Acne, or Acne Vulgaris, commonly known as pimples, is a chronic inflammatory condition of the skin characterized by the presence of bumps with or without pus formation on the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest and upper arms. It is formed when dead skin cells or skin oil from the outer surface of skin clog the hair follicle and cause local inflammation.
It occurs most commonly around puberty. In some cases, acne does affect adults as well. As it affects appearance, many young people experience a lack of self-confidence due to repeated acne and often resort to measures which would give them instant benefits.
Acne presents itself as blackheads, whiteheads, or in severe cases, painful enlarged bumps called cystic acne.
Causes of Acne
- Hormones: Imbalance in hormones can lead to increased production of sebum, which clog pores and results in acne formation.
- Anaerobic bacterial infections
- Unhealthy diet
- Environmental factors like pollutants, spores, allergies.
Management of Acne in modern medicine often limits to use of oral and topical antibiotics, comedolytic and anti-inflammatory agents. As these medicines have harmful effects, in the long run, it is important to look for an alternative approach.
Acne- An Ayurvedic View
Acne is known as Yauvan Pidika (yauvan – adolescence, pidika- pustules) or Mukh Dooshika in Ayurveda.
Causes of Acne as per Ayurveda Texts
The primary cause of acne is an imbalance of all three Doshas, particularly Pitta Dosha which further vitiates Rakt (Blood) Meda (Fat) and Lasika (lymphatics). This impaired dosha and dhatu lead to the production of toxins. These toxins block the Strota (body channels) leading to pimple formation.
Acnes are furthermore aggravated by the intake of sour, spicy and oily food items.
Ayurveda Treatment of Acne
One of the fundamental principles of Ayurveda is treating on a holistic level. Management includes a change in diet, lifestyle and proper use of Ayurvedic herbs. Try these best home remedies for acne.
Imbalance of three Doshas, mainly aggravated Pitta Dosha is treated with pitta pacifying diet and lifestyle.
These potent Ayurvedic herbs will help in tackling the root cause of acne formation with healing effects.
Turmeric is a common spice used in all kitchens. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and digestive properties. It addresses all the pathology in acne formation, making it the most widely used remedy to treat acne.
How to use it
Taking Turmeric supplements
Drinking turmeric tea- Boil an inch of ginger and a teaspoon of organic turmeric powder in a cup of water. Turn off the gas and let the flavours infuse for 10 mins. Strain and drink warm
Mix turmeric powder with honey and apply it as a spot treatment on acne overnight.
Mix turmeric powder with sandalwood powder and rose water. Apple all over the affected area and let it dry. Wash with warm water. Use this pack twice a week.
Amla or Indian gooseberry is a rich antioxidant and it is loaded with vitamin C which has skin healing properties. It also has vitamins A and E which also helps in scar healing. Amla also helps in detoxification and digestion.
How to use it
30 ml Amla Juice in a cup of lukewarm water empty stomach in the morning.
Dalchini, as it is commonly called, is one more Indian spice that has potent results in acne treatment. Also, it helps in lowering blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, making it work best in cases of hormonal acne.
How to use it
1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder can be added to Green Teas or any healthy drinks.
Mix cinnamon powder with honey and apply on acne spots. Wash after 20 minutes.
Triphala is a combination of Haritki, Amla and Bibhitak, which is excellent to balance all three Doshas. Triphala also helps in digestive disorders by treating constipation.
How to use it:
1 tablespoon of Triphala Powder in a glass of lukewarm water before sleeping.
Neem has anti-bacterial and astringent properties. It also acts as a natural blood cleanser.
How to use it:
Oral: Chew neem bark for its anti-bacterial properties.
Neem soap is used to treat acne on back and hand.
Neem oil is traditionally used in Ayurveda as an antidote to acne. Massage 8 to 10 drops of neem oil on affected areas. Keep it for 30 minutes. Wash off with lukewarm water.
Mix neem paste with Aloe Vera gel. Apply on face and wash after 20 mins.
Chandan or sandalwood has cooling properties. It is used to treat acne scars. It also helps to cool of burning of skin due to inflamed acne.
How to use it
Mix red sandalwood powder with lemon juice to make a face pack for oily skin. Apply it all over face and wash off after 20 mins. It helps in oil control and tightens the pores.
These ayurvedic medicines will help in the management of acne. It is advisable to consult a registered ayurvedic practitioner to manage doses and duration of these formulations.
1. Mahamanjishthadi Kashaym
2. Mahatiktaka Kashayam
3. Nimbadi Kashayam
4. Vajrakam Kashayam
5. Panchtikta Ghrut
6. Triphala Churna
7. Rakta Shodhak Vati
8. Gandhak Rasayan
9. Chandraprabha Vati
10. Aarogyavardhini Vati
Diet and Lifestyle
1. 8 to 10 glasses of water every day to remove toxins.
2. Improper diet is a major cause of acne in many. Common in those who have frequent constipation, indigestion. Eat foods rich in fibre. Include fresh vegetables in fruits in the diet.
3. Avoid spicy oily sour and Junk foods
4. Avoid Fermented foods as it causes dosha imbalanced
5. Wash face with neem-based soap twice a day.
6. Maintain regular eat and sleep patterns.
7. Avoid cell phones contact on the face as it causes bacterial acne.
8. Wash beddings and pillow covers frequently
9. Avoid touching or pricking acnes with fingers.
10. Avoid heavy chemicals loaded cosmetics.
Yoga helps in the management of stress. It also helps in the release of accumulated toxins from the body. Some poses which help in acne management are
Anulom Vilom in Pranayam helps in improving lung capacity, increasing iron metabolism and improving blood circulation.
It has stimulating effects on glands and helps in regularising hormones.
It helps in improving digestion.
This pose boosts circulation and helps in detoxification.