Generally lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that arises when the overactive immune system starts attacking the healthy tissues of the body. And sometimes this autoimmune condition is found associated with skin tissues, i.e. the immune cells of skin start harming the other healthy tissues and ultimately resulting in an autoimmune condition known as discoid lupus. In this article we are going to discuss discoid lupus along with its causes, clinical features and best Ayurvedic management.
Discoid Lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune condition that affects the skin and is characterized by the coin shaped lesion on the skin surface. This condition is mostly triggered at sun-exposed places such as ears, scalps and cheeks. When there is involvement of scalp the condition is presented with hair loss and sometimes the severe scarring on the skin due to these lesions. This discoid lupus is merely a skin disorder and is not to be confused with systemic lupus (a disorder which affects internal organs also), but there is a chance that the patients with systemic lupus might develop discoid lupus.
Sign and Symptoms
The clinical features of the discoid lupus include the lesions which are mostly located at the sites that are predominantly exposed to sunlight and other radiations, such as neck, scalp, hands, lips, ears, nose and upper cheeks. In some other cases the mucosal part of the body such as eyes, mouth and others might be affected, can be rarely found affecting trunk and arms. Initially these lesions are presented as disc shaped raised or flat having dull purplish or reddish color. Then in later stages the lesions may appear as whitish in color and may cause atrophy or scarring and also there is change in the pigment. Discoid lupus lesions may also form fluid filled crust. The normal texture of the skin is lost, i.e. the people having darker skin lose their pigmentation in the affected area but the light skin people develop the greyish skin. Lesions at other sites such as scalp are manifested as the red patches that usually result in hair loss and premature greying of hair like features. Whereas the lip lesions are red or grey colored lesions that appear mostly on the lower lip on the thickened top. The other associated features of discoid lupus may include tenderness, blepharitis, itching, ulceration of skin, brittle fingernails, thinning of skin and redness or swelling of eyes.
Discoid lupus is also a disease of unknown etiology but certain factors such as the exposure to the sunlight is one of the triggering factors. Furthermore, this disease is considered as the non-communicable autoimmune disease. And autoimmune diseases are considered to be developed due to the involvement of both hereditary and environmental factors. Hormonal changes, alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking are also one of the reasons for discoid lupus.
In Ayurveda the various auto-immune diseases are considered to have originated due to the defect in the body’s immune system by ama. The ama (endotoxins) is the prime cause in altering the metabolism and normal functioning of the cells (immune cells). Further this ama is formed as a result of weak digestive fire (mandagni), and this mandagni results in the formation of undigested substrate, full of toxins (ama), which is considered as the root cause of several diseases (autoimmune diseases).
This ama when travel to the skin tissue it vitiates the tridosha with predominance of pitta dosha, and the main dhatu involved is twak and rakta dhatu (skin and blood tissue). On the basis of its clinical appearance this disease can be best correlated with Vidarika as mentioned by Acharya Sushruta.
(Reference- Sushrut Samhita Nidana sthana 13/23)
The lesions are described as round-oval shaped like the Vidari kand (Pueraria tuberosa), that occurs predominantly on the kaksha (axilla/trunk), vankshan sandhishu (gential regions), and other body parts. Vidarika is having reddish lesions which are formed due to vitiation of tridosha that affects the skin.
Planet ayurveda is a leading brand of herbal medicine manufacturing units in india and are emerging globally at a very fast rate. These medicine are made with strict adherence to the ayurvedic basic principles and texts. These herbal products are obtained from 100% natural herbs, are duly purified and processed and formulated with ancient time tested formulas in the supervision and guidance of expert team doctors.
Herbal remedies as suggested by Planet Ayurveda’s experts for the management of Discoid lupus-
- Gandhak Rasayan
- Radiant Skin Hair Nails Formula
- Manjishtha Capsule
- Neem Capsule
- Gotu Kola Capsule
- Nirgundi oil mixed with Jatyadi Oil
1. Gandhak Rasayan
Gandhak Rasayan is the classical mineral formulation that is used for treating the various skin diseases since ages. These tablets contain shuddha Gandhak (detoxified Sulphur) as its sole ingredient. Gandhak Rasayan tablets help in pacifying the aggravated pitta dosha and this calming of pitta dosha will aid in purifying the blood and improve healthy blood circulation to the affected part with discoid lupus. That will enhance the removal of toxins responsible for the auto-immune condition associated with this disease.
Dosage- Two tablets twice daily with plain water after meals.
2. Radiant Skin Hair Nails Formula
This polyherbal formulation by Planet Ayurveda consist of many ingredients like, Pit pada (Fumaria officinalis) is very effective in maintaining the glow of the skin by balancing the pitta dosha, Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia) which is beneficial in enhancing the complexion of skin due to its raktaprasadak property, and Chirata (Swertia chirata) help in boosting the immunity of the skin, and Ghrit Kumari (Aloe barbadensis) which is rich in micronutrients and vitamins that aids in rejuvenation of skin cells.
Dosage- One capsule twice daily with water after meals.
3. Manjishtha Capsule
This capsule formulation is made from the standardised extract of single herb i.e. Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia). Manjishtha is the best herbal remedy which is useful in preventing any kind of infection of the skin and other skin diseases and also has properties of blood purification. This herb also contains multiple therapeutic properties like pain relieving, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, which makes it perfect in the treatment of discoid lupus.
Dosage- One capsule two times a day after meals with plain water.
4. Neem Capsule
Neem Capsule made by Planet Ayurveda is the standardised extract of the Neem (Azadirachta indica) and neem is considered as one of the best herbs for the skin and its related ailments. Neem not only helps in giving a soothing effect to the skin but also useful in cleansing the skin. In this disease i.e. discoid lupus Neem capsule has been found beneficial in eliminating the burning sensation, itching, and pain from lesions.
Dosage- One capsule twice daily with water after meals.
5. Gotu Kola Capsule
Gotu Kola Capsules made by Planet Ayurveda is the single herb formulation containing the standardised extract of Mandookparni (Centella asiatica). This herb is rich in nutrients like magnesium along with abundant sources Vitamin A, B, E which helps in fighting the infection making and the immunity stronger. These also help in treating and improving the auto-immune condition associated with the discoid lupus.
Dosage- One capsule two times a day after meals with water.
6. Nirgundi Oil mixed with Jatyadi Oil
Nirgundi (Vitex negundo) and other herbs such as Langli (Gloriosa superba) and Haridra (Curcuma longa) like ingredients of Nirgundi Oil makes it a perfect herbal oil formulation for external application in painful & inflammatory skin diseases, as nirgundi is well known for its vata shamak (quenching vata dosha) properties that helps in relieving the pain and inflammation associated with discoid lupus. Whereas Jatyadi oil is a classical formulation well known for its healing (ropan) properties. The ingredients of Jatyadi Oil include Patola patra (Stereospermum chelonoides), Chameli (Jasminum officinale) etc. that supports the faster healing of the wounds in various skin diseases including discoid lupus.
Method of Application- Take a little amount of oil from both of these herbal oil formulations mix them and apply them on the pre-cleaned and dried affected area. This local application of these oils must be done twice daily.
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Discoid lupus is an autoimmune condition that causes hazardous effects on the skin that can be long lasting. Also the Allopathic medicine has no clear treatment for this disease, they rely on the external or oral steroid therapy and immunosuppressant drugs which have their own consequences. Thus, Ayurveda, being the oldest Science of life and medicine is the best alternative for the management of Discoid Lupus, with an integrated approach of herbal medications along with dietary and lifestyle modification.