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  • Melasma: Ayurvedic Tips To Tackle Hyperpigmentation And Glow Naturally!

    Melasma: Ayurvedic Tips To Tackle Hyperpigmentation And Glow Naturally!

    The Ayurveda Experience August 08, 2023

    Are those stubborn dark patches on your face playing peek-a-boo with your confidence? Yep, that's melasma, and it loves to make an appearance, especially when you least expect it. You might have heard it being called 'Chloasma' or even the 'mask of pregnancy' because, well, it's a frequent visitor during those exciting nine months. This common skin woe affects people of all ages and skin types,[1] often leaving them on a relentless quest to find the best solutions. 

    Melasma happens when those mischievous melanin-producing cells (cells which imparts the color of our skin) go into overdrive, causing dark patches of brown to gray-brown discoloration, usually appearing on the cheeks, forehead, upper lip, and nose. And let's be real – it's not exactly what we signed up for when it comes to flawless skin goals. While the exact cause remains complex, factors like hormonal fluctuations, sun exposure, genetics, and certain medications play significant roles in its development.[1]     

    But fear not! This blog is here to shed light on the enigmatic world of melasma and equip you with the wisdom of Ayurveda to combat it. Before we dive into the Ayurvedic perspective, let's get to know our foe a bit. 

    Ayurveda’s perspective on Melasma! 

    In the fascinating world of Ayurveda, where melasma gets a special mention as 'vyanga vyadhi.'[2] Don't let the name scare you – vyanga may be just one of those kshudra rogas[2] or minor diseases, but it can surely be a major hassle for our beautiful faces! 

    According to the wise Acharya Charak, when our fiery Pitta misbehaves and finds its way into the blood, it decides to throw a party on our skin – and guess what? Melasma is one of the guests![3][4] 

    Ayurveda gets into some serious skin talk too! Did you know there are seven layers of skin[5] according to this ancient wisdom? Now, there's a debate about where exactly vyanga sets up camp – some say it's in the second layer called lohita, while others claim it's in the fifth layer, the vedini.[4] No matter where it resides, vyanga sure knows how to make itself at home! 

    But let's get to the juicy stuff – what causes this pesky skin party? Ayurveda spills the tea: it's all about our emotions! Anger, despair, and overexcitement – these are the gatecrashers that vyanga can't resist. Oh, and watch out for excess sunlight exposure.[2] 

    Now, fast forward to modern science, and we find ourselves in a bit of a mystery. The pathogenesis of melasma remains unknown, and researchers are chasing clues like ultraviolet light, hormones, and family history. But in Ayurveda, the plot thickens! They've got it figured out – it's all about 'udaan vayu,' 'bhrajak Pitta,' and 'rakta dhatu' having a mischievous rendezvous on our faces.[2] When these elements decide to party together, vyanga comes knocking on our skin's door. 

    And here's a fun fact – if you've got that fiery Pitta personality, you might just be more prone to vyanga vyadhi's tricks.

    Diagnose your vyanga-type! 

    You know how Ayurveda loves to give things cool names, right? Well, when it comes to vyanga, they've got a whole lineup of four different types![6] It's like a skin squad with distinct personalities, each ruled by a different dosha. Let’s dig in and understand! 

    Dosha Type 

    Symptoms 

    Vataja vyanga 

    First up, we have vataja vyanga – picture this as the skinny one in the group. Thinning of the affected skin, that's the game plan here! 

    No pain though, it's all about being painless and carefree. 

    And what's the signature look? Mandalas, those cute circular patches that make a statement on your skin. Oh, and of course let's not forget the show off a sassy blackish-blue color. 

    Pitta vyanga 

    Pitta vyanga – the life of the party! Still got that niruja or painless vibe going on, so no worries about pain. 

    But this one's got a different shade – not blackish blue, but a vibrant hue, thanks to the Pitta energy. So, if you're spotting some colorful circles on your skin, you might have a Pitta vyanga situation. 

    Kaphaja vyanga 

    Then, we have kaphaja vyanga – the cool, but itchy member of the group. 

    Thinning of the skin might not be their thing but they too are painless indeed. 

    But here's the twist – instead of a dark hue, they prefer a pale or whitish color. And of course, it's all about the mandalas, the classic circular spots on your skin. 

    Raktaj vyanga 

    Last but not least, we have raktaj vyanga – the true red-carpet diva! It's all about the redness here, thanks to the vitiated blood playing the lead role. But hey, don't worry about pain – it's still that cool painless vibe, but it may sting and burn every once in a while. And yes, you guessed it – the mandalas are stealing the show! 

    So, there you have it – the fabulous four types of vyanga, each with its own distinctive flair. If you spot any of these VIP guests on your skin, it's time to decode the secret messages and give your skin some love. 

    Now, let's explore the ancient remedies and wisdom that Ayurveda has in store for us to bid adieu to vyanga and rock that radiant skin. Are you excited? Let's dive in! 

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    Vyanga banishing remedies and treatments! 

    You see, melasma has a knack for making comebacks, and it has this sneaky dermal component that's just not easy to handle. Conventional medicine isn't shy about admitting that it's no easy feat to deal with this tricky troublemaker. Oh, and let's not forget about those emotional swings that come along for the ride – melasma sure knows how to play with our feelings! 

    But guess what? Ayurveda, the ancient master of healing, has a whole different game plan up its sleeve! While your regular medicine might throw their hands up in frustration, Ayurveda steps in with a twinkle in its eye, armed with a unique set of treatment techniques[7] that are pure magic. The best part – Ayurveda knows that melasma is not just skin deep. It takes into account our emotions, the rollercoaster of feelings that this condition brings. With Ayurveda, it's not just about treating the surface – it's about healing from within, addressing the root cause, and bringing balance back to our entire being. 

    Herbal remedies 

    When it comes to melasma – Ayurveda's got a whole pharmacy of medicines to bring to the party! These magical concoctions work both from the inside and the outside, making sure your skin gets all the love it deserves. 

    • At-home skin detox –

    Who needs a fancy spa when you've got at-home skin-detox tricks up your sleeve? Okay, it might not be as comprehensive as a full panchakarma cleanse, but trust me, these skin delights work like magic to keep your skin healthy and happy! 

    Dosha type 

    Detox remedy 

    Vata 

    Kesar (saffron) decoction, 

    Manjistha decoction, 

    Shirish decoction 

    Pitta 

    Chandan (sandalwood) decoction, 

    Kesar (saffron) decoction, 

    Nagakesara decoction, 

    Kapha 

    Haridra (turmeric) decoction, 

    Neem decoction, 

    Aloevera juice 

    Making and savouring Ayurvedic herbal decoctions is like embracing a warm hug from nature. Just simply simmer your favorite herbs in water, or maybe soak them overnight, sip mindfully every morning, and let the magic unfold! But, hey, remember not to go overboard! Take a month of nourishing sips, then take a well-deserved 15-day break for optimum benefits. Remember, balance is the key to glowing results! 

    • Lepas and oils –

    Ayurveda's treasure trove of lepas and oils is like a personalized skin care menu, offering a variety of delightful pastes to pamper and nourish your skin back to its radiant best. Picture this – soothing pastes called 'lepas' and nourishing oils that'll make your skin sing with joy! And knowing a dosha-specific remedy secret is like finding the perfect key to unlock your body's natural healing powers and watch wonders unfold![8] 

    Dosha type 

    Herbal Mask (Lepas) 

    Oils 

    Vata 

    Manjishta lepa 

    Kesar (saffron) lepa 

    Eladi thailam 

    Nalapamaradi thailam 

    Pitta 

    Chandan (sandalwood) lepa 

    Jatiphala (jasmine) lepa 

    Kumkumadi thailam 

    Eladikera thailam 

    Kapha 

    Masoor lentil powder lepa 

    Yavachurna (powdered oats) lepa 

    Aragvadhadi thailam 

    Haridradi thailam 

    A pro tip – Add a pinch of turmeric in lepas for that irresistible golden glow! 

     

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    Diet & lifestyle tips to watch out for 

    In the Ayurvedic wonderland, food isn't just something to munch on; it's medicine for our skin and body. The secret to achieving that radiant glow lies in nourishing our body from the inside out, and that's exactly what a dosha-specific, skin-loving diet and lifestyle can do. Vyanga is all about that sneaky Pitta imbalance, but no worries – we've got your back with some easy-peasy tips to keep that Pitta in check! 

    Here's what you should avoid to keep melasma at bay

    • Stay away from hot stuff – yep, that means those fiery hot foods. Let's keep it cool and soothing for your skin.
    • Dry foods, you're not invited! Moisture is the key, so let's skip the dry stuff.
    • Oh, and watch out for the sour, salty, and spicy ingredients – they're like a red-carpet invitation for Pitta to come party on your skin!
    • Now, I know experimenting with food combos is fun, but incompatible foods can mess with your skin's mojo, so let's avoid that.
    • Foods like sesame seeds, meat, and flaxseeds – they're not melasma-appropriate, so let's give them a little break.
    • And remember, too much sun can be a buzzkill for your skin, so sun exposure should be a balanced affair.

    Now, let's talk about what's on the "YES" list! 

    • Keep it light and beneficial – easily digestible meals are your best buddies.
    • Cold potency foods like coconut water and cow milk are like a refreshing treat for your skin.
    • Embrace the power of herbs like neem, chandan, kesar and liquorice – they're like superheroes for your skin.
    • Grains like oats, quinoa, and barley, along with veggies like carrots, cucumber, and kale – they're like a skin-loving dream team! 

    So, there you have it – Ayurveda's grand plan to tackle melasma like a boss! From deep cleanses to ancient therapies and magical medicines, it's a skincare adventure that'll leave you feeling rejuvenated, refreshed, and ready to glow like never before. 

    But you know what they say – two heads are better than one! When it comes to tackling melasma, it's like having the best of both worlds. Sure, home remedies can work like magic, but having an expert Ayurvedic physician by your side is like having a secret weapon in your skincare arsenal. 

    These wise gurus have the inside scoop on all things Ayurveda, tailoring a personalized treatment plan that's just for you. They'll analyze your unique dosha, consider your lifestyle, and craft a game-changing approach to healing your melasma. 

    So, don't hesitate to reach out to a knowledgeable Ayurvedic practitioner – their guidance and wisdom will be like a compass on your path to radiant, melasma-free skin. Embrace the power of Ayurveda and let it work its magic. You deserve that naturally glowing skin, and Ayurveda has got the rightway to make it happen! Let's glow together! 

    Written by: Dr. Palak Garg

    Dr. Palak Garg is a practicing Ayurveda Doctor with an experience of 7 years in the field of Ayurveda. She has been actively consulting patients online all over the globe. She is on the expert panel of leading Ayurveda startups for product formulation. She aims at incorporating Ayurveda in the uber cool millennial lifestyles!

    References 

    [1]  O. A. Ogbechie-Godec and N. Elbuluk, “Melasma: an Up-to-Date Comprehensive Review.,” Dermatol Ther (Heidelb), vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 305–318, Sep. 2017, doi: 10.1007/s13555-017-0194-1. 

    [2]  Ambikadutt Shastri, “Sushruta Samhita,” in KshudraRogaNidana (13/46), 2019th ed.Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan, 2019, p. 373. 

    [3]  P. R. and D. Y. S., “TrishothiyaAdhyaya,” in Charak Samhita New Edition, K. A.C., R. S., D. Y.S., and B. G., Eds., Charak Samhita Research, Training and Skill Development Centre (CSRTSDC), 2020, pp. 20–20. doi: 10.47468/CSNE.2020.e01.s01.020. 

    [4]  Ambikadutt Shastri, “Sushruta Samhita,” in KshudrarogaChikitsa (20/33-36), 2019th ed.Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan, 2019, p. 118. 

    [5]  Ambikadutt Shastri, “Sushruta Samhita,” in GarbhavyakranShareer (4/4), 2019th ed.Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan, 2019, p. 37. 

    [6]  KavirajaAtrideva Gupta, “AsthangaHiradaya,” in Uttaratantra Chapter 31/28-29, 2016th ed.ChaukhambhaPrakashan Varanasi, 2016, p. 768. 

    [7]  N. Dhakare and A. Deshpande, “A Clinical Evaluation of Ayurvedic Treatment on Vyangaw.s.r. Melasma,” The Healer, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 132–135, Feb. 2021, doi: 10.51649/healer.39. 

    [8]  S. B. K and U. C. Baragi, “Cosmetic effect of CharakoktaVarnyaMahakashaya in Vyanga due to Sunburn (Erethemasolare)”, doi: 10.21760/jaims.v3i02.12082.

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