Dermatitis is an inflammation or irritation of the skin caused by various external and internal factors. It is caused by an active immune system, infections, allergies, irritating substances, and more. In general, dermatitis can cause symptoms like rashes, blisters, itching, scaling, swelling, pain, burning sensation, etc. It is quite disturbing and discomforting. Dermatitis is a non-contagious skin condition. There are many types of dermatitis like atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, diaper dermatitis, etc. Phytophotodermatitis is one of them. It is a type of contact dermatitis. We shall be discussing here the detailed description of phytophotodermatitis, its causes, and its management in contemporary as well as traditional systems of medicine.
It is very much clear from the name itself phyto stands for plant, photo stands for ultraviolet rays or sunlight and dermatitis stands for inflammation of the skin. Phytophotodermatitis is a non immunogenic inflammation of the skin that occurs due to contact with certain plants which contain photosensitising substances called furocoumarins (psoralens) which get activated following the exposure of sunlight (especially ultraviolet rays ). Several hours after exposure, burning erythema occurs, followed by edema and formation of vesicles (bullae). Wet skin, heat, sweating enhance the phototoxic effect. This results in hyperpigmentation which may persist for several weeks to months. According to the ayurveda dosha involved here is bhrajaka pitta (type of pitta that lives in the skin) which causes rakta dhatu dushti.
Causes and Aggravating Factors
- Exposure to phytotoxic plants and their associated products
- Sunny weather
- Using certain perfumes or oils that contain certain chemicals.
NOTE:- Most phototoxic plants belong to the family mbelliferae, Rutaceae, compositae, and moraceae families. Fennel, fig, wild carrot, lime, etc are some of the phytotoxic plants.
Signs and Symptoms
Usually the symptoms of phytophotodermatitis start within 24 hours and peak around 48-72 hours. Some of the symptoms are as follows:
- Redness or discolouration
- Blister over large area
- Burning sensation
- Crusted patches of skin when blisters busted
Diagnosis of phytophotodermatitis is based on the history of the person by asking about exposure to plants or sunlight or any chemical substance and carrying out physical examination. If still not clear further tests may be required like patch test or skin biopsy.
Phytophotodermatitis is often misdiagnosed for certain conditions given below:
- Fungal skin infection
- Photosensitivity due to certain drug
- Urticaria (hives)
- Avoid the contact with plant that may causing skin reaction after identifying
- Washing the skin especially hands after the contact
- Using sunscreen lotion with high SPF
- Covering up the skin while going out
- Cold compression or ice pack over the affected area can provide some relief
- Corticosteroids (oral)
- Anti inflammatory
- Calamine lotion (topically)
- Topical steroids
- Antiseptic lotions
- Wear loose clothes
Ayurvedic Aspect and Management of Phytophotodermatitis
Ayurveda is an alternative system of medicine with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent. Ayurveda treatises describe three elemental dosha & nbsvata pitta and kapha and state that balance of doshas restores health while imbalance results in disease. As in phytophotodermatitis the dosha involved here is pitta as it easily gets vitiated by hot conditions like sunlight. And the pitta involved is particularly bhrajaka pitta which is seated on our skin. Aggravation of pitta dosha vitiated rakta dhatu giving all the symptoms like itching, redness etc. Phytophotodermatitis is called kushta vyadhi in Ayurveda
Some herbs like kumari(Aloe barbadensis), khadir (Areca catechu), haridra (Curcuma longa), neem (Azadirachta indica), sariva (Hemidesmus indicus) and various others are helpful in managing symptoms. Some classical Ayurvedic formulations that are very potent are gandhak rasayan, mahamanjisthadi kwath, khadirarishta, chandan asav, and many others.
- Aloe Vera gel should be directly applied over the affected part. Aloe vera gives an excellent cooling effect and even repairs the damaged cells
- Apply sandalwood paste with rose water or cucumber juice
Herbal Remedies for Phytophotodermatitis by Planet Ayurveda
Planet Ayurveda is globally making Ayurveda acceptable. Planet Ayurveda is an eminent GMP-certified, ISO 9001:2015 certified and US-FDA registered Ayurvedic Company which adheres to the objective of preparing quality ayurveda products as mentioned in our classical Ayurveda context. Formulations are strictly prepared under the supervision of our MD experts. Products contain no added preservatives, chemicals, or artificial flavors. Formulations are 100% pure and natural, devoid of any kind of adulteration, and have no side effects. Here are some products offered by Planet Ayurveda for phytophotodermatitis.
Following Are the List of Products Useful in Managing Phytophotodermatitis
- Gleaming Skin, Hair, Nails Formula
- Gandhak Rasayan
- Kustha Rakshas Tel
- Royal Honey Shower Gel
- Dermo Plan Syrup
1. Gleaming Skin, Hair, Nails Formula
Gleaming skin, hair, nail formula is the product of Planet Ayurveda formulated by the combination of herbs like manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), pit papda (Fumaria officinalis), sariva (Hemidesmus indicus) and kumari (Aloe barbadensis). It pacifies the pitta dosha and rakta dhatu dushti. It purifies blood and gives a cooling effect and hence manages the discomforting symptoms of phytophotodermatitis.
Dosage: 1-2 Capsules twice daily, with plain water, after meals.
2. Gandhak Rasayan
Gandhak rasayan prepared by Planet Ayurveda is a classical formulation in vati form (tablet) that contains shuddha gandhak (purified sulfur). Its noble ayurvedic formula does wonders for people with skin disorder. Gandhak also acts as potent antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic. It provides relief with the symptoms like itching, redness, rashes, blisters, burning sensation.
Dosage: 1-2 tablets twice or thrice daily with lukewarm water.
3. Kustha Rakshas Tel
Kustha Rakshas tel is exclusively formulated by Planet Ayurveda with a mix of herbs for skin related conditions. It is really wonderful in blood related disorders. It pacifies pitta dosha and rakta dhatu dushti. The ayurvedic oil is made up of rasona (Allium sativum), bakuchi (Psoralea corylifolia), aragwadha (Cassia fistula), shuddha parada (purified mercury), shuddha gandhak (purified sulfur), rasa sindoors (combination of mercury and sulphur), tamra bhasma (calcined copper), manahshila (arsenic sulphide) and mustard oil. Bakuchi, tamra bhasm, ras sindoor, gandhak are very potent in managing kustha (skin disorder).
Dosage: It has to be applied externally twice or thrice a day. Before application kindly wash the affected area.
4. Royal Honey Shower Gel
Royal honey shower gel is the formulation by Planet Ayurveda which is very soothing and calming. It has honey, aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis), tea tree extract (Melaleuca) (alternifolia) and other things. The ingredients present in the gel gives a cooling effect making skin relieved from itching, redness, and rashes. Hence giving releve from the symptoms of phytophotodermatitis.
Method of Application: Squeeze a small amount onto a wet body sponge or pouffe. Work into a rich creamy lather and then rinse clean.
5. Dermo Plan Syrup
Dermoplan is a polyherbal formulation by Planet Ayurveda which provides healthy skin. The syrup contains the extract of the herbs including manjistha (Rubia cordifolia), giloy (Tinospora cordifolia), chopchini (Smilax china), sariva (Hemidesmus indicus), neem (Azadirachta indica), khadir (Areca catechu), haridra (Curcuma longa), shobhanjan (Moringa oleifera), gorakhmundi (Sphaeranthus indicus) and others. All the skin disorders are due to pitta and rakta dushti hence dermo plan syrup acts as a very good blood purifier. With the amalgam of such good herbs Dermo plan syrup is able to manage the symptoms of phytophotodermatitis.
Dosage: 1-2 teaspoons twice.
According to the above mentioned description, phytophotodermatitis is a skin inflammatory condition caused by contact with certain plant chemicals (furocoumarins) followed by sunlight giving rise to symptoms like blisters, burning sensation, inflammation etc. In modern medicine symptoms can be relieved by anti inflammatory, anti histamines. Ayurveda manages the disease by balancing pitta and rakta and providing healthy looking skin. Products prepared by Planet Ayurveda are of best quality and have no side effects. Products mentioned here are miraculous in managing the symptoms of phytophotodermatitis.