The skin is extremely compound organ of the body. It is one out of the five ‘Gyanindriyas’ which are described in Ayurvedic texts, is responsible for ‘Sparsha Gyan’ or touch sensation; therefore it also plays a great role in maintaing physical and mental state of any individual. It plays a vital role in the body’s general working. Skin is the chief wrap of the body, plays a chief role in maintaining barrier between internal and external environment. Specially, the healthy skin is the primary requirement for the attractiveness as well as having an attractive personality. It has a visible pathology, so any weakness at the skin becomes a great handicap for a person in the civilization.
The Eczema is the nearest clinical entity of modern science and can be correlated with Vicharchika1.Vicharchika is described under the types kshudra kushta. The clinical features of eczema may include itching (Kandu), discolouration (Vaivarnyata), scaling (rukshta), pain (ruja) and pustules (pidaka). The condition may be induced by wide range of external or internal factors acting singally or in combination 2.
In Ayurveda every skin disease is included under the heading of kushta. Ayurveda also implements broad line of management for the skin diseases like medical and parasurgical methods1. ‘Vicharchika’ is described under the type of Kshudra Kushtha in Ayurvedic classics, also mentioned as a curable disease yet the relapsing nature of this disease makes it much harassment for patient and troubles some for physician too. Vicharchika is not a life threatening condition, it worries the patient due to its appearance, there is severe itching disturbing the daily routine and nature is susceptible to be chronic. According to Acharya Charaka, Vicharchika is characterized by skin eruption with dark discoloration, itching and profuse discharge. Acharyas like Vagbhatta, Madhavakara and Bhava Mishra are agree with him whereas Acharya Sushruta, the Father of Surgery has mentioned the symptoms like dryness of the skin with there is intense itching and marked linings. According to the opinion of modern dermatology, in Eczema, a similar clinical entity which is seen as a non-contageous inflammation of the skin and it is characterized by erythema, scaling, oedema, vesiculation and oozing.
All conservative treatments of eczema has their own limitations with respect to its cure and care. The treatment of modern science consist of reassurance, elimination of predisposing factor and palliative measures 1.Globally eczema affect the approximately 230 million people as of 2010 (3.5% of the population). The life time clinician recorded prevalence rate of eczema has been seen to peak in infancy, with female predominance of eczema presentation occurring during reproductive age 15-49 years 3. It is now affects 15-30% of children and 2-10% of adults in developed countries 4.
It is also said that, there is no specific medicine to cure the eczema, only few drugs can give the symptomatic relief. Allopathic treatment for eczema are Steroids, antibiotic and antihistamine drugs which proves more harmful to patient in respect of side effect. So it is also a great challenge for modern science. After the use of steroids, as it can produce serious complications like peptic ulcer, neuro-psychiatric reactions, diabetes, diminution of libido, Cushing’s syndrome etc. similarly electrotherapy, Ultraviolet therapy, hydrotherapy and X-ray therapy etc are having their own limitations in the management of the skin diseases as their neither so popular nor cheaper. They are very costly and produce hazardous side effect due to long term use. These medicine subside the sign and symptoms of the disease but there is no eradication of the disease. Hence, the line of treatment should be simple but sure, easy but effective.
Rakta Dusti as one of the major causes of skin diseases. Raktamokshan is an effective and safe remedy of vicharchika as we known the major reason for vicharchika is raktadushti. In Sushrutsamhita detailed practical guidelines of bloodletting are given which is considered as aardhachikitsa. Among various methods of blood letting, Jalaukavacharana karma by Jalauka (Leech) are considered as the ideal one to expel out the vitiated blood safely, quickly and effectively. There is clear cut quotation has been given in the line of the treatment for Vicharchika, however no any work has been carried out regarding the Raktamokshana by cupping therapy in Vicharchika (eczema). Cupping is simple, effective and very easy to perform and cost effective treatment 5.The action of cupping therapy can be compared with shring and alaabu mentioned in sushrutsanhita. Cupping therapy is an ancient medical treatment that relies upon creating a local suction to remove blood which is thought to be fully toxic and mobilise blood flow in order to promote healing. Wet cupping is also known as bloodletting 5.Purpose of this study is, as we all know the eczema is chronic skin disease and in Ayurveda it is mentioned under the heading kshudra kustha. It is most irritative disease and the patient always experience the physical, emotional and socio-economic embarrassment in the society. There is no specific medication to cure the eczema, hence line of treatment should be simple, easy and effective. So my intention is to come up with simple and cost effective treatment for this problem.