MD - Ayurveda, Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Tinea or ringworm is basically a skin infection caused by fungus. Tinea can affect any part of the body. When the skin is affected it is tinea corporis, scalp (tinea capitis), feet (tinea pedis, this is also called as athlete's foot) and groin area (tinea curis, also known as the jock itch). This presents as several white patches on the skin.
Causes of Tinea
Tinea or the ringworm infection is not due to worms but caused by fungi dermatophytes. The fungus remains alive in the dead tissues of nails, hair and skin. Symptoms of Tinea are red circular patches on the skin along with itching.
As per the Ayurvedic philosophy, tinea is often diagnosed as dadru. The body type or the dosha involved is kapha and vata. Kapha, which is an Ayurvedic humor symbolizes mucus. It is usually dense, sticky and cold in nature. Vata, also an ayurvedic humor represents the wind. It is dry, mobile, subtle and cold. Both kapha and vata when present in the skin lead to accumulation of toxins. These toxins further collect in the deep tissues of the skin like rakta (Blood), rasa (nutrient plasma), lasika (lymphatic) and mansa (muscles).
The toxins lead to contamination of the deeper tissues thereby leading to the aggravation of the kapha-vata dosha, thus leading to ringworm. A third dosha which is involved is pitta. Pitta symbolizes heat or fire. It is often referred to as the tridosha disease, and the prime involved doshas are kapha and vata.
Diet and Lifestyle Modification
1. Spicy and hot food, excessive sweet and sour foods should be avoided. Pickled foods, chutneys, citrus fruits like lemon and oranges, vinegar and mustard should also be avoided.
2. Avoid foods made up of white flour such as bread, pastries, cakes, pizza
3. Artificial and processed foods, fast foods and aerated drinks should be avoided. Excessive salt and tomatoes should be restricted.
4. Since tea, coffee smoking and alcohol aggravate the pitta, these should be avoided
5. Milk and milk products like yogurt and cottage cheese should be given a miss
6. Foods which are sweet, blend and alkaline in nature should be added into the diet
6. Fresh vegetables and fruit should be taken
7. Foods like grains, rice, pasta, beans, breads, dairy products, sweet drinks and juices can be had
1. In 3 cups of water boil 10 to 15 neem leaves, until half the water evaporates. Washing the tinea lesions with this water helps.
2. Rubbing papaya over the lesions is very effective
3. Make a paste of turmeric and milk and apply on the lesions. Wash this within half an hour of the application and repeat it 3 to 4 times a day.