Integrative Dermatology: Applying Knowledge of Ayurvedic Skin Care and Experience of the Past 20 Years at the Bedside
During the past two decades, the Institute of Applied Dermatology (IAD) has integrated therapeutics of Ayurveda with biomedicine, even though the pathological basis is interpreted differently. Irrespective of background understanding, a mutually oriented multisystem medical (MSM) team with international advisors is able to effectively combine therapeutics from Ayurveda and biomedicine. IAD developed guidelines as a routine patient care protocol. The diagnosis is made as per the standard literature in each system, namely, as provisional diagnosis in dermatology or samprapti in Ayurveda. A dialogue aimed at the establishment of the mutual orientation and understanding of the therapeutics in each system of medicine for the same disease is done at the bedside by the MSM team and is now reviewed. Findings in a patient are analysed against the background of a literature review on the same disease, in all systems of medicine, with particular reference to treatment, possible drug interactions, and prognosis. On this basis the MSM team decides on the combination or serial order of the system and modality of therapies to be administered. The guidelines formulated in the chosen system(s) of medicine represented the basis of drug therapy. Clinical presentation, investigations, follow-up, and adverse effects are documented and supported by photographs and electronic medical records. Biomedical clinical outcome measures are used to decide the prognosis of treatment.
In this chapter we consolidate methods of such interventional studies practised by Ayurvedic dermatology. A short illustrated clinical narrative to determine the integrated clinical approach for chronic skin diseases is given using example of vitiligo. We also included an overview of treatment protocols of integrated medicine for lymphoedema. The annexe gives a list of tips for patient safety from biomedical dermatology that should not be ignored by practitioners of Ayurveda and integrative medicine.
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