Acne is one of the most common skin diseases. Most of us get affected by Acne at some point of life. Its clinical features include Whiteheads, Blackheads, Bumps on the skin also called as pimples and scars.
Acne mostly occurs in adolescence, due to hormonal changes (increase in androgens) in the body. In some cases it may also occur in children or in adults as well. 80% of the adolescent acne cases may persist upto their late twenties.
Acne occurs due to clogging of the hair follicles of the skin by oil, dirt and dead skin cells. The clogged follicle gets infected by the bacteria that reside on the skin (P. acnes). It mostly occurs on face but may also occur on chest, back and in ear also.
Acne though not harmful for the body, their appearance may lead to low self esteem or anxiety. Sometimes it may also lead to depression as well.
It includes formation of open comedones (Blackheads), closed comedones (Whiteheads), reddish bumps on skin called as pimples (papules), pus filled pimples (pustules), or hard painful nodes (nodules). Improperly healed Acne may often lead to scarring. Scars may vary in shape and size from narrow superficial scars to deep extended scars. Acne lesions upon healing may also leave pigments on skin which depends on the colour of skin to the type of acne.
In Ayurvedic texts, Acne has been mentioned under a group of diseases called as “Kshudra Roga”. It means “Minor diseases” or which have less severe manifestation on the body or which are not so difficult to treat.
In Kshudra Roga it has been described as “Mukhdushika”. “Mukh” means face and “Dushika” means to destroy.
The main Doshas involved in this condition are Kapha and Vata. Aggravated Doshas lead to vitiation of Rakta and Meda Dhatu.
Vitiated Vata and Kapha gets accumulated in Rakta dhatu and create obstruction in the Lomkupa (Pilosebaceous glands). This further leads to vitiation of Meda Dhatu (Sebum glands) leading to comedone formation and local inflammation. This creates Acne on that specific position.
The main line of treatment is balancing vata and kapha dosha. Raktashodana and Vranaropana chikitsa. Panchkarma therapies like Vamana, Virechana and Raktmokshana are beneficial in Acne vulgaris.
1. Single herbs – Nimba (Azadirachta indica), Manjistha (Rubia cordifolia), Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa), Sariva(Hemidesmus indicus), Giloy(Tinospora cordifolia).
2. Churna (Herbal combinations) - Panchnimbadi churna, Mahamanjisthadi churna, Giloy churna, Chopchinyadi churna.
3. Tablets – Arogyavardhini vati, Khadiradi vati, Sarivadi vati.
4. Ras (Herbomineral preparations) - Gandhaka Rasayana, Ras manikya, Kamdudha rasa, sootshekhar rasa.
5. Kwath (Decoctions) - Aragwadhadi kwath.
6. Asava/Arishta (Alcoholic preparations) – Sarivadyasava, Khadirarishta, Drakshasava.
1. Do not pick Pimples as it leads to penetration of infected material in deeper layers of skin causing delay in healing of acne also forms scars in the skin.
2. Cut down intake of sugary items, processed milk products, preserved food items as it increases the inflammation in body. As a result, the inflammatory mediators released in blood leads to more acne breakouts.
3. Drink lot of water and include more fruits and vegetables in your diet.
4. Exercise regularly as it helps in improving blood circulation of the body and removal of toxins through the skin in the form of sweat.
5. Overuse of cosmetics aggravates the problem of acne as it blocks the follicles of skin.
6. Wash your face regularly 2-3 times per day with mild face wash. Over washing may lead to over dryness of skin which in turns leads to overproduction of oil in sebum glands and cause more acne breakouts.
7. For acne scars, prepare following facepack – soak Red lentils overnight and prepare a paste, add 1-2 pinch of turmeric powder and few drops of lemon juice and mix. Apply this pack 3-4 times in a week. This will help in reducing acne scars and pigments. Do not apply this pack on active pimples.
The purpose of Ayurvidya is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider regarding your medical condition or treatment and before undertaking any new health care regimen.