baths short, limit swimming
  • Use appropriate clothing that does not rub against the skin.
  • Do not control natural urges like vomiting, urination, bowel emptying etc.
  • Avoid taking spicy food and consume only easily digestible food.
  • Do not eat too much of salty, sour or acidic foods
  • Avoid consuming opposite foods
  • Avoid animal fats, eggs, processed canned foods from your diet.
  • Apply moisturizing cream or gel at regular intervals to maintain the moisture level of the skin.
  • Avoid using soap while taking bath instead use gram flour and use a herbal scrubber.
  • Avoid pricking, peeling and scratching skin
  • Use separate, clean clothes and towel for your use.
  • Taking bath in sea water is found to be very effective in psoriasis treatment.
  • Mental health is absolutely necessary for an effective treatment of psoriasis. Try deep breathing and relaxation exercise to reduce stress.
Exposing to mild sunlight daily for 30 minutes will improve the texture of the affected area of the skin.
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Home Remedies
  • Cabbage leaves have been effectively used in the form of compresses in the treatment of psoriasis. The thickest and greenest outer leaves are most efficient for use as compresses. They must be thoroughly washed in warm water and dried with a towel. The leaves should be flattened, softened and smoothed out by rolling them with a rolling pin after eliminating the thick veins. They should he warmed and then applied softly to the affected part in an overlapping manner. A pad of soft woollen cloth must be put over them. The whole compress should then be protected with an elastic bandage
  • Bitter gourd is a valuable medicine for psoriasis. A cup of fresh juice of this vegetable, mixed with a teaspoon of limejuice, should be taken sip by sip, on an empty stomach every day for four to six months
  • The oil of avocado has been found helpful in the treatment of this disease. It should be applied softly to the affected parts
  • The oil removed from the outer shell of the cashew nut is acrid and rubefacient. It can be applied usefully on the affected area
  • The use of curd in the form of buttermilk has proved help in psoriasis and the patient should drink it in liberal amounts. The application of buttermilk compresses over the affected parts will also be helpful in treating this condition
  • Vitamin E therapy has been found successful in the treatment of psoriasis. The patient must take this vitamin in therapeutic doses of 400 mg a day. It will help decrease itching and scab formation
  • To get fast relief from the itching and the pain caused by psoriasis, have bath with Epsom salt. For this add about half a cup Epsom salt in bathtub filled with warm water and soak your body in it.
  • Having bath in seawater is also effective cure for psoriasis. Apply some seawater over the patches to get relief from the itching and the pain.
  • Vitamin D is very good for your body. The best source of vitamin D is early morning sunrays. Hence early morning sit in such pace where lots of sunrays will fall on your body.
  • Aloe Vera gel should be applied over the patches, as it gives relief from the itching of the patches.
  • Vitamin E is also very effective in preventing psoriasis form occurring. Hence include such food items in your menu that are rich source of vitamin E.
  • Apply mudpacks over the affected parts of the body is also effective way to cure the patches.
  • Apply garlic oil over the patches to get relief from the itching and pain.
  • Take one cup of olive oil and add two drops of calendula oil in it. Also add one drop of oregano oil. And massage your body with this oil mixture. Mainly those parts of the skin that has patches of psoriasis.
  • Add one teaspoon of wheat germ oil and one teaspoon of castor oil in one cup of sunflower oil. This mixture can be used as lotion for your body and applied twice in a day.
Marigold is also very effective in the treatment of psoriasis. Take about four marigold heads and boil them in four cups of water. Allow it to cool and then apply it over the affected body parts. This is very safe to apply on the scalp also, as it causes no damage to hair
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Diet
There is no specific diet that people with psoriasis should follow. However, several dietary regimens have been suggested. As psoriasis is a metabolic disease, a cleansing juice fast for a week is forever desirable at the beginning of the treatment. To start with have carrots, beets, cucumbers and grapes juices.

After the juice fast, the patient must have a well-balanced diet consisting of seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, and fruits. Importance should be placed on raw seeds and nuts, especially sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and plenty of biologically grown raw vegetables and fruits. When there is a substantial development, goat's milk, yoghurt, and home-made cottage cheese may be added to the diet. The juice fast may be continued after a month or so.

All animal fats, including milk, butter, eggs; refined or processed foods; foods holds hydrogenated fats or white sugar; all condiments; and tea and coffee must be avoided. When there is a considerable improvement, goat's milk, yoghurt, and home-made cottage cheese may be added to the diet. The juice fast may be continued after a month or so.
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Healthy Ayurveda Recipes
Lime Rice
Serves: 2
Difficulty: Medium
Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Lemon Rice is a very balanced Ayurvedic dish. It balances all three doshas viz., Vata, Pita and Kapha.

Ingredients
Basmati rice - 1 cup
Urad dal (Vigna mungo, Black Gram) or mung dal (Green gram) - 1 tbsp
Water - 2 cups
Fresh lime juice - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tablespoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tablespoon
Hing (asafoetida) - 1 pinch
Whole cumin seeds - 1 tablespoon
Ghee - 2 tablespoons
Coriander Leaves - 1 tablespoon
Grated coconut - 2 tablespoons
Salt - To taste

Directions: Cook Basmati Rice along with Urad dal in water for 10 to 12 minutes. In a pan, melt the ghee and sauté the spices in this melted ghee. Mix the cooked rice and sautéed spice mix together along with lime juice. Add salt to taste. Decorate the dish with coriander leaves and grated coconut before serving
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Gooseberry Juice
Serves: 1
Difficulty: Easy
Preparation Time: 5 Minutes
Gooseberry (amla) is one of the best natural rejuvenators. Gooseberry balances Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Ayurveda suggests the use of gooseberry in case of skin diseases, jaundice, bleeding diseases, constipation etc...

Ingredients
Fresh Gooseberry – 100gm
Sugar – 50gm
Water – As required

Directions: Preparation of this Ayurveda recipe is very simple. Remove the seeds from within Fruits. Blend the fleshy part and add sugar and water as required.
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Bitter Gourd in Milk of Coconut
Serves: 2
Difficulty: Hard
Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Bitter gourd is an ideal Ayurvedic medicine for diabetes. This is an Ayurvedic recipe using bitter gourd and coconut milk

Ingredients
Medium sized bitter gourd – 1
Ghee - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seed - 1 teaspoon
Urad dal - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Thick coconut milk - 1/2 cup
Water - 1/2 cup
Rock salt to taste
Curry Leaves - 6 to 8 sprigs

Directions: Trim the gourd. Cut it into 2 and remove the seeds. Slice it thinly. Mix the coconut milk with water to make it thin and keep aside. Boil some water with salt and blanch the bitter gourd in it. Take it out and drain. In a heavy bottomed pot, heat the ghee until it becomes clear.
Add the urad dal and brown mustard seeds to this. Sauté till the dal turns golden brown and the mustard seeds start popping. When ready add the gourd, turmeric powder, cumin powder and salt. Mix well.
Now to this add the coconut milk. Also crush the curry leaves and add to this. Simmer till heated enough and serve hot.

Ayurvedic Tea
Serves: 2
Difficulty: Medium
Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Ayurvedic Tea is a healthy and medicinal beverage or drink, whatever you call it, which is surely effective and helps in the balancing of digestive system.

Ingredients
Cumin - 1 teaspoon
Coriander seeds - 1 teaspoon
Fennel seeds - 1 teaspoon
Water 3 cups
Honey to sweeten

Directions: Boil water, remove from flame and soak the ingredients, except honey, in it for about 5 minutes. Extract the liquid content, add honey to sweeten and serve. This Ayurvedic tea is ideal for digestion and is very healthy too.

Vegetable Curry
Serves: 3
Difficulty: Hard
Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Vegetable and Fruit diets have importance in ayurvedic medication. More over vegetable are healthy and nutritious. This recipe is the preparation of vegetable curry using peas and cabbage.

Ingredients
Cabbage – 2 cups (chopped)
Tomato – 1
Peas – ¼ cup
Sunflower oil – 2 tablespoons
Besan (Bengal Gram, Chana Dal) flour – 2 tablespoons
Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
Fennel – 1 teaspoon
Grated ginger – 2 teaspoons
Hing (asafetida) – 1 pinch
Salt – ¼ teaspoon
Water – 4 tablespoons
Yogurt – 2 tablespoons
Directions: Stream the vegetables. Sauté the spices in sunflower oil. Add the basin flour to it and roast. When the flour is roasted add the water followed by yogurt and the vegetables. Keep on gentle flame for one minute and remove from flame.

Useful Herbs in the Treatment of Psoriasis:
  • Black Nightshade (Solanum nigrum), Kakmachi - The juice of the leaves of the black nightshade can be applied locally on the affected regions. It helps in reducing the inflammation of the skin, and also has beneficial properties in allaying the pain and the itch.
  • Garlic (Allium sativum) - Garlic is a blood purifier. Eating a few cloves of garlic every morning on an empty stomach filters the toxins out of the blood and provides protection against psoriasis.
  • Jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum) - The flower of jasmine has good effect in the treatment of psoriasis. The flowers are crushed, made into a paste and are directly applied on the inflamed parts. This application reduces the pain and the itchiness of psoriatic inflammations.
  • Guggul is an Ayurvedic herb from a resin of a small tree, which grows in north-western India, its useful in treating psoriasis. It has anti-inflammatory and lipid-lowering actions, helps remove fat, excess fluids from the body and penetrates deep into the tissues. It is an effective Kapha- and Vata-pacifying supplement. Kaishora guggul is useful remedy for psoriasis.
  • Neem is one among the best blood purifier and detoxifier known to Ayurveda. It enhances immune system and neem oil is an antiseptic in itself. Leaf extracts are used in antiseptics and can be effectively used in treating psoriasis. It destroys fungus and bacteria and is best for almost all kinds of skin diseases including redness of skin and itching.
Turmeric – the spice has a long history in Ayurveda, and is a primary component for cooking. The powdered form can be used with food, or is available as capsules as a dietary supplement. Due to the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric, it relieves the pain, swelling and inflammation associated with psoriasis, arthritis etc.
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Treating psoriasis through Ayurveda
An effective Ayurvedic treatment for this condition is Panchakarma which helps in detoxification of body fluids. Initially the person is given medicated ghee for about five to seven days, followed by inducing vomiting and detoxifying the body, a process known as Vamana and Virechana. Thereafter a procedure wherein medicated buttermilk is dripped overhead (Thakradhara) is done, after which the entire body is pasted with mud and other medicines. Finally medicated enemas (Vastis) are given for a week and internal medications in the form of herbal concoctions and medicated ghee has to be consumed for at least three months.
Kaya Seka or Kashyam Seka for 7 days is also recommended.
During the entire treatment period certain diet restrictions has to be followed. Diet should be strictly vegetarian and yogurt, chillies, black gram and excess salt intake should be avoided. Refrigerated and cold foods should also be avoided.
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Medication
Medicines recommended are:
Nimba Kashyam
Patoladi Kashyam
Mahamanjishta
Kashyam Kadiradi
kashyam Arogyavardhini Vati
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Acne
Acne (acne vulgaris, common acne) is a disease of the hair follicles of the face, chest, and back that affects almost all males and females during puberty. Acne causes whiteheads, blackheads, and inflamed red growths (papules, pustules, and cysts) to form. These growths are commonly called pimples or "zits. "Acne is most common in teenagers, but it can happen at any age, even in an infant. Three out of four teenagers have some acne. Hormonal changes probably cause increased oil in the skin. However, people in their 30s and 40s may also have acne.
 
Causes
Acne occurs when tiny holes on the surface of the skin, called pores, become clogged. Each pore is an opening to a follicle, which contains a hair and an oil gland. These oil glands help lubricate the skin and help remove old skin cells. When glands produce too much oil, the pores can become blocked. Dirt, debris, bacteria, and inflammatory cells build up. The blockage is called a plug or comedone. The top of the plug may be white (whitehead) or dark (blackhead). If the plug breaks open, the material inside causes swelling and red bumps to form. If the inflammation is deep in your skin, the pimples may enlarge to form firm, painful cysts.

Acne is a problem of swelling and inflammation, not a problem caused by bacteria. When evaluating the causes of acne it is important to understand the different types of this ailment. For example, mild acne has different triggers compared to those of the severe forms and acne rosacea is caused by different factors than acne vulgaris. So there are a multitude of variables that we need to consider when trying to determine what causes acne. There are four main reasons, which are known to cause this condition and these are:

  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Poor dietary habits
  • Inadequate vitamin intake
  • High levels of stress

Hormonal Causes of Acne

Fluctuation or hormonal level imbalance is often listed as the main cause of acne. This ailment develops during puberty, once the body starts to produce a certain type of hormone group, called androgens. These natural components of the human body determines the enlargement of sebaceous glands, which start to produce greater amounts of sebum. When this supplementary oil mixes with the dead skin cells or bacteria on the skin’s surface, the pores become blocked. This leads to an intense multiplication of bacteria inside the sebaceous glands and as a consequence an inflammatory process starts. Small spots and pustules appear and the more chemical products you apply for reducing these acne symptoms, the more they’ll develop, making the condition of your skin even worse.

Dietary Acne Causes

Directly related to hormonal levels are the dietary acne causes. Some people are more prone to acne breakouts and the more unhealthy foods they eat, the more the risks of getting acne will increase. Processed foods, which are full of chemicals and high in fat can lead to hormonal imbalances and changes in the body’s chemical equilibrium. All of these are interrelated and made of chemical substances, therefore any increase or decrease in the normal level of these substances can induce ailments, such as acne. And the skin is one of the first organs, which will show the harmful effects of processed foods and a poor diet.

Acne Induced by Stress

The more exposed a person is to stress, the more hormones the adrenal glands will produce and this excess of hormones is responsible for repeated acne breakouts. Stress actually slows down the healing process whether it is related to severe open wounds or small acne pustules. So it’s a proven fact that stress is an important cause of acne in both men and women.

Vitamin Deficiency and Acne

When the human body lacks certain vitamins, it becomes more prone to illnesses, because the immune system is weakened. Vitamins and minerals are essential for maintaining optimum health. A deficiency in Vitamins A, B, E, Zinc and Vitamin C are all linked with acne development. Vitamins are great antioxidants and they help the skin to eliminate toxins and harmful free radicals. Without enough vitamins, the skin is more exposed to toxins and bacteria, therefore the risk of getting acne increases.

What causes acne besides these triggers?

Some pharmaceutical products, drugs and medications are known to induce acne development. Also, heavy makeup products and oily masks applied on the face or body can lead to small black or whiteheads, pustules, papules or acne cysts. Abrasive and repeated cleaning as well as rough exfoliators can harm the skin’s surface, leaving the pores opened and susceptible to bacterial attacks.

Although there are a variety of causes of acne, they are usually closely interconnected so it’s not really correct to say that someone’s ailment was induced only by one of these factors. The process of acne development is complex and it starts with pores closing up or collapsing. Then all the mentioned triggers become relevant and they accumulate in their influence, increasing the risks for acne to develop. A poor diet determines vitamins deficiencies, which are often linked with higher stress levels. As stress increases, one becomes more prone to hormonal imbalances. So as you can see, all these causes are tightly related and once one of them is activated, the process can cascade into the breakout of acne.

Acne is caused by both internal and external factors, therefore only relying on facial treatments or moisturizers can’t stop or prevent this ailment’s occurrence. For a proper treatment, all the causes of acne have to be addressed – once you manage to avoid hormonal imbalances, poor dietary habits, high levels of stress and vitamins deficiencies, acne becomes easier to address!
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Symptoms
Acne is a skin condition that has a number of symptoms. It is not just limited to the red spots we know as pimples, but also includes a number of different skin irritations. These can occur all over the body, including the face, which is the most common location, as well as the legs, arms, back, shoulders and buttocks.

Common symptoms of acne are:

  • Blackheads: Blackheads result when a pore is only partially blocked, allowing some of the trapped sebum (oil), bacteria, and dead skin cells to slowly drain to the surface. The black colour is not caused by dirt. Rather, it is the skin's own pigment, melanin, reacting with the oxygen in the air. A blackhead tends to be a stable structure, and can often take a long time to clear.
  • Cysts: An acne cyst can appear similar to a nodule, but is pus-filled, and is described as having a diameter of 5mm or more across. They can be painful. Again, scarring is common with cystic acne. Squeezing an acne cyst may cause a deeper infection and more painful inflammation which will last much longer than if you had left it alone
  • Papules: Papules are inflamed, red, tender bumps with no head
  • Pustules: A pustule is inflamed, and appears as a red circle with a white or yellow centre. Pustules are your garden variety zit.
  • Nodules: Nodular acne consists of acne spots which are much larger, can be quite painful, and can sometimes last for months. Nodules are large, hard bumps under the skin's surface. Scarring is common. Absolutely do not attempt to squeeze such a lesion. You may cause severe trauma to the skin and the lesion may last for months longer than it normally would.
  • Whiteheads: Whiteheads result when a pore is completely blocked, trapping sebum (oil), bacteria, and dead skin cells, causing a white appearance on the surface. Whiteheads are normally quicker in life cycle than blackheads.

 Skin condition can mimic acne

  • Rosacea: This condition is characterized by pimples but not comedones and occurs in the middle third of the face, along with redness, flushing, and superficial blood vessels. It generally affects people in their 30s and 40s and older.
  • Pseudofolliculitis: This is sometimes called "razor bumps" or "razor rash." When cut close to the skin, curly neck hairs bend under the skin and produce pimples. This is a mechanical problem, and treatment involves shaving less (growing a beard, laser hair removal). Pseudofolliculitis can, of course, occur in patients who have acne, too.
  • Folliculitis: Pimples can occur on other parts of the body, such as the abdomen, buttocks, or legs. These represent not acne but inflamed follicles. If these don't go away on their own, doctors can prescribe oral or external antibiotics, generally not the same ones used for acne.
  • Gram-negative folliculitis: Some patients who have been treated with oral antibiotics for long periods develop pustules filled with bacteria resistant to the antibiotics which have previously been used. Bacterial culture tests can identify these germs, leading the doctor to prescribe different antibiotics or other forms of treatment.

Severe forms of acne

Severe forms of acne are rare, but they inflict great hardship to the people who experience them.

Acne Conglobata: This is the most severe form of acne vulgaris and is more common in males. It is characterized by numerous large lesions, which are sometimes interconnected, along with widespread blackheads. It can cause severe, irrevocable damage to the skin, and disfiguring scarring. It is found on the face, chest, back, buttocks, upper arms, and thighs. The age of onset for acne conglobata is usually between 18 to 30 years, and the condition can stay active for many years. As with all forms of acne, the cause of acne conglobata is unknown.

Acne Fulminans: This is an abrupt onset of acne conglobata which normally afflicts young men. Symptoms of severe nodulocystic, often ulcerating acne are apparent. As with acne conglobata, extreme, disfiguring scarring is common. Acne fulminans is unique in that it also includes a fever and aching of the joints.

Gram-Negative Folliculitis: This condition is a bacterial infection characterized by pustules and cysts, possibly occurring as a complication resulting from a long term antibiotic treatment of acne vulgaris. It is a rare condition, and we do not know if it is more common in males or females at this time.

Pyoderma Faciale (Rosacea Fulminans): This type of severe facial acne affects only females, usually between the ages of 20 to 40 years old, and is characterized by large painful nodules, pustules, and sores, all of which may scar. It begins abruptly, and may occur on the skin of a woman who has never had acne before. It is confined to the face, and usually does not last longer than one year, but can wreak havoc in a very short time.
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Prevention
Despite the fact that acne negatively impacts people's confidence and self-esteem, the majority of acne patients allow their problem to continue as opposed to only 16% who seed medical care. If you are among those who prefer to handle the problem yourself, here are some generally accepted home care steps that can be used to help relieve acne.
Consider the three basic causes of acne and you can understand why the focus of both home treatment and prescription therapy is to (1) unclog pores, (2) kill bacteria, and (3) minimize oil.


Open the pores

Rinse your Face: Wash your makeup off thoroughly every night. Use a mild soap twice a day and make sure you rinse the soap entirely off your face. Rinsing six or seven times with fresh rose water should do it.
Change your Makeup: Makeup is the major factor in acne outbreaks. Oil-based makeup is the problem. The oil is usually a derivative of fatty acids that are more potent than your own fatty acids. Use a non-oil-based makeup if you are prone to acne.

Read the Labels: Cosmetic products that contain lanolins, iso-propyl myristate, sodium lauryl sulfate, laureth-4, and D & C red dyes should also be avoided as these ingredients are too rich for the skin.

Stay out of the Sun: Acne medications may cause adverse reactions to the sun. Minimize exposure to sunlight, infrared heat lamps, and sunscreens.

Scrub that skin: Cleanse your skin thoroughly every time with some good herbal scrubbers followed by a good toner. These days there are lot of herbal and organic range available, but if you have time then you can try some natural tips like the oatmeal which cleanses pores by absorbing oil and exfoliates the skin. Honey eases application and serves as a skin toner.

Soothe your skin: After cleansing use a good astringent & a toner to soothe your skin. Lemon juice is a natural astringent and mild antibacterial agent. Rose petals, from which rose water is made, also have antibacterial properties. It is a also a skin toner and helps to mitigate the rather harsh, acidic quality of straight lemon juice.

Avoiding picking at or touching blemishes. Avoiding pressure on irritated skin from tight collars or head-gear, and using over-the-counter products that contain sulphur plus resorcinol that can be applied to the skin to unclog pores and heal acne.

Pregnant women should consult their physician prior to taking any over-the-counter medication. Parents of children and persons with medical conditions are advised to read product labels carefully and consult a pharmacist if they have questions about use.

Lifestyle: Moderation and regularity are good things, but not everyone can sleep eight hours, eat three good meals, and drink eight glasses of water a day. You can, however, still control your acne even if your routine is frantic and unpredictable. Probably the most useful lifestyle changes you can make are to never to pick or squeeze pimples. Playing with or popping pimples, no matter how careful and clean you are, nearly always makes bumps stay redder and bumpier longer. People often refer to redness as "scarring," but fortunately it usually isn't in the permanent sense. It's just a mark that takes months to fade if left entirely alone.

Kill the bacteria
Neem (Azadirachta indica) is a powerful antibacterial herb and it can indeed be very helpful with acne. People do report great results when using it. The reason that neem is useful to treat acne is that, as research studies have shown, it effectively controls the harmful bacteria that cause the infection. It also reduces the inflammation that causes the redness, swelling and tenderness. Neem contains active ingredients that are very similar to the ingredients in common medical acne treatment products. You may have heard of acne products containing "salicylic acid". Well, that's aspirin, and as I mentioned above, neem also contains aspirin like substances.

However, even when using neem products you need to use them like you would use conventional acne treatments. You need to find the right product, and you need to follow a skin care regime that's matched to your particular skin type and the severity of your acne.

The most hassle free way to treat acne with neem is to source a mild neem soap and a light, oil-free moisturizer with neem. It's important that the soap is not too harsh. If it dries your skin too much the skin will react with producing even more oil than before. And it's the excessive oil production that causes the acne breakouts in the first place...

Don't scrub, don't rub, just a gentle cleansing regime with products that contain either neem oil or neem leaf extract. The higher the neem concentration in the product, the better, of course. So read the labels and compare.

Making your own neem home remedies is more work, but you avoid any artificial ingredients that may upset your skin balance. If you already use the perfect cleanser and moisturizer you may not want to switch and risk making things worse. Here are some suggestions:

  • Crush fresh neem leaves and apply the paste to your face or any areas affected by acne. Leave till it starts drying, then rinse off. (Don't let it dry completely as this will dry and irritate your skin!)
  • For a more effective treatment soak the neem leaves in hot water until they soften. Now crush the neem leaves in the same water to make a paste.
  • Also very effective is a paste made from neem leaves and turmeric.
  • Boil neem leaves in water for a few minutes and strain. Then use the water to splash your skin several times a day. Carefully pat the skin dry after the treatment, don't rub.
  • You can also add this neem leaf extract to calamine powder or sandalwood powder to make a paste.
  • If you don't have access to fresh neem leaves buy dried neem leaf powder and use it to make a paste or tea.
  • If you grow neem or live in an area where neem grows you can also use the skin/soft bark of the neem tree. Rub it on a rough surface with some water until you get a brown paste.
  • And last but not least, if you are into soap making you can make your own maximum strength neem oil soap. (Strength refers to the neem seed oil concentration, not the harshness of the soap. Neem oil is not harsh.) Source quality organic neem seed oil, and use it at a concentration of about 20%, blended with other oils like for example olive, jojoba or avocado.

 Reduce the oil
You cannot stop your oil glands from producing oil (unless you mess with your hormones or metabolism in ways you shouldn't). What you can do is to get rid of oil on the surface of the skin and reduce the embarrassing shine.

Mukhalepam or mukhalepanam is a simple Ayurvedic skin care therapy which includes the application of freshly prepared facial creams and massaging them off after 30-45 minutes. Mukham in Malayalam means face and lepa, lepana or lepanam means application of a paste. The herbal pack contains different herbs made into a paste. It prevents aging of skin, avoids wrinkles and gives a good skin tone. It avoids pigmentation or discoloration of facial skin, and is beneficial in treating sun burn related conditions. The herbal combination is chosen after assessing the skin type of the person and the specific requirements.
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Home Remedies
  • Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) is a natural remedy. Transparent gel from the pulp of the meaty leaves of Aloe vera has been used topically for thousands of years to treat wounds, skin infections, burns, etc. Use aloe vera juice on the pimples daily morning and night or as long as necessary (perhaps five months or longer). It is also a natural antibiotic
  • Take a handful of mint (pudina) leaves and crush them thoroughly with a mortar and pestle. Rub the leaves and juice on affected skin and leave for 5-10 minutes. Rinse with cold water. Repeat as often as desired to alleviate pain and inflammation.
  • Pound the orange skin with water on a piece stone and apply to acne affected areas.
  • Lemon juice applied frequently has proved very valuable in reducing pimples and acne.
  • Massage with raw garlic several times a day. Garlic is known to have cured the toughest of acne difficulty. The outside use of garlic helps to clear the skin of spots, pimples and boils. Acne can more be cured by intake of three seeds of raw garlic once on a daily basis for a month. This purifies the blood stream and ensures basic purification of blood keeping acne away.
  • A teaspoon of coriander juice, mixed with a pinch of turmeric powder, is an additional effective home medicine for pimples and blackheads. The combination should be applied to the face after carefully washing it each night before retiring. Mint juice can be used in a similar mode as coriander juice.
  • A paste made of the leaves of this vegetable, applied over the face each night earlier than going to bed and washed with hot water in the morning, prevents pimples and blackheads.
  • Grated cucumber applied over the face, eyes, and neck for fifteen to twenty minutes has been found useful. It is the most excellent boost for the skin of the face. Its usual use prevents pimples and blackheads.
  • Mix 3-4 drops of lemon juice in 1 tablespoon of sour cream, 1 tablespoon of yogurt and 1 tablespoon of grind oatmeal. Apply on face; leave the paste for 10-15 minutes and wash.
  • A good home remedy is the egg yolk mask which removes the excessive oils from your skin. Apply the egg yolk with a cotton ball to oily spots and leave this on your face for 15 minutes to 20 minutes and wash with cold water.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon groundnut oil with 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice and apply this on acne to prevent acne.
  • Take small amount of ground almonds and honey and make a fine paste. Gently massage this paste on your face with a hot washcloth and then rinse with cold water.
  • Make a fine paste from sandalwood and black gram. Apply rose water on the face before applying paste. Now apply paste over the whole face and leave it overnight. Clean your face clean with cool water in the morning. Sandalwood has a cooling effect and it does a great job of reducing skin inflammation and irritation because it.
  • Mix 1/2 cup mashed apple, 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal, 1 slightly beaten egg white and 1 tablespoon lemon juice into a fine paste and apply to your face for at least 15 minutes to 20 minutes and rinse with cold water.
  • Mix honey and cinnamon powder into a fine paste. Apply on the acne pimples before sleeping and wash it next morning with warm water. Repeat for 2-3 weeks, pimples will disappear forever.
  • Make a fine paste of turmeric powder with neem leaves. Apply on acne. Wash it off after 25-30 minutes with lukewarm water.
  • Mix equal parts lemon juice and rose water. Apply directly to skin with a cotton ball. You might feel an initial sting from the lemon juice. Rinse after 15-30 minutes. Be careful of exposing your skin to direct sunlight if you have been using lemon juice on your face. Also, though a strong reaction is unlikely, do not continue this treatment if it irritates your skin.
  • Make a thicker paste out of baking soda and water. Apply to face for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Follow up with a light moisturizer.
  • Pulverize 1/3 cup uncooked oats and then add ¼ cup of water. When it becomes the consistency of paste, add approximately 1/4 cup honey and mix thoroughly and allow to cool. Apply on the pimples for 10-20 minutes. Do not leave it on too long or it will become difficult to remove. You can also try oatmeal, yogurt and sour cream with a few drops of lemon juice. These ingredients are mixed together and applied on affected areas for 15 minutes and then rinsed with water.
For acne scars, use tomato. You can easily get tomatoes from your kitchen and slice it. Apply the tomato slices to your scars. Regular application of tomato slices on your scars can visibly give you excellent results. Another technique frequently used to get rid of acne scars is rubbing ice cubes against the pimples to reduce inflammation and slowly erase the scars.
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Diet

To start with, go on an 'all-fruit' diet for a week, taking three meals a day, of fresh ripe fruits, such as apples, pears, grapes, grapefruit, pineapples, and peaches. Merely unsweetened lemon or plain water, either hot or cold, ought to be drunk and not anything else.
Following the one-week, all-fruit diet, the patient can increasingly adopt a well-balanced diet with stress on raw foods, in particular fresh fruit and vegetables, sprouted seeds, raw nuts, and wholegrain cereals, mainly millet and brown rice. Additional short periods of the 'all-fruit' diet meant for three days or so might be essential at a monthly period till the skin's state improves.
Each day have one tablespoon of mixed fresh seeds, e.g. pumpkin, sunflower, sesame or ground hemp/linseed.
Limit intake of foods made from wheat, oats, rye, etc. to one or two portions each day.
Limit vegetable oils to a little olive oil and/or cold pressed sunflower or other oils.
Avoid sugar, sweets, canned, preserved or processed foods
Do not have foods containing white flour, such as bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries and pasta.
Avoid fried foods. Boil, steam, bake or lightly grill them instead.
Avoid fatty foods like butter, cream and ice cream.
Meats, sugar, strong tea or coffee, condiments, pickles, soft drinks, candies, ice cream, developed and processed foods be supposed to be avoided as far as possible.
Stop smoking and avoid completely or limit your alcohol intake.

Ayurvedic Treatment

According to Ayurveda, all skin diseases are considered as problems with the blood and blood purification is indicated for all types of skin diseases. Rakta Shodhaka blood purifier capsules are meant to remove all excessive Pitta from the body as well as for the normalisation of the blood, so that skin will get the best nourishment. Dosages for Rakta Shodhak Capsules are two capsules twice daily. 

These blood purifier capsules contain:

  • Chirayata (Swertia chirata)
  • Manjistha (Rubia cordifolia)
  • Haridra (Curucuma longa)
  • Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia
  • Neem (Azadirachta indica)

Along with these capsules you should also nourish your face with a face pack containing:

  • Fuller's Earth (To remove extra oil, removes blemishes)
  • Neem (Best to remove all bacteria and other ailments- which cause Acne)
  • Lodhra (Opens the pores, so your skin will breath normally) 
  • Manjishta (Best for skin both internally and externally)
  • Basil (Best for Skin) 

The paste of masur dal (Red lentil) with curd and a few drops of neem (Azadirachta indica) oil, if applied on the face will bestow you a good complexion and will cure acne.
Make a paste of lodhra (Symplocus bark, Symplocos racemosa), coriander (Coriandrum sativum, dhania) and vacha (Acorus calamus, calamus or sweetflag) with water and then apply it on your face.

Make a paste of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), chandana (sandalwood, Santalum album), manjishta (Indian Madder, Rubia cordifolia) and yashtimadhu (Liquorice, Glycyrrhiza glabra) with water and then apply it on your face.

Make a paste of haridra (Curucuma longa) chandana (sandalwood) and apply it on your face.
Leave all the above-mentioned local applications on the face for about twenty minutes (till it dries) and then wash your face with lukewarm water.

Correction of diet and regular exercise is necessary to regain regular bowel habits. Mild laxatives can be given to prevent constipation.
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Vitiligo
Vitiligo (pronounced vit-ill-EYE-go) is a benign skin disorder due to loss of pigment.  About 8% of Indian and Mexican population suffer with this disorder.  Vitiligo is also known as leucoderma, which simply means white (leuco) skin (derma), i.e. a disorder where melanocytes (the cells that make brown pigment) in the skin are destroyed. Similar patches also appear on both the mucous membranes (tissues that line the inside of the mouth and nose) and the retina (inner layer of the eyeball). The hair that grows on areas affected by vitiligo sometimes turns white.

Vitiligo can hardly be called as a disease but a skin-disorder that has more social than medical significance, especially amongst the dark skinned people.

The social value of vitiligo is dominant over its medical aspect, especially in India and almost all over the world due to its prominence over skin which differentiates a person from others. So, it is taken more as a ‘social stigma’ rather than a medical disorder almost all over the world.

Largely, there are two processes at work towards producing Vitiligo.
a. Destruction of melanin (colour pigment)
b. Lack of formation of melanin

Due to destruction of the melanin (pigment) cells due to lesser known processes (largely what is called as an auto-immune disorder) the normal skin starts loosing pigments from various parts of the skin, in a varying speed and extent.
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Causes

The cause of vitiligo is complex and not well understood. A combination of auto-immune, genetic, and environmental factors is likely. It is a harmless disease but obviously causes concern for cosmetic reasons. Conventional medicine has little to offer but there are many documented successes with Ayurvedic treatment.

Vitiligo may appear at any age. There is an increased rate of the condition in some families. The vitiligo sufferers are observed all over the world, including the white skin communities. The incidence worldwide is less than 1%.  About 8% of Indian and Mexican population suffer from this disorder. The most common form is non-segmental vitiligo.

In Ayurveda the reason behind autoimmunity is mostly improper hygiene which is termed virudh ahar sevan(as eating fish & milk together). This results into toxin formation inside the body which ultimately disturbs the immune system due to which the pigment producing melanocytes cells gets inactive or degenerated and thus vitiligo is formed.
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Symptoms
The typical appearance of Vitiligo is a milky white de-pigmented spot or spots. It may vary from a single white spot to multiple spots. The shape too is a variable. These patches are more commonly found on sun-exposed areas of the body, including the hands, feet, arms, face, and lips. Other common areas for white patches to appear are the armpits and groin, and around the mouth, eyes, nostrils, navel, genitals, and rectum.
It has a tendency to start as a single spot and gradually grow in size and number. It may present with a single or several spots on limbs or abdomen or back and then spreading to other parts of the body.

Vitiligo generally appears in one of three patterns:

  • Focal pattern - depigmentation limited to one or only a few areas
  • Segmental pattern -- depigmented patches that develop on one side of the body
  • Generalized pattern -- the most common pattern. Depigmentation occurs symmetrically on both sides of the body.

In addition to white patches on the skin, people with vitiligo may have premature greying of the scalp hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, and beard. People with dark skin may notice a loss of colour inside their mouths.

Who is affected by vitiligo?
About 0.5 to 1 percent of the world's population, or as many as 65 million people, have vitiligo. Half the people who have vitiligo develop it before age 20; most develop it before their 40th birthday. The disorder affects both sexes and all races equally; however, it is more noticeable in people with dark skin.

Vitiligo seems to be somewhat more common in people with certain autoimmune diseases, including hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland), adrenocortical insufficiency (the adrenal gland does not produce enough of the hormone called corticosteroid), alopecia areata (patches of baldness), and pernicious anaemia (a low level of red blood cells caused by the failure of the body to absorb vitamin B12). Scientists do not know the reason for the association between vitiligo and these autoimmune diseases. However, most people with vitiligo have no other autoimmune disease.

Vitiligo may also be hereditary; that is, it can run in families. Children whose parents have the disorder are more likely to develop vitiligo. In fact, 30 percent of people with vitiligo have a family member with the disease. However, only 5 to 7 percent of children will get vitiligo even if a parent has it, and most people with vitiligo do not have a family history of the disorder.

Will the depigmented patches spread?

Focal pattern vitiligo and segmental vitiligo remain localized to one part of the body and do not spread. There is no way to predict if generalized vitiligo will spread. For some people, the depigmented patches do not spread. The disorder is usually progressive, however, and over time the white patches will spread to other areas of the body. For some people, vitiligo spreads slowly, over many years. For other people, spreading occurs rapidly. Some people have reported additional depigmentation following periods of physical or emotional stress.

Emotional and psychological aspects of vitiligo
Although vitiligo is usually not harmful medically and causes no physical pain, its emotional and psychological effects can be devastating. In fact, in India, those with the disease, especially women, are sometimes discriminated against in marriage. Developing vitiligo after marriage can be grounds for divorce. Regardless of a person's race and culture, white patches of vitiligo can affect emotional and psychological well-being and self-esteem. People with vitiligo can experience emotional stress, particularly if the condition develops on visible areas of the body (such as the face, hands, arms, and feet) or on the genitals. Adolescents, who are often particularly concerned about their appearance, can be devastated by widespread vitiligo. Some people who have vitiligo feel embarrassed, ashamed, depressed, or worried about how others will react.
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Home Remedies
Following are the some useful home remedies that can help us in curing vitiligo.

Turmeric and mustard oil: Turmeric is used as anti-septic and an anti-inflammatory substance. It is a very fine immune booster and also used on wounds to prevent them from bacterial infection. Mustard oil is also a very beneficial for home treatment of many diseases. Its daily body massage provides strength to the immune system. It is an anti-bacterial oil and is also used for detoxification. Take 5 teaspoons of turmeric powder and mix in 250 ml of mustard oil and apply on the white patches of skin, twice a day. Use this treatment regularly for one year. It will have a very useful effect on your vitiligo. You will observe a very good result of this treatment in your skin. The white sports will start diminishing and will ultimately disappear. It is a very safe remedy.

Basil leaves and lime juice: Basil (tulsi) leaves are very common kitchen ingredients. It has anti-viral and anti-aging properties. It is also a very useful herb to cure stress and vitiligo. Extract of basil leaves in combination with lime juice is also believed to stimulate the production of melanin in the skin. Take a few drops of basil-leaves extract and limejuice together in a bowl. Mix them thoroughly and apply on the white patches of your skin. Don’t wash your face quickly. Use this treatment 3 to 4 times daily. Favourable results are usually visible within 5-6 months. This mixture is very effective and perfectly safe for vitiligo people. No side effect has ever been reported.

Water kept in copper utensil: It has been observed that vitiligo can be treated by drinking water kept in copper utensils. The water is left in a copper utensil over-night and then use it for drunk in the morning. This extremely economic home remedy can show its magic in about half a year.

This treatment is believed also to stimulate melanocyte for producing melanin. The remedy is as safe as pure water.

Tamarind Seeds and Psoralea Seeds: Psoralea (Psoralea corylifolia, Bakuchi) is the most effective herb for the treatment of vitiligo. It is used both as a home remedy as well as in the form of delicately formulated recipes, like PUVA. Its use with tamarind is very beneficial for the cure of vitiligo. Caution must however be exercised in the use of Psoralea, as they may be harmful outside the hands of experts. Soak some seeds of tamarind and psoralea in water for 4 days. Then dry and grind these seeds and make a paste. Apply this paste daily on white patches of skin for a month. Dramatic improvement is usually visible within a month but continued usage beyond a month is advisable for consolidation of the benefit.

Psoralea and Ginger Juice: Ginger is an anti-inflammatory vegetable. Its use in cooking food prevents clotting of blood during circulation. It also stimulates blood circulation and supports our digestive system. Its use with Psoralea is beneficial as a home remedy of vitiligo. This remedy is a little different from other home treatments in the sense that it is taken orally instead of external application. First soak Psoralea seeds in ginger juice for 3 days. Dry them in shade and grind to a fine powder. Take one gram of this powder daily with 1 cup of fresh milk for 2 months. Regular use of the recipe will bring the colour back to your white patches of skin.

Radish seeds and vinegar: The powder of radish seeds has many medicinal qualities in it of which regeneration of the melanin is only one. Take about 35 grams of radish seeds in powder form and mix 2 tsp of vinegar in it to make a paste. Apply this paste on your white patches daily for at least 6 months. The white spots will slowly clear away. This treatment is virtually free of side effects.

Mama Cadela: Mama-cadel, which is known as Brosimum gaudichaudii or Mamica-de-cadela also, is a useful plant for the home treatment of vitiligo. This plant has dark green leaves and yellow to orange fruit. The fruit has a sweet flavour, and can also be used as a chewing gum, due its proprieties.Make a concoction of the root of this plant with a little water. Apply this extract to the affected areas of your skin, twice a day. Within a week you will start seeing the result. Continue the application of this paste at least for 6 months. The white patches of your skin are very likely to disappear in this period. No side effects have been reported with this recipe.

Bishop’s Weed: Ajwain or Trachyspermum ammiis a herb, and is found to be very useful in vitiligo. It contains a very active substance, which appears to work like Psoralens. This substance not only stimulates the sensitivity of melanocyte but also protects our skin from sunburn. People with vitiligo should use 120-160 mg of ajwain in their food daily. Continue this treatment for 4 to 6 months in order to recover natural colour of your skin. No side effects are yet known.

Psoralea and Coconut oil: Psoralea corylifolia sensitizes the skin to the tanning effect of sunlight, while coconut oil works as a strong anti-oxidant and helps us to activate melanin pigment in the skin.

Black cumin is a very useful immune booster. Similarly, The roots of Barberry plant contain many compounds, which are useful for the skin protection. 

A paste formed by coconut oil, Psoralea crolyforlia, Black cumin and Barberry roots works very well for treating vitiligo. It helps to stop and eliminate the white patches of skin. People with vitiligo should use this treatment daily, at least for six months. This mixture also gives a healthy look to the skin.



Ginkgo Biloba: Initial research so far indicates the herb can help to not just halt the progress of the disease, but also re-pigment the skin. Some researchers believe that these claims may be supported because of the herbs peculiar properties as an immune system modulator and antioxidant. Research has also indicated that the active ingredients in gingko biloba are soothing and bring relief to many allergic and inflammatory processes.
In trials where some subjects were put on placebos the evidence was again in favour of gingko biloba (Maidenhair Tree, balkuwari). As regards the method of application though there is overwhelming evidence that suggests that oral intake of the herb is more effective and preferable to topical application.

Celery: Celery is one natural remedy that is widely regarded as being of some value to patients suffering from vitiligo. It’s relevance in the treatment of vitiligo can in fact be traced back in time and this association is a very valid one. Celery has been found to have very high psoralen content, making it a good candidate. Psoralen, which in the past could only be obtained through its natural plant source, has been used for millennia in the treatment of vitiligo.
This practice and its principles are deeply rooted in traditional treatments involving phototherapy. Psoralen the naturally occurring component in celery can act as a stimulant to promote and increase the reaction of skin to sunlight.

Other Home Remedies:

Take a bath twice daily, which will stimulate the formation of melanin producing cells in the skin. 
Take sunbath for 10 minutes daily.
Eat 600 gm raw cucumber and 3 betel leaves daily. Thrice daily use of food made from bitter gourd for a week is also a useful home remedy for vitiligo.
Avoid from dairy products, like butter, yogurt, beverages made from milk, coffee etc. 
Abstain from mango and citrus fruit.
Avoid using soft drinks, read meat, eggs and fish. 
There are many other home remedies and substance which have curative properties for vitiligo. You can use for example black pepper, green tea and olive oil etc. It is extremely economical and still very useful.

Ayurvedic treatment

According to Ayurveda Vitiligo and leucoderma are termed ‘Kilas’. It is further known as ‘Darun’, ‘Charun’ and ‘Switr’ as this is tridosha. It is a skin disorder mainly due to inappropriate diet combination intake regularly and formed due to disturbance of tridoshas namely ‘Vaat’, ‘Pitta’ and ‘Kapha’. After aggravation it moves and affects the rakta, mans and med dhatus. Ayurveda is considered for best Vitiligo treatment.

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Herbal Treatment

Khadira (Acacia catechu), is a decoction, recommended for treatment of leucoderma. The rasa of Khadira is bitter and astringent. A decoction of khadira and amla (Indian gooseberry, Emblic myrobalans) is recommended as a two-ounce dose every morning.

Another herb, Vernonia anthelmintica (somaraja, kattu-shiragam, purple fleabane), is also reported to be an effective remedy for vitiligo. The powdered seeds of this herb taken with a decoction of Indian gooseberry (amalaki or nellikkai) and catechu. The powdered seeds taken alone (1 teaspoon).  The powdered seeds taken with black pepper or black sesame seeds in equal parts, daily in the morning, with warm water, just after perspiring. It is indicated that if one of the above methods is followed for one year, resolution of vitiligo will occur.

However, the one herb most often mentioned with leucodermic treatment is Vakuchi (Psoralea corylifolia Linn). This herb is recognized as being helpful for treatment by all the major medical disciplines, Ayurvedic, Chinese, Unani, as well as Western medicine. Vakuchi is also called Bakuchi or karpkarishi. Most sources suggest taking vakuchi internally as well as topically. The seeds, as a powder (choornam), are recommended for internal use. The parts of the plant used for topical applications are the essential oil extracted from the seeds, or as medicated oil prepared from the seeds. Other methods of preparation and administration of this herb are as follows:

The paste of the seeds made with milk is rubbed into the affected parts of the skin. However if continuous application irritates the skin, the treatment should be discontinued for some time.

Equal parts of the seeds of Vakuchi, seeds of chakramarda (Cassia tora), and the wood of Mahanimba (Melia azdarach or Persian lilac) made into a paste with rose water is applied over the white patches. The Persian lilac can be substituted with Nimba (Indian lilac or neem) berries.

Another formulation including vakuchi, Pancha-nimba gutica or Pancha-amrita is recommended in daily dose of 1 tablespoon. To prepare, take the five different portions of the neem tree, namely the flowers, fruits, leaves, bark, and roots 15 parts each powdered to 1 part each of the following substances: iron oxide, Chebulic myrobalans, seeds of Wild Senna (Charota, Chakramandrakam, Cassia tora), triphala, fruit of Indian Marking nut (bhallataka, Semecarpus anacardium), False Black Pepper, (Vidanga, Embelia ribes), sugar, emblic seeds, Curcuma longa, (long pepper, black pepper), dry ginger, seeds of Psoralea corylifolia, pods of Golden Shower tree, (Amaltas, Laburnum, Cassia fistula) and Small Caltrops or Puncture Vine (Gokshura,  Tribulus terrestris) all powdered. Mix all together and make into paste in the juice of Bhringraj Eclipta erecta. Then mix with the decoction (1 in 8) of the bark of acacia catechu.
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Therapeutic Treatment

An Ayurvedic treatment plan starts with measures to arrest the ongoing aggravation of dosha in the body. The digestive track is targeted first with the implementation of a dosha appropriate diet. For example, if pitta-dosha aggravation were present, then a pitta pacifying diet would be implemented. Salt intake should be minimized and restricted to rock salt only, as this will further expedite recovery from kilas. Concomitantly, lifestyle would be closely evaluated for possible nidanam (causative factors), and these would be corrected. Once all correctable causative factors such as lifestyle and diet have been addressed, proper eliminative measure would be taken to facilitate the removal of ama (toxins) and excess dosha from the body. Eliminative measures must initially be employed, taking into consideration a patients' agni and level of ojas, then might herbal remedies prove effective. Purification kriyas such as oleation (application of oil), svedanai (fomentation or heat therapy) and vrechana (purgation) are employed to  “loosen and liquefy ama” and excess dosha from the various sites of accumulation in the tissue, mobilize ama and excess dosha, facilitate removal of ama and excess dosha from the body. An additional manner of purification often mentioned with leucoderma is called rakatamokshana (therapeutic bloodletting). In this treatment, excess pitta dosha in the rakta dhatu is being removed via one of the following methods:

• Removal of 300cc of blood via venipuncture (performed following oleation and svedana)
• Topical application of leeches to affected areas.

A case study published in 2004 demonstrated complete resolution of vitiligo in a six year old boy where raktamokshana (topical application of leeches) was administered as part of the Ayurvedic treatment plan, “There was a marked difference in the skin colour after the first (application). The skin started to appear pink. After a period of 2 ½ weeks leeches were applied again, the client continued with herbs and the local application of Bakuchi oil. Gradually the skin started getting back it's brownish hue, the hair on the scalp that had turned white at the patch started turning black again…patches regained their colour fully after a period of two months” With proper elimination of excess dosha and ama, then herbal remedies may prove effective.
 
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