Clear skin is free from germs. But an irritated skin is a cause of trouble. Chafing of the skin is more likely to occur where two moist areas meet, such as in the groins or buttocks, or under the arms. Skin reactions are more common today due to many new fabrics in use. Babies often develop skin rashes because of irritation from the coloring materials in these fabrics.
Allergies are abnormal or hypersensitive responses of the Immune System to relatively harmless environmental antigens (substance which causes the allergy).
Diaper rash usually arises from some chemical irritation due to certain germs present in the baby’s stool. These germs break down the urea into ammonia, which irritates the skin.
Allergic conditions, such as Hay fever and sinusitis are also greatly aggravated by the presence of the germs within the tissues of the nose and throat. The most common allergens are grass and tree pollens, mold spores, dust mites, and animal dander. Eating certain foods and food additives and being stung by insects can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people. Such common disorders as eczema, hives, hay fever and asthma are often attributed to allergic reactions.
The most common cause of the skin allergies is impairment in the immune sysytem, which increases the risk of allergic reactions. This occurs due to stress on the immune system due to excess of the toxins.
Other causes of the skin allergies are the nutritional deficiencies, imbalanced diet, chemicals in the food chain due to preservatives and chronic intestinal yeast overgrowth.
Researchers have found that digestion also plays some role in the allergies. These are not just caused by the food. Proper digestion helps to remove toxins from our body. When digestion is disturbed, large amount of toxins get accumulated in the body and our body becomes over loaded with the toxins. This is what leads to allergies.
Itching is an unpleasant sensation, which we try to relieve by scratching. A certain amount of mild itching is normal for every one. Only if it is persistent and troublesome it becomes serious. Persistent scratching may produce swellings in the skin with deep scratch marks and small ulcers into which germs have found their way, causing much more trouble.
Allergies in general are defined as hypersensitivity to some foreign particle or the other. Different people have different kinds of tolerances for foreign bodies. When some people cannot adjust with certain elements in their surroundings, they may suffer from certain skin problems that are commonly referred to as skin allergies.
There is a sure way of determining whether your skin affliction is an allergy or not. If you have got a skin problem due to a cause that has affected no one else, then it is an allergic reaction. For example, several people may be exposed to dust. But if it affects you in a strong way, then you are allergic to dust.
Skin allergies could be in the form of itching, dry and scaly skin, eruptions, rashes, boils, etc. There are three main types of problems that are associated with skin allergies.
These types are as follows:-
(i) Dermatitis – This is the skin allergy which is caused due to contact with some substances. It is shown as an inflammation.
(ii) Hives – Hives is a fluid accumulation in the skin which shows up as a swelling. This is a temporary condition and heals with treatment. Hives are also known as urticaria.
(iii) Prickly Heat – This is a red rash which occurs on the body. Prickly heat is generally caused due to excessive perspiration due to hot and humid climates.
All skin problems are vata dosha disorders. Vata dosha controls the air element of the human body. Hence, when the vata dosha is vitiated, there are skin reactions. In different people, there are different degrees of the vata dosha. In some people, the vata may be weak and get easily vitiated due to external factors. Such people are more specific to skin allergies than others.
In this article, we see how to treat various skin allergies with an Ayurvedic point of view.
HOME REMEDIES FOR SKIN ALLERGIES
Grind 1 tbls of poppy seeds with 1-teaspoon water. Add 1-teaspoon limejuice. Apply to affected area for relief from skin allergies. Add 1-teaspoon limejuice with sandalwood paste. Apply to affected skin allergy area Avoid the foods, plants, animals, drugs, dust, or other substances that trigger an allergic reaction. Smoking exacerbates allergic reactions. Those who are allergic to MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) should avoid smoking. Vitamin C is very helpful in fighting with the allergic reactions. Avoid white sugar, and everything made with it. The process of chemically whitening sugar is toxic. Avoid bleached flours, and everything made with it. Avoid all processed foods, including the frozen pre-packaged types. Avoid the processes meat. Thoroughly wash all fresh fruits and vegetables in warm water Eat whole foods, and prepare your meals at home using fresh, natural products. Prepare an eating schedule. It may be that 3 large meals per day or 4 or 5 smaller ones will be better. Regularly practice juice fasting. This will cleanse your system of toxins and residues. Avoid smoking and heavy alcohol consumption. Heavy coffee consumption is to be avoided ( 1 or 2 regular cups per day is not considered harmful ) Avoid fried foods and foods cooked in oil to prevent skin allergies. When oil is heated to cooking temperatures it begins to break down and has been identified as a carcinogen. Regularly try to do regiment of moderate exercise, such as walking, biking or swimming and strive to live in harmonious surroundings that contribute to inner peace. Rub an ice cube gently over the affected area. This cools the skin, reduces inflammation and soothes the itch immediately. Pour boiling water over a bowl of oats. Cover the bowl and leave for 10 minutes. Strain the oats away and pour the liquid into an ice cube tray. Freeze the oat liquid to form oat cubes. To relieve itch, rub and frozen oat cube gently over the affected area. Apply aloe Vera gel on the affected areas. It will sooth the areas and gives a cooling effect. Take 2 cups water, ½ teaspoon each Echinacea root and marshmallow root, 1 teaspoon chamomile flowers, ½ teaspoon peppermint leaf and ¼ teaspoon ginger rhizome. Combine water and Echinacea and marshmallow roots in a saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and add remaining ingredients. Steep for 15 minutes, then strain out herbs. For a 50-pound child, give 1 to 2 cups daily.This is an effective home remedy for skin allergy. Take 1 cup boiling water,1 teaspoon each calendula flowers, chamomile flowers, Echinacea root, elder flowers and yarrow flowers, 3 tablespoons baking soda. Pour boiling water over herbs and steep for 15 minutes, then strain out herbs. Stir in baking soda. Apply to irritated skin with a soft cloth or a sponge until itching is reduced. This is also an effective home remedy for skin allergy. Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily.
Take about 30 milliliters of the juice of the leaves of wood apple (Feronia limonida) and mix some cumin powder in it. Take this twice daily. This is a very good treatment for urticaria or hives.
Extract the juice of the jambula (Indian Plum) and mix some soda in it. Apply this in case of prickly heat.
In hot seasons, drink a glass of lemon juice twice everyday. This will supplement the vitamin C content of the body lost due to perspiration and will prevent the outburst of prickly heat.
Chomping on sugarcane several times in the hot season is also a good method of preventing prickly heat.
If the area on the skin is exceptionally itchy, then mash a papaya and spread the paste of the papaya on it. This will reduce the itch and also make the skin healthier.
Useful Herbs in the Treatment of Skin Allergies - Cassia (Cassia fistula) Cassia is used effectively in the treatment of several irritations on the skin caused due to allergies. A paste of the cassia leaves can be applied on the skin in case of inflammation of the hands and feet caused due to extreme cold, and also swellings caused due to accumulation of fluids under the skin, as in hives.
Henna (Lawsonia inermis) Henna is an excellent remedy for several skin allergies. It can be used in case of hives, swellings, boils and other kinds of inflammation. Applying henna on the skin cools the skin and removes the symptom of the allergy.
Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) (tulasi) The holy basil is venerated in Indian tradition as the tulsi. It has an almost maternal status for the Hindus. This plant is venerated for its many medicinal properties. Among the other advantages, tulsi is also used for healing skin problems. In case of itches and rashes, the juice of the tulsi leaves is applied on the skin. This is a very quick treatment for allergic skin problems.
Madhuca (Madhuca indica) Madhuca is used as a treatment for skin itch problems. The leaves are made into a paste and applied onto the skin in skin infections due to allergy.
Rauwolfia (Rauwolfia serpentina) Rauwolfia is known as sarpagandha in Ayurveda. It is a very good remedy for skin problems. In case of hives, the juice of its leaves is applied on the swollen parts to reduce itching. Relief is almost immediate.
Sandalwood (Santalum alba) Sandalwood is a traditional remedy for all kinds of itch problems on the skin. It is made into a paste and applied on the skin. It smoothes the skin and prevents it from allergies. Itches are immediately resolved by applying sandalwood paste on the skin. Permanent relief can be obtained by keeping the paste smeared on the skin for half an hour before washing it off. Sandalwood oil is also used in the treatment of diseases such as erysipelas (an eruptive allergic skin disease) and prurigo (an itchy skin eruption).
Dietary Guidelines for Treatment of Skin Allergies You must take a lot of water to prevent all kinds of skin allergies. These include fresh fruits and vegetables that have high water content in them. In the summer season, take cooling drinks such as lemon juices and sherbets.
Do not consume sour foods if you have skin allergy problems often. This can vitiate the vata dosha further.
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