The skin is an important component of ayurvedic understanding of biological functions. Either in Prakruti-normal stage or Vikruti – abnormal condition, concepts of dosha, dhatu, mala and srotas find different expressions on the skin. Skin provides vital information of state of health or illness of an individual. Ayurveda provides elaborate details about structure and function of skin. This unique information is not only significant for skin disorders but is relevant to the whole entity.
While external features provide metabolic expression, the skin is relevant to different skin disorders for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.
All three groups of causes of illness – asaatmyendriyartha sanyog (wrongful association of senses), prgnyaparadha (unwholesome acts) and parinam (resultant outcome of improper actions) – correlate with skin problems.
Skin disorders provide representative explanations on all the five components of nidana -diagnostic and six stages of samprapti- the process of disease development. Emotions, particularly fear leading to stress and its role in skin problems is well defined. The theory of karma, provides interesting information in the treatment of certain types of skin disorders for physiciean eager to heal the ailing .
Pathology of the diseases of skin is considered according to the layer effected by the disease – the fiberous and vascular dermis and the cellular epidermis. Views like virudhahara (accumulation of malas or toxic materials in the alimentary canal) and the basic thridosha theory helps ayurveda in treating chronic skin diseases and allergic skin conditions to a greater extend and safer way.
Diet plays most important role in the treatment of skin diseases allergic and chronic skin conditions find dietetic relevance based on principles of incompatibility and negative attributes. Diagnosis of skin conditions are made by the characteristic signs and symptoms in certain cases a correct classical description may be lacking. In such cases, diagnosis are made by observing the predominant doshie symptoms and treated accordingly.