Erythema dyschromicum perstans is a skin disease which is also known as Ashy Dermatosis. In this condition, early legions may be reddish in color; however, the characteristic appearance is of grey, round, oval or irregular skin patches, usually on the trunk, extremities or face. No other abnormality is seen in this condition, which is usually observed in people with dark skin. This condition is present more in young adults and especially women. It is often considered to be a type of Lichen planus, and is usually diagnosed by its characteristic appearance, or by a skin biopsy. The standard modern treatment for this condition includes oral steroids, topical steroids, ultraviolet treatment, laser treatment, chemical peels, and Clofazimine.
This condition is usually resistant to treatment and may persist for years, after which it may subside on its own. It is believed that this skin condition may have an autoimmune component, because of which it may persist for long duration.
Ayurvedic herbal treatment for this condition is based on the treatment which is usually given for lichen planus. The aim of treatment is to treat the skin, the subcutaneous tissue, and the blood vessels within the skin and subcutaneous tissue. The main focus is on the use of herbal medicines which have the ability to modify the immune status of affected individuals, as well as the capacity to normalise skin colour. Additional herbal medicines may be given to boost the immune system as well as general health of affected individuals.
Local application of skin ointments is an important part of treatment. Such ointments usually contain herbal medicines which act on the skin discolouration as well as reduce inflammation, if present. For those patients who have extensive involvement of skin, or those who are highly refractory to standard treatment, Ayurvedic Panchkarma treatment modalities are offered to bring about a favourable response. These treatments usually include induced purgation and blood letting from the affected skin parts using either syringes or leeches. Such treatments may be given as a single course, or as courses repeated at regular intervals, as per the requirement of each individual case.
Treatment is usually given for periods ranging from six to eight months, depending upon the severity of the disease in affected individuals. Treatment is continued till there is a complete resolution of the skin lesions, after which the dosage of medicines can be gradually tapered and stopped altogether. Overall, when treatment is given in this fashion, results are quite satisfactory and relapses are quite rare.