What is Acne?
Acne or acne vulgaris is an inflammatory skin disease that leaves dark spots, unevenness, and scar-like marks on the skin. Acne begins with the onset of puberty and might continue till the late 20s and 30s. The most common locations of acne include upper arms, chest, neck, face, shoulders, and back.
Acne is one of the biggest issues faced by teenagers and at some point, it becomes an important factor for their self-esteem and confidence. It is imperative to address this problem as repeated acne may leave visible scars on the skin for a long time.
Types of Acne
Acne is differentiated on the basis of discomfort and pain caused by it.
Non Inflammatory acne
These include whiteheads and blackheads. These heads are only visible as minute spots on the nose and a few other regions. They do not cause any kind of inflammation and swelling.
- Blackheads: These marks appear when a pore gets clogged with dead skin and sebum. The pore’s top remains open while the rest of it stays clogged. These clogged pores look black over the skin’s surface.
- Whiteheads: These heads are formed when the pores are clogged all the way to the top. The top of these pores is closed and they appear like bumps protruding over the skin.
These are swollen and red coloured pimples. Deposition of dead skin cells and sebum in skin pores lead to inflammatory acne. Sometimes, it is due to the reaction of bacteria on the skin. Apart from inflammatory acne, bacteria can result in several other severe infections under the skin. It may also leave spots that are not easy to get rid of. Like non-inflammatory acne, these are also divided into three different types:
- Papules: These are small-sized red bumps that are formed when lots of skin cells, oil, and bacteria blocking a skin pore. Papules also appear when the walls of the pores break down due to intense inflammation. It thus results in the formation of clogged, hard pores that are very sensitive to touch.
- Pustules: These are formed whenever the pore walls break down into small pieces. Unlike all others, pustules get filled with pus. They emerge from the skin and are red in colour.
- Nodules: These are located deeper underneath the skin. They cannot be treated with home remedies, so make sure if you have any you visit a doctor. Unlike the others, these are formed way under the skin’s surface.
Causes of Acne
Excess secretion of oil is one of the primary reasons for acne. Several parts of our body like the shoulders, upper back, chest, forehead, and face have over-active oil glands. When these glands start secreting excess oil for various reasons, they come in contact with dirt and bacteria resulting in acne. There are several other factors that contribute to prolonged acne issues:
- Excess production of oil
- Hormonal imbalance
- Too much pollution
- Clogged skin pores due to oil and dead skin cells
Risk Factors in Acne
- Heredity: if your parents or any close family member had an acne problem, it is possible that you will have similar problems.
- Pressure: Sometimes pressure on the skin like chin straps, helmets, suspenders, or skin fit dresses can also aggravate the acne problem.
- Drugs: A few medications may also worsen the acne problem.
- Occupations: Unwanted or excessive exposure to industrial products like lubricants or oils can also lead to acne problems.
- Diet: Specific dietary factors like complex carbs, junk food, and skimmed milk can also worsen acne.
- Cosmetics: Cosmetics have a tendency to clog the pores and result in lasting side effects. Acne is one of the most common ways the skin tries to tell people to stop or reduce its regular application.
Signs and Symptoms of Acne
There are several signs and symptoms of acne:
- Constant whiteheads or blackheads on the skin.
- Small red bumps here and there.
- Pimples with pus at their tips.
- Big, solid, painful lumps beneath the skin.
- Painful, inflammatory pus-filled lumps under the skin surface.
Acne Treatment in Ayurveda
Ayurveda follows a very singular approach to acne, it treats it by restoring the lost natural balance in the body. When the Pitta dosha aggravates it accumulates warm toxins under the skin. These warm toxins then spread through muscles, blood, nutrient plasma and any nearby thing that they may contaminate. Ayurveda treats the problem with diet and lifestyle modification. Herbal concoctions are used orally and over the surface to pacify the signs and symptoms. But mainly, the treatment works on a deeper level to eradicate the root cause of the problem naturally and permanently.
Home Remedies for Acne
There is no end to the home remedies that can treat acne. But remember most of these remedies are just applied over the surface so they work temporarily. If you use them in combination with a deeper treatment like Ayurvedic acne and pimple treatment, it will definitely resolve the problem permanently.
- Start by preparing a mix of coriander seeds, Indian gooseberry, turmeric, basil, and fennel seeds in equal parts. Take half a teaspoon of this mix every day before lunch and dinner.
- Take one teaspoon of amla powder every morning and evening.
- Take a spoon of coriander juice with a pinch of turmeric powder. Drink it twice every day.
- Wash your face whenever you return home from outside. But avoid repeating it more than 2-3 times a day.
- Try not to touch your face often if you are suffering from acne.
- Don’t pop the pimples or scrub them, it will worsen the inflammation and turn it into a wound.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Use oil-free makeup and try to minimize the usage for better results.
- Avoid going out in sun for long hours especially during the peak time of the day.
- Keep your diet healthy and fibre rich.
- Stay away from stress and anxiety, it results in over-production of cortisol which worsens acne.