Acne Vulgaris or acne, its prevalence is similar in both sexes, but the peak stage of severity is 16-17 years in females and 17-19 years in males, usually, it clears at age of 23-25 years in 90% of patients but 5% of women and 1% of men still need treatment in their thirties or forties.
Normally, sebaceous (oils) glands keep the skin lubricated and help to remove the old skin cells, but when the gland produces too much oil, the pores can be getting blocked. Dirt, debris, and bacteria are accumulated which result in whiteheads, blackheads, or full-grown pimples, the blockage is called a plug.
If the top of the plug is white, it is called a whitehead and is due to accretions of sebum and keratin deeper in the pilosebaceous ducts if the top of the plug is black, it is called a blackhead and is due to plugging of the pilosebaceous orifice by keratin and sebum.
If the materials accumulated within it, including oil and bacteria spreads to the surrounding area, it can cause an inflammatory reaction, if the inflammation is deep in the skin, the pimple may enlarge.
Though acne can appear anywhere, it tends to show up on the face, upper back, and arms because the oil gland is more active in these body parts.
In general, Acne is a skin condition in which there is excess production of oil from the sebaceous glands leading to the blockage of hair follicles. It is the most common problem of adolescents, and is therefore known as Yauvanpidika in Ayurveda, ‘Yauvan’ means ‘Adolescence’ and Pidika means ‘Pustules or Papules’. Acne usually affects the face, back, shoulders, and other areas that are densely populated with sebaceous glands. Acne presents either as blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, or nodules. Ayurveda provides effective root-cause acne treatment.
Most often, acne is caused by hormonal activity in the body. Hormones are responsible for the maturation of oil glands. When one goes through a lot of hormonal changes, one gets pimples. Some of which are described below:
- Irregular hours of eating, excessive consumption of starch, sugar, fried, and fatty food.
- Ama (toxins) produced due to improper movements of bowel, gets lodged in bloodstreams
- Unhygienic living habits and not cleansing of the skin, especially for those who have oily skin.
- Excessive intake of coffee, tea, alcohol, and tobacco
- Bacterial infection caused by propionibacterium acne bacteria that may multiply and cause inflammation
- Certain medications like antidepressants, contraceptives, and drugs containing androgens, lithium, and corticosteroids
- Oil-based lotions and creams can increase the greasiness of the skin leading to clogged pores
- Hair products like hair sprays and conditioners may contain pore-blocking substances like silicones that led to acne
Acne is caused by using cell phones, headphones, and other devices that come in contact with the skin and may carry residual oils, bacteria, etc. Sweaty clothing can also cause acne.
Occupational acne – If you work in areas where there is heat, such as a kitchen or boiler room. The moisture in the air may cause swelling of the hair duct leading to blockage, then inflammation, and then acne.
Stress may cause the formation of androgens that trigger breakouts.
Scrubbing the skin with harsh exfoliants can pop pimples and transfer infection; also, exfoliation may severely damage already inflamed skin.
Genetic history – if your family is prone to acne skin, it is quite likely that your skin may be acne-prone.
Hot and humid climate – due to the environmental moisture there is swelling and ductal blockages which start the inflammatory phase of acne.
Signs & Symptoms:
- Skin lesions – These can vary from whiteheads or blackheads to small red bumps (papules) and/or large lumpy nodules or cysts. Whiteheads and blackheads are filled with oil and dead skin cells, while pustules contain pus.
- Scars – Acne may leave behind temporary marks or permanent pits/scars on the skin.
- Pain and itching – Large and pus-filled pimples may be infected and painful, they may also itch
- Colour change – Skin may become reddened due to inflammation. While non-inflamed acne does not cause the skin to become red, it will make the texture of your skin rough.
Ayurvedic Concept with Management
In Ayurveda literature, Acne is called ‘Yauvanpidika’ (Note- Here Yauvan means Youth, Pidika means an eruption of skin)
- This is only logical as the condition is usually faced by adolescent teenagers as mentioned before. Other Ayurvedic names for acne are-
- Tarunya Pidika (Tarunya means Adolescent, Pidika means eruption of skin)
- Mukha Dooshika (which harms facial Beauty)
- Padmini Kantaka (Owing to the thorn-like nature of Pimple)
- Ayurveda has a singular approach to all forms of acne treatment as this problem appears due to the imbalance of the three Doshas — Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. However, the main cause is the aggravation of the Pitta Dosha, Ayurvedic humour that symbolizes heat or Fire
- Pitta Dosha manifests in the skin and causes the accumulation of heating toxins. These heating toxins accumulate in deep tissues like Rasa (Nutrient Plasma), Rakta, (Blood), Mamsa (Muscles), and Lasika (Lymphatic). These toxins cause contamination of deeper tissues, leading to the condition of ‘Yauvanpidika’.
- Acne is deep-rooted, the use of local creams, Antibiotics, and lotions only mask the symptoms. Thus, specific Ayurvedic acne treatment is advised which includes the Right Diet, Lifestyle, and some specialized Herbal combinations that tackle the disease from its root cause.
- Ayurveda further added faulty eating habits can also cause ‘Yauvanpidika’. Most notably some of these faulty eating habits are
Adhyashana – Eating at short intervals, due to which the food previously consumed isn’t fully digested.
Viruddhashana – Consuming incompatible foods such as fruit and milk, meat and milk, etc
Vishamashana – Eating with disregard for the body’s wants and needs, such as taking food when not hungry or fasting when hungry
- At Pranava Kerala Ayurveda Clinic, doctors find first the root cause of Acne and plan the treatment accordingly, we have great result-oriented Herbal medicine including detoxifying drugs, use as per patient condition, as per age, and as per digestion system status.
Pranava Kerala Ayurveda Clinic provides proper screening of patients and advice on basic lifestyle tips to prevent the manifestation of Pimples. Some are
- Wash your face with lukewarm water, with a neem-based soap twice a day.
- Try to meditate and stay stress-free as far as possible.
- Maintain regular timings for food and sleep.
- Do not scratch or squeeze to avoid scars.
Pranava Kerala Ayurveda Clinic Diet Plan for Acne Management-
- Avoid excess meat, sugar, tea or coffee, condiments, pickles, soft drinks, candies, ice cream, and refined and processed foods.
- Have lots of lemon juice, coriander soup, mint juice & water.
- Go for a fat-less diet with plenty of green salads and fruits.
- Avoid dairy as the animal hormones in milk might set off cystic acne.
- Eat fresh, unprocessed food.
- Increase the use of herbs that have cooling effects on the body like fennel, coriander seeds, Indian gooseberry (amla), and aloe vera.
- Increase intake of water to about 8-10 glasses per day.
- Wash your face frequently with mild herbal soaps.
- Avoid irritant cosmetics.
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