Our skin comprises of three primary layers which conduct various functions. They are:
Epidermis- the outermost layer of the skin which provides a waterproof barrier and creates our skin tone
Dermis- consists of tough connective tissues, sweat glands and hair follicles
Hypodermis or Subcutaneous- made up of fat and connective tissues
According to the AcharyaSushruta in Ayurveda, there are seven distinct layers in the skin which have their own structure and function and providing support to the layers above it. Only when all the above layers are healthy and balanced, the skin functions effectively.
1. Avabhasini- This is the outermost layer of the skin and the source of complexion which reflects the quality of the primary nutrient fluids, the Rasa Dhatu, in our body. It indicates the inner health disorder which indicates whether the body’s physiology is balanced or not. It even reflects the colors of the inner layers and the aura of the individual. Pimples, acne and dandruff appear on the body when this layer gets affected. Its color is that of molten iron.
2. Lohita- It is the second layer which supports the outermost layer and indicates the quality of blood, RakhtaDhatu. Any impurities on this layer affect the Avabhasini layer causing moles, dark circles and black pigmentation.
3. Shweta- It is the third and the white layer which provides balance to the color of the skin. It lightens the dark colors of the inner layers. It can cause diseases like eczema, allergic rashes etc when impaired.
4. Tamra- This is the forth layer which nurtures the upper layer of the skin and supports the immune system. It is copper in color and it acts as a barrier. Any problem with this layer causes skin infections.
5. Vedini- The fifth layer is the Vedini where all the sensations and feelings lie and which connects the skin to the rest of the body. Diseases like Herpes are caused when this layer is infected.
6. Rohini- Healing and regeneration is carried out by this payer. Any imbalance caused in this layer restricts healing and does not cure scars over time and can cause cancer, tumors etc.
7. Mamsadhara- Mamsadhara is the innermost layer of the skin which provides a platform for its stability and firmness. It causes abscesses or fistulas when infected.
Ayurveda’s take on skin health
Skin health and youthfulness is determined by a number of factors like proper moisture balance, effective functioning of the metabolic mechanisms which in turn are responsible for coordinating various chemical and hormonal reactions of the skin and also providing efficient blood circulation and nutrients to the various parts of the human skin.
Moreover, skin reflects the health of three types of body tissues: nutritional fluid, blood and muscle. These nutrients feed all the tissues of the body and keep the skin healthy. Blood purifies the skin and helps in liver functioning while muscle provides skin firmness.
In order to keep the various layers of the skin healthy, we need to balance the Doshas. This can be done by following a proper diet and lifestyle regime.
• Drink plenty of water to eliminate body toxins
• Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
• Have proper sleep for 7-8 hours everyday
• Walk briskly for about 45 minutes daily
• Avoid any form of sedatives like tobacco, alcohol or drugs
• Indulge in yoga, meditation and relaxation
• Avoid sweets, junk food, deep fried and spicy foods, etc