Acne is a common skin condition that commonly affects people in their early 20s. Acne mostly occurs at the onset of puberty as it is closely associated with hormonal changes that take place at this age. Known as Acne Vulgaris in medical terms Acne appear as Pimples, red spots, papulae or even cysts. The lesions usually occur on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulder. Although not a serious health threat, Acne appears visually unpleasant and many people lose their confidence with Acne breakouts. Therefore treatment of Acne becomes a necessity for many youths and adolescents. Ayurvedic treatment for Acne is a natural and safer option to get rid of the lesions and have a blemish free skin.
What is Acne and How Are the Acne Lesions Formed?
Acne is a skin condition that occurs after the stimulation of sebaceous gland present at the base of hair follicle. The hormonal changes occurring at puberty activate the sebaceous (oil) glands to produce more oil or sebum. The follicle containing hair opens on the skins surface with a small pore, which in turn is an opening for the sebum to ooze out. The sebum, hair and the skin cells that fill up the follicle together make a plug that results into Acne when infected by bacteria.
In some cases bacterial infection due to Propionibacterium Acnes to the inner layer of skin can also cause Acne breakouts. Acne can appear as whiteheads that stay beneath the skin, blackhead that comes out on skins surfaces or even as inflamed lesions called papules. Cystic Acne is seen as deep, painful, pus-filled lesions that can cause scarring.
What Are The Causes of Acne?
Acne can be caused by several factors as described below.
1. Increase in hormone levels especially at the onset of puberty
2. Family history
3. Medications containing hormones
4. Overuse of oily cosmetics
5. Being under mental stress
Why is Acne Treatment Needed?
Although Acne is not a major health concern, it leads to a lot of emotional stress. People especially, adolescents and young adults who have Acne breakout tend to lose their self-esteem and shy away from crowd. In addition since Acne occurs as a result of bacterial infection, it leaves scars that appear unpleasant. Acne also increases risk of recurrent breakouts.
How Can You Treat Acne?
Mild Acne can be treated with some antibacterial soaps and lotions. However, severe cases of Acne that causes inflammation to the deeper skin layers need medical treatment by doctors.
What is the Etiology of Acne in Ayurveda?
As per Ayurveda Acne is commonly caused by bacterial infection, but Acne breakouts can also be triggered by intake of oily and spicy foods. Ayurvedic treatment for Acne therefore focuses on correcting dietary habits and also therapies with herbs that have antibacterial properties. Ayurveda identifies Acne as Yauvanpidika; yauvan means ‘adolescence’ and pidika means ‘pustules or papules’. Acne is commonly seen on the face, back and shoulders and other areas that are densely populated with sebaceous glands.
As per Ayurvedic theories, Acne is caused by Pitta Dosha imbalance that further vitiates the rakta and meda dhatus (blood and fat tissues). Increase in the Pitta Dosha causes accumulation of toxins in the deep skin layers.
Which Ayurvedic Therapies Cure Acne?
Ayurveda does offer some effective therapies such as mukha lepam with herbal paste to reduce the spread of Acne. However, Ayurveda also considers Detoxification and other lifestyle changes to prevent recurrence of Acne.
1. Mukha Lepam
Mukha Lepam includes a face massage, and application of turmeric and face pack made with herbs such as neem or haridra.
2. Navra Mukha Lepam
This face massage treatment uses special navra rice. Navara Mukha Lepam prevents sagging of skin, removes facial toxins to reduce Pimples, and retains overall youth and vitality of the facial tissues.
3. Vaman and Virechanam- Body De-tox treatments
Some natural body de-tox treatments such as Vaman and Virechanam are offered if the cause of Pimples is identified as build-up of toxin in the body.
Ayurvedic Ubtan therapy improves lustre of the skin by improving its health. It also has antifungal and antibacterial herbs that reduce Pimple.