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  5. How To Treat Skin Rashes With Ayurvedic Solutions?

Do you often find itchy, red patches on your skin? Frequent appearance of red bumps and blisters can indicate a skin rash.

“Skin rashes can be classified under Vrana (Inflammation) or Kushtha (Skin diseases), according to Ayurveda,” says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix. Ayurvedic treatments are always a healthier choice as they treat the root cause of the condition, aiming for overall improvement rather than a short term relief.

Scroll down to know the various types of skin rashes and their treatments for healthy skin.

What Are Skin Rashes?

A skin rash is a cutaneous condition that indicates damage of your epidermal barrier by an internal or external factor. Your skin acts as a protective layer that barricades infection-causing pathogens from entering your body. However, when your skin's immune system detects an invasion or injury, it responds by producing skin inflammation and a rash.

Skin rashes often have the appearance of red bumps, blisters, patches of red skin or itchy, scaly skin that may weep fluid.

A skin rash is also called dermatitis in medical terms. It usually occurs when your skin comes in contact with an allergen or there is an internal infection or disease.

What Are The Types Of Skin Rashes?

1. Contact Dermatitis

Skin rashes from contact dermatitis occur when your skin comes in contact with an irritant. The skin’s immune system perceives it as a threat causing an allergic reaction. This causes red bumps and skin inflammation. Such skin irritants can range from soaps, shampoos, creams to even certain types of fabrics. One of the best ways of treating contact dermatitis is by avoiding contact with the specific allergen.

2. Atopic Dermatitis

atopic dermatitis also known as atopic eczema

Atopic dermatitis also known as eczema is a dry skin rash. Conditions of atopic dermatitis are often hereditary and people with it may experience sudden flare ups and red rashes on the body. Being a chronic skin disease, eczema usually involves long term treatments. The usual symptoms include pruritic inflammations and red blotches.

3. Miliaria

Miliaria or prickly heat is a common summer skin rash for people living in hot, humid climates. It occurs when your sweat ducts are blocked, leading to spillage of sweat into the skin. Miliaria has the appearance of tiny fluid-filled blisters or red bumps that are extremely itchy.

4. Intertrigo

Intertrigo is a skin rash that occurs in between the folds of your skin such as in the armpits, under the breasts, in the groin area or between the folds of your abdomen. It is usually a skin rash triggered due to heat, excessive sweat and friction.

5. Insect Bites

A bite from an insect is generally followed by inflammation and a skin rash that itches. Depending on the type of insect and the severity of the bite, symptoms may persist for a few hours to even days.

6. Rosacea

A skin condition that mainly affects the face, causing red inflamed patches or bumps on the skin. Studies claim that though rosacea is triggered by environmental factors, it may have a genetic influence as well.

7. Lupus

A disease caused by an overactive immune system that attacks its own cells and organs, perceiving them as threats. One amongst the many symptoms of lupus is a red or scaly rash. Though auto-immune diseases such as lupus don’t have permanent cure, its flare-ups can be managed by avoiding trigger factors and change of lifestyle.

8. Chickenpox

Though now a rare disease, chicken pox causes itchy, painful, red blisters all over your body. It spreads easily through direct contact or body fluids of the affected person. Caused by a virus, chickenpox may leave scars on your skin.

9. Shingles

raised red bumps and blisters caused by shingles on skin

If you've had chickenpox before, there is a chance the virus may reactivate in your body causing a similar condition called shingles. Unlike chickenpox, shingles is not contagious. It is characterised by a painful skin rash that covers different parts of your body.

10. Drug Allergy

Certain types of medicine can produce an allergic reaction, leading to skin inflammation and rash. The most common types are hives [1] that cause red, itchy welts. They usually disappear on their own when the drug is discontinued. However, antihistamine medication may be an added help.

11. Pityriasis Rosea

person with pityriasis rosea disease on the chest and neck

Though the exact cause remains unknown, pityriasis rosea is thought to be triggered by a virus. It may start as one large scaly patch and then spread to other areas. Commonly affected areas are the upper torso and the upper limbs. Other symptoms like itchiness, inflammation and redness may accompany the rash.

12. Ringworm

ring worm infection dermatophytosis on skin

A common fungal infection, tinea corporis or ringworm, causes a scaly, itchy, ring-like skin rash on the body. The type of fungus causing the rash survives on keratin found on your skin. Ringworm rash can be contracted through direct contact with the infected person or their used belongings.

13. Scabies

person with scabies infestation in right hand

Scabies is a highly contagious itchy rash. It occurs when Sarcoptes scabiei mites live on your skin. Their constant burrowing makes the skin rash extremely pruritic. Antiparasitic medications are prescribed to cure scabies.

14. Cellulitis

cellulitis skin rash on left leg of a person

A potentially dangerous bacterial infection, cellulitis [2] occurs when bacteria enters your skin through an open wound. Cellulitis can spread quickly if not treated on time. Skin affected with cellulitis appears inflamed, tender and red.

15. Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis Pilaris [3] occurs when keratin or dead skin cells block your hair follicles giving rise to tiny acne-like bumps on your skin. This may make your skin feel rough and dry to touch. People with a family history of keratosis pilaris are most likely to experience the condition in their early childhood, teenage and sometimes in their adulthood.

16. Psoriasis

Psoriasis rashes look like dry, inflamed, scaly, red patches on skin. It is triggered by a dysfunctional immune system that attacks healthy cells of your skin. Skin affected by psoriasis is often itchy and highly sensitive.

17. Erythema Nodosum

Erythema nodosum is an inflammatory skin disease that affects the fat cells lying under your skin. It causes red, swollen, nodule like red bumps on the front side of your legs.

18. Hay Fever Rash

Though an uncommon symptom of the disease, hay fever rash can cause red, swollen bumps on your skin that may be itchy. Hay fever may also flare- up an existing skin condition and cause a rash.

19. Fifth Disease

A childhood viral infection, the fifth disease has the appearance of red patches on the face. It is highly contagious with other symptoms such as fever and fatigue. Caused by parvovirus B-19, it can affect the face, chest, hand and legs of children.

20. Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease

Another childhood viral disease that rarely affects adults is the hand- foot- mouth disease. It causes ulcers in the mouth and a red rash on the skin. It usually spreads through contact with or through the saliva or cough droplets of an infected person.

According to Ayurveda, all three Doshas can be aggravated in case of a skin rash. Pitta causes redness and heat in the affected area, Vata causes dryness, itch and pain while excess Kapha leads to inflammation, tender skin and fluid filled blisters.

Symptoms Of Skin Rashes

1. Red bumps on the skin

2. Pruritic, red patches on skin

3. Red dots on skin

4. Inflammation

5. Painful bumps

6. Blisters

7. Dry, scaly skin

8. Raw areas that weep fluid

9. Rough patches on skin

Causes Of Skin Rashes

1. Allergens or skin irritants

2. Viral, bacterial or fungal infections

3. Autoimmune diseases

4. Heat

5. Insect bites

6. Allergic reaction to medicines

7. Genetic disorders

How To Treat Skin Rashes?

A. Ayurvedic Treatments

According to Ayurveda, the health of your skin is maintained when the three Doshas, Rakta Dhatu (blood tissue) and Rasa Dhatu (plasma) are in equilibrium. A vitiation of the Rakta Dhatu can occur for various reasons such as wrong diet, environmental factors and a turbulent lifestyle. Such factors can also trigger an imbalance in the Doshas. This eventually leads to the accumulation of Ama toxins that cause skin diseases.

Ayurveda recommends the administration of antibacterial, skin soothing, anti-inflammatory herbs, medicines and therapies. These powerful treatments not only treat your superficial symptoms but also heal the root cause of your skin rash.

1. Ayurvedic Herbs For Skin Rashes

Lepas or herbal packs prepared with the below mentioned Ayurvedic herbs are used to treat various symptoms of skin allergies and rashes such as Kandu (itch), Daha (burning sensations), Rukhshta (dryness), Pidaka (blisters, boils), Vaivarnya (hyperpigmentation), Srava (fluid discharge), Shotha (inflammation) and Ruja (pain).

Sr. No

Ayurvedic Herb

Properties

Method Of Application

1.

Daru Haridra

Eliminates excess Pitta and Ama toxins; cures skin allergies.

Make a paste with ghee and apply.

2.

Neem

Antiseptic; calms Pitta Dosha

Wash affected areas with neem water; paste of neem leaves with ghee or coconut oil can be applied.

3.

Ela

Purifies skin; treats rashes on body; antimicrobial; balances all Doshas

Mix ela powder with ghee or coconut oil and apply.

4.

Chandanam

Soothes skin irritations; pacifies Pitta; prevents inflammation

Make a paste with water and apply.

5.

Tulsi

Reduces inflammation; heals skin allergies; antimicrobial; pacifies Kapha Dosha

Make a paste with honey and apply on the rash.

6.

Dhanyaka

Antioxidant; antimicrobial properties; calms Vata and Pitta

Make a paste and apply on affected areas.

7.

Chirata

Anti-fungal; anti-viral; anti-bacterial; balances Pitta and Kapha

Mix with coconut oil and apply.

8.

Shatavari

Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, soothes burning sensations

Mix with honey or ghee and apply.

9.

Indian Sarsaparilla

Treats skin diseases and skin allergies; reduces inflammation; itch and pain; antioxidant; balances all three Doshas

Mix Indian Sarsaparilla powder with ghee and apply.

10.

Khadira

Anti-inflammatory; treats itching and rashes; removes toxins; pacifies Kapha and Pitta

Apply Khadira powder with ghee on skin rash.

2. Ayurvedic Medicines For Skin Rashes

Arogyavardhini Vati

The Arogyavardhini Vati is a century old Ayurvedic medicine formed through the amalgamation of 13 powerful herbs. It successfully treats rashes on the body caused by skin allergies, eczema, psoriasis and microbial infections.

Research proves that the herbs included in this medicine are rich in natural skin healing compounds such as flavonoids, tannins, phenols, amino acids and many others, making it an enhancer of overall skin and body health.

Gandhak Rasayana

Gandhak rasayana is used in treating a range of skin diseases. It is especially beneficial for reducing daha (burning sensations), kandu (itching) and wound healing. Due to the presence of various blood purifying, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral herbs such as gandhaka, ela, triphala, cinnamon, black pepper, pippali, guduchi, ginger, bhringaraja and others, gandhak rasayana is highly effective against rashes on skin.

Note:

Consult your Ayurvedic doctor to check your Doshas and know your Prakriti (body constitution). This will allow you to understand what is causing your skin rash and whether the above mentioned Ayurvedic medicines will suit your body type.

3. Vamana Therapy

Vamana therapy administers Ayurvedic medicines and oils to eliminate excess Kapha and Pitta Dosha through vomiting. It is an effective method of purgation that also removes harmful Ama toxins that are often believed to be responsible for various skin diseases including rashes on skin.

The body is gradually prepared for Vamana therapy for a period of 3 to 7 days with herbs and medicated oils to excite your Kapha and prepare it for extraction. After which the herbal concoction and its dosage is determined as per the patient's individual requirements. Commonly used herbs in Vamana are - madanaphala, pippali, chitraka, sarshapa, neem.

4. Raktamokshana Therapy

Since most rashes on the body are considered a result of ‘Rakta Dusti’ (pollution of blood), Raktamokshana [4] or bloodletting is recommended for blood detoxification. This ancient Ayurvedic Shodhana technique effectively removes vitiated blood from the body, thus healing a variety of ‘Kushthas’ or skin disorders. The two frequently used techniques in Raktamokshana are Jalaukavacharana (leech therapy) and Siravedhana (puncture of vein).

B. Home Remedies

1. Cold Compress For Rashes On Skin

Cold compresses are advised to get instant relief from pain, swelling and redness involved in skin allergies. The cold numbs the affected area and reduces subcutaneous blood flow which calms your skin and aids the healing process.

How To Use

  • Refrigerate a damp cloth or towel for 15 minutes and apply on the skin rash.
  • Cool showers are helpful.
  • Ice packs or ice rubs can also be applied on the rash on your body.

2. Colloidal Oatmeal Or Green Tea Cleansing

Regularly cleansing the area of skin rash with natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory ingredients helps heal the condition quickly while keeping further chances of infection away. Both colloidal oatmeal and green tea have antibacterial properties and are rich in inflammation reducing natural compounds such as flavonoids and phenolic acids.

How To Use

  • Prepare a smooth paste with milk and colloidal oatmeal and clean the rash on your body regularly.
  • For green tea cleansing, brew green tea, cool it down to room temperature and clean the rash area in a similar way.

3. Turmeric, Ginger And Calendula Pack

Turmeric is rich in curcumin and ginger in terpenes and phenolic compounds which are all powerful histamine inhibitors. Calendula powder or oil is a potent treatment for skin allergies and rashes on the body.

How To Use

  • Make a paste of raw turmeric and ginger.
  • Add calendula powder or oil.
  • Apply in the affected areas and wash off after 30 minutes.
  • Repeat regularly for conditions to improve.

4. Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera is one of the best natural ointments to soothe skin allergies. Its anti-inflammatory properties can treat red patches on the skin caused by skin rashes. Aloe vera is also antimicrobial and extremely hydrating making it a good cure for eczema, psoriasis and other skin infections that cause rashes on the body.

How To Use

  • Extract aloe vera directly from the plant and apply on the affected skin. There is no need to wash off aloe vera gel as it is easily absorbed into your skin.

5. Pineapple And Honey Pack

Pineapple contains the natural enzyme Bromelain which has active histamine reducing abilities. In addition to that, pineapple is a rich source of Vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant with many skin healing properties. Honey hydrates the affected area and prevents itch and dryness. A pineapple and honey pack can prevent further aggravation of the condition and gradually heal the red rashes on your skin.

How To Use

  • Blend a ripe pineapple along with its stem.
  • Add honey and apply on the skin rash.
  • Wash off after 30 minutes.

C. Essential Oils

Gently massaging the infected skin with the below mentioned essential oils can help improve blood circulation, reduce symptoms and quicken the healing process.

1. Eucalyptus Oil

Among essential oils, eucalyptus oil is one of the best for treating rashes on the skin. Its anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties soothe skin irritations and help to heal skin allergies.

2. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is used in various skincare products for its skin benefits. It is rich in terpenes that help reduce inflammatory conditions like red rashes on the skin. Regular application of tea tree oil on your skin rash can also prevent chances of scars and hyperpigmentation.

3. Lavender Oil

Lavender Oil has some amazing medicinal properties due to the presence of Linalool and Linalyl Acetate [5], the main components of lavender oil, that are great inhibitors of inflammation. Owing to this lavender oil is used to treat several skin conditions like eczema, skin allergies, red rashes on the skin and fungal and bacterial skin infections.

4. Chamomile Oil

The magical compound Azulene found in Chamomile oil is used in a variety of skincare products and ointments to treat various types of skin allergies. Its skin soothing properties allow it to heal skin rashes that itch. Chamomile oil is also anti-inflammatory making it a great medicine for skin rashes.

Note:

It is always safe to mix your essential oil with a carrier oil to avoid skin sensitivity. Add a few drops of essential oil to carrier oils like coconut or castor oil to treat skin rashes.

D. Other Medications

1. Antihistamine

Since the protein histamine is one of the main reasons for skin inflammation, antihistamine medication is often administered to cure skin rashes or skin allergies. They also help with the other symptoms of a rash such as itchiness and redness. However, antihistamines may cause drowsiness, dryness, nausea and dizziness.

2. Hydrocortisone Creams

To get some immediate relief from skin rashes that itch, you may be prescribed a hydrocortisone treatment. These can cure itchiness, redness, inflammation, dryness and pain related symptoms common in skin conditions such as eczema, bug bites, heat rash and dermatitis. Using a low concentration of hydrocortisone for a short period of time is generally harmless. However, your skin may become thinner if you are using a strong dose for a long time.

3. Antiseptic Creams

Antiseptic creams can help prevent infection of the skin affected with skin rash. They are ideal for minor skin rashes like nappy rashes. They may also help relieve skin irritations, swelling and itch.

4. Calamine Lotions

Calamine lotions are usually advised along with other medications to treat rashes on the skin. They have a cooling effect that calms skin irritations and itchiness. Owing to their drying effect on skin, calamine lotions can help reduce inflammations and blisters on your skin.

E. Dietary Changes

1. Include fruits and vegetables that are anti-inflammatory in nature such as onions, avocados, turmeric, ginger, kale, berries, pineapple, tomato. Naturally found compounds such as quercetin, bromelain, phenolic acids and flavonoids help repress histamine activities in your body.

2. Have foods that are rich in antioxidants (Vitamin C and Vitamin E) to help your skin heal faster. Spinach, amla, papaya, guava, kiwi, sunflower seeds, almonds, and pumpkin are few to mention.

3. Drink green tea with lemon and ginger twice a day for better detoxification.

4. Stay away from spicy, oily, sugary foods that disturb the balance of your Doshas.

5. Go for probiotic foods. While buying yogurt, lassi and other dairy products look for the probiotic label. These contain good bacteria which can help fight a number of skin allergies that cause rashes. Other probiotic food options include dosa batter, miso soup, kefir, kombucha and the Korean delight, kimchi.

6. Eat foods that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, nuts, soybean oil and flaxseed oil. Research shows omega 3 can play a part in reducing inflammation, improving your skin's immunity and treating conditions like eczema.

Vedix Tip: To keep your Dosha levels in check, soak cumin, fennel and rock candy (mishri) in water overnight. Consume this in the morning regularly to reduce inflammation caused by skin allergies.

How Long Does It Take For Skin Rashes To Go Away?

How long a skin rash will last before it completely heals depends on the factor causing it. If your skin rash is a result of allergens or a certain rug, discontinuation can help cure the rash in a week. However, rashes caused by chronic skin diseases, auto-immune diseases or infections are likely to last longer till the primary condition subsides.

Ayurvedic treatments and topical medicines can help the rash heal faster without causing scars.

How To Prevent Skin Rashes?

1. Avoid hot showers [6]. Take a bath in lukewarm water. You can also add neem, tulsi or colloidal oatmeal to your bathing water.

2. Avoid frequently touching or scratching the affected area. For itchy skin rashes, apply aloe vera gel or a calamine lotion.

3. Switch to herbal skincare products that are free of sulphates, parabens, artificial fragrances and colours. Such chemicals can aggravate a skin rash condition.

4. After applying your skin allergy medication make sure to moisturize. Moisturizers form a protective layer over your skin and prevent it from environmental damages.

5. Wear sunscreen when you step out. Skin rashes due to heat, eczema, dermatitis may flare up with over exposure to the sun.

6. Choose your clothes wisely. Cotton clothes are your safest bet. Wear loose fitting clothes to minimize friction.

7. Avoid using make-up on your rash. Make-up products might block the air supply to the rash and delay the healing process. It can also make the skin rash on your body more itchy.

8. Exercise regularly and practise yoga to keep your stress levels low. High levels of the stress hormone, cortisol can make your skin rash itch more.

When To Consult A Doctor?

If your skin rash does not heal with the suggested topical treatments or spreads rapidly to other parts, it is better to consult a doctor. This can indicate an internal disease and may need proper medical treatment.

The Last Word

According to Ayurveda your skin reflects your health. A rash on the skin is a sign that your body functions are disrupted. This can be caused by various internal health conditions or external factors. Thus to effectively treat a skin rash, it is crucial to determine the real cause behind it. Misdiagnosis can further aggravate the condition.

Consult your Ayurvedic doctor, eat an anti- allergic diet and follow a good herbal skincare routine infused with skin healing herbs to quickly treat your skin rash and prevent its recurrence.

Know Your Dosha Now

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