Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It often causes whiteheads, blackheads or pimple and usually appears on the face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders. Acne is most common among teenagers, though it affects people of all ages. Depending on its severity, acne can cause emotional distress and scar the skin. The earlier you start treatment, the lower your risk of such problems.Hair follicles are connected to oil glands.The follicle wall may bulge and produce a whitehead or the plug may be open to the surface and darken, causing a blackhead. A blackhead may look like dirt stuck in pores. But the pore is congested with bacteria and oil, which turns brown when it’s exposed to the air.Pimples are raised red spots with a white centre that develop when blocked hair follicles become inflamed or infected with bacteria. Blockages and inflammation that develop deep inside hair follicles produce cyst like lumps beneath the surface of skin.
Factors cause acne:
- Excess oil production
- Hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells
- Bacterial infection
- Excess activity of Androgen that increase in boys and girls during puberty and cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives also can affect sebum production and low amounts of androgen’s circulate in the blood of women and can worsen acne.
- Stress make acne worse
- Wrong Diet
Acne vulgaris is called Yauvan Pidika in Ayurveda. ‘Yauvan’ meaning youth and ‘Pidika’ means an eruption of the 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, Mukha dooshika (that which harms facial beauty), Padmini kantaka (owing to the thorn-like nature of pimples) etc.
Causes of Acne according to Ayurveda
Ayurveda treats acne as a disorder that is due to an internal constitutional imbalance. The Ayurvedic cause of acne or yauvan pidika is aggravated doshas. The Pitta dosha might also cause acne when it starts to circulate and accumulates there. This causes the capillaries to become inflamed. Therefore people who have acidic sweat or too much Pitta under the skin have a higher tendency for acne.
Another possible cause is the increase of rakta (blood) and mamsa (muscle) dhatus. As Ayurveda believes that acne is a disease caused by internal factors, let’s look at the factors.
- An improper diet is the primary cause of acne. It is common in those who suffer from constipation (anah) and indigestion (ajirna). Similarly, those who prefer too much spicy, sugary or oily food tend to get acne.
- Adhyashana – Eating at short intervals, due to which the food previously consumed isn’t fully digested.
- Viruddhashana – Consuming incompatible foods such as fruit with milk, meat with milk, etc.
- Vishamashana – Eating with disregard for the body needs, such as eating food when not hungry or fasting when hungry
- Women with menstrual problems such as irregular menses can suffer from acne . While acne is quite common in all women, the problem is exacerbated in those whose periods are delayed.
- Irregular sleeping habits which disrupts the body’s natural rhythms and causes metabolic imbalance leading to toxin overload and acne.
- Overuse of cosmetics which can impact the health of facial skin.
Ayurveda has a singular approach to all forms of acne treatment as this problem appears due to imbalance of the three doshas -vata, pitta and kapha. Howeve,the main cause is the aggravation of the pitta dosha. Pitta dosha manifests in the skin and causes 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 acne. Because acne is deep-rooted, use of local creams, antibiotics and lotions only masks the symptoms.
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