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Vol. 96. Issue 5.
Pages 649-650 (01 September 2021)
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Vol. 96. Issue 5.
Pages 649-650 (01 September 2021)
Open Access
Earliest details of dermatology by Ayurveda
T.M. Rashmia, H.S. Sathishb,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author.
a Department of Shalya Tantra, TMAE’s Society Ayurvedic Medical College, Shimoga, Karnataka, India
b Department of Shalya Tantra, TMAE’S Ayurvedic Medical College, Shimoga, Karnataka, India
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Iago Gonçalves Ferreira, Magda Blessmann Weber, Renan Rangel Bonamigo
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Tables (1)
Table 1. Seven layers of skin with specific thickness.
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Dear Editor,

I read the article entitled “History of dermatology: the study of skin diseases over the centuries”,1 which is, astonishingly, the earliest descriptions of skin and its disorders detailed in the Ancient Indian Vedic texts, especially in Ayurvedic treatises have been unfound.2,3 Ayurveda, the Science of life, is the first treatise that contains numerous evidence of the origin of dermatology. Sushruta mentions seven layers of skin with a specific thickness and also dermatological disorders affecting each layer.4 (Table 1). The layers of twak are, Avabhasini, Lohita, Shweta, Tamra, Vedini, Rohini, and Mamsadhara.5,6

Table 1.

Seven layers of skin with specific thickness.

Sl. nº  Layers of Twak (Skin)  Diseases affecting the layer 
Avabhasini  Sidhma (Pityriasis Vesicular), Padmakantaka (Papilloma) 
Lohita  Tilakalaka (Non elevated Mole), Nyaccha (Naevi), Vyanga (Freckle) 
Shweta  Ajagallika (Molluscum Contagiosum), Charmadala (Atopic dermatitis), Mashaka (Raised Mole) 
Tamra  Kilasa kushta (A form of Leucoderma) 
Vedini  Kushta (Leprosy and other serious skin disorders), Visarpa (Erysipelas) 
Rohini  Granthi (Cyst), Apachi (Cervical Lymphadenitis), Arbuda (Neoplasm), Shleepada (Elephantiasis), Galaganda (Goitre) 
Mamsadhara  Bhagadara (Fistula), Vidradhi (Abscess) 

Ayurveda designates Dermatological disorders as Kushta. Kushta, is the term assigned to the skin disorders in Ayurvedic texts, it includes various forms of pathologies of the integument system. The etiological factors for skin disorders are classified as physical, physiological, hereditary, and psychological,7 and there is one more segment of etiology which basically talks about sinful acts of an individual resulting in the development of pathological manifestation in the skin, the veracity of this cause has yet not been researched. Grossly, the disorders are grouped into two as Mahakushta (Skin disorders with a major imbalance of dosha or bodily humor with a deeper level of pathological invasion) and Kshudra kushta (skin disorders with less degree of vitiation of dosha).8,9 The dreaded skin ailment, Leprosy, its etiopathogenesis, complications, and treatment modalities are described in detail in Sushruta’s treatise.10 Descriptions of Leprosy can be traced from all the ancient manuscripts of Vedic and post Vedic era, and numerous indigenous treatment modalities and certain other treatment modalities of religious and spiritual importance are also been described.11 Plenty of Ayurvedic practitioners are successfully treating skin disorders by adhering to the principles of Ayurveda as obtained through texts.

Financial support

None declared.

Authors’ contributions

Rashmi TM: Approval of the final version of the manuscript; drafting and editing of the manuscript.

Sathish HS: Approval of the final version of the manuscript; drafting and editing of the manuscript.

Conflicts of interest

None declared.

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History of dermatology: the study of skin diseases over the centuries.
An Bras Dermatol, 96 (2021), pp. 332-345
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How to cite this article: Rashmi TM, Sathish HS. Earliest details of dermatology by Ayurveda. An Bras Dermatol. 2021;96:649–50.

Study conducted at the TMAE’S Ayurvedic Medical College, Shimoga, Karnataka, India.

Copyright © 2021. Sociedade Brasileira de Dermatologia
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