• Dr A A Mundewadi

Erythema Dyschromicum Perstans (Ashy Dermatosis) – Comparison of Allopathic and Ayurvedic Treatment

Updated: Feb 12

Erythema dyschromicum perstans (EDP), also known as ashy dermatosis, is a skin disorder in which grey-blue colored, ashy-looking patches appear on the face, neck and trunk. The rash is usually symmetrically distributed and often spares the mucous membranes. This condition is more common in women, and is similar in histopathological nature to lichen planus. In most cases the cause is unknown, but it may also result from parasite or viral infection, ingestion of certain chemicals, or as a result of side effects from drugs. This condition may persist for several years and is usually resistant to treatment.

Diagnostic tests for EDP are usually negative. A skin biopsy for histopathological examination is usually done both for a diagnosis as well as to rule out other skin conditions. Various modern medicines have been used in EDP treatment with some or partial results, but no cure as yet. These include clofazimine, ultraviolet phototherapy, topical steroid applications, antibiotics, antihistamines, chemical peels, griseofulvin, vitamins, isoniazide, and chloroquine.

Ayurvedic herbal treatment for EDP is more specific, and provides a comprehensive control and cure of the condition. Herbal medicines which act on the skin and subcutaneous tissue, as well as blood tissue, are considered most useful for the management of this condition. Medicines which have an anti-inflammatory and immuno-modulatory effect are also found beneficial.

Treatment is in the form of oral medication as well as local application. Oral medication may contain bitter herbs in tablet form or as medicated ghee (clarified butter). Local application is usually in the form of herbal pastes or medicated oils. Various Panchkarma detoxifying modalities can be used concurrently so as to bring about a faster remission, and minimize the chances for recurrence. These treatments include induced emesis, induced purgation, and blood-letting.

Depending upon the severity of the condition and individual response of patients, Ayurvedic herbal treatment for EDP may be required for periods ranging from eight to twelve months. Those who do not respond quickly to medication may require high doses of oral medications, along with Panchkarma treatments. Refractory patients may also require specific treatment for any known cause. A dysfunctional immunity may be responsible, and may need separate herbal treatment. However, all patients invariably respond very well to treatment with a complete remission of skin lesions.

Erythema dyschromicum perstans, Ashy dermatosis, Ayurvedic treatment, herbal medicines

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