Acne is a common skin condition that may affect may people during their puberty. Occurrence rate of acne is said to be 3 out of 4 people between the age group 13 to 30 years. It happens when the hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Even though it’s not a dangerous situation, it may leave scars on the skin.
Acne spots are more often found in face, shoulders, back, neck, chest, and upper arms. Mostly it occurs in the form of pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and pustules. Though it affects people of all age group, it’s most common in teenagers.
What is Acne?
Acne can be defined as a localized skin inflammation, which happens due to excess secretion of sebum by the oil glands situated at the base of specialized hair follicles. Acne starts during the time of puberty when the sebaceous glands are stimulated by the hormones in the adrenal glands.
The oil glands are situated beneath the skin. The main function is to continuously produce and secrete the sebum (oil) through the openings in the skin. These oil helps to protect the skin and lubricates the skin surface. In few cases, there occurs a blockage in the oil glands which buildup the sebum under the skin.
What are the types of Acne?
The pimples may vary in size and color from person to person.
Depending upon the nature of pimples, it is classified as:
Whiteheads are small and remain under the skin
As the name says, they are black in color. They commonly appear on the skin surface.
Papules are type of acne which are small in size. They appears to be pink in color and looks like bumps present on the surface of the skin.
Pustules are pus filled pimples which are red in color and visible over the surface of skin.
Nodules large group of pimples characterized with severe pain and occurs beneath the skin surface.
Cysts are filled with pus and painful in nature. They leaves scars or marks over the area of pimples.
What are the Causes for Acne?
- Eating habits – Acne majorly occurs due to impairment in the eating habits. Uneven eating patterns, excess consumption of oily, spicy, fied items, and intake of excess sugar easily pave a path to the condition.
- Improper Bowel habits – Due to irregular pattern of bowel habits, the body will have accumulation of undigested food which enter in the blood stream circulates and accumulate in certain places. This leads to formation of an inflammation in that area in the form of pimples or pustules.
- Excessive intake of hot beverages like coffee and tea can trigger this situation. Over consumption of alcohol can also add risk this condition
- Unhygienic practices like, not cleaning the skin properly can lead to accumulation of sebum in that area. This leads to outbreaks and people with oily skin textures are more prone to this situation.
- Bacterial infection to the skin can cause pimple outbreaks. Common among this category are groups of Propionibacterium
- Long term conception of antidepressants, contraceptives, corticosteroids etc. can also contribute to acne.
- Cosmetics can also trigger the condition of acne. Excess usage of oil based lotions, and creams can create greasiness of skin which results in clogged pores.
- Most of the hair shampoos and conditioners has more percentage of silicones which results in acne.
- Acne can pop up due to excess stress in the body by the formation of androgens that leads to breakouts
- Hereditary factor – A family history of acne brings more risk to the future generations to get affected with acne.
- Extreme change in climate conditions can lead to breakouts.
What are the Symptoms of Acne?
- Occurrence of pimples, or sebaceous cysts which leaves scar over forehead, temples, cheeks, chest, upper back and shoulders
- Presence of black heads or white heads in the face
- Scars – Acne can cause temporary or permanent scars over the face
- Pain and Itching – If the pimples are filled with pus, it may be painful and may causes itching.
- Change in skin texture and color – Due to inflammation, there are chances for skin to become reddened.
- Skin appears tougher in case of non-inflamed acne.
Ayurvedic approach to Acne
The coined term for acne in Ayurveda is ‘Youvanapidika’. Ayurveda says, acne occurs due to imbalance in the tridoshas. Main reason for Acne to aggravated Vata and Kapha doshas. Pitta dosha also has a role in causing acne, when it afflicts the blood and accumulates there. This leads to inflammation in the capillaries.
Ayurveda suggests various treatments and medication for Acne. It is completely curable disease.
Prevention and management tips
- Wash the face 3 to 4 times a day with clear Luke warm water.
- Do not scrub the skin or try to burst the pimples. This can lead to spreading of the pimples, can leave marks and increases the chance of infection.
- Avoid breaking the pimples in nails as they will leave scar marks over the skin
- Keep the phones away from the face while talking, as it is likely to have sebum over the screen.
- Clean the hands before applying creams, lotion or make ups.
- If the Acne is prominent over the chest, shoulders and upper back, avoid tight garments to wear.
- Keep the hairs clean since the sebaceous glands tend to accumulate the sebum.
- Excess sun exposure should be avoided. Excess heat can tend the body to secrete more sebum. Acne creams can increase the risk of sun burn.
- Maintain calm mind and avoid stressful conditions. Stress can increase the production of cortisol and adrenaline which accelerates the condition of acne further.
- Try to keep the body cool and manage an optimum body temperature.
- Diet is an important factor to prevent the outbreaks of acne. Low fat intake, less oily and spicy food should be consumed. Include a lot fresh veggies in the diet.
- Hydrate the body well with warm liquids and juices.
- Exercise regularly
Home Remedies for Acne
- Turmeric face pack
Turmeric possess anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial activity. Turmeric face pack can be prepared by making a paste of turmeric with luke warm water or with honey. This can applied over the face evenly, leave for 30 minutes and washed with warm water.
Apply Honey to the area affected with pimples. It helps to deep cleanse the skin and prevents the further breakouts. Honey possess potent antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
- Tea Tree oil
Apply tea tree oil to the acne spot and massage it gently in clock wise direction. It has antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. Tea tree oil mixed with extra virgin coconut oil gives fast results.
- Cinnamon Honey mask
Apply powdered cinnamon along with few drops of honey, mix well and apply over the face or at the area of pimples. Leave it for 20minutes and wash off. Both cinnamon and honey are rich in antioxidants.
- Aloe vera gel application
Apply the pulp of aloe vera over the face and leave it until it dries up. Clear the face with warm water. Aloe clears the scars, or marks over the face. It contains salicylic acid and sulfur which helps to treat the acne.
- Lemon and Honey
The lemon juice with honey combination helps to clear the spots over the faces which happened due to acne. It gives a fresh look to the skin.