Pimples are related to both hormones and facial skin health. Ayurvedic treatment for pimple offers great benefits in both these aspects. In Ayurveda, it is called Youvana Pidaka. Youvana means youth and Pidaka means a skin eruption.
The other Ayurvedic names are – Tarunya pidaka (same meaning), Mukha dooshika (which causes harm to the beauty of face),Padmini kantaka (because of thorn like nature of acne) etc.
Most of the teenagers approach for its cure and most of the time they opt some skin care lotions, soaps, ointments or fresh herbal pastes. But important factors, which lie is in blood toxic components, metabolic waste products in blood, hormone imbalances, stress, bad skin health etc are usually neglected in such incidences.
Causes for Acne as per Ayurveda –
Ayurveda points out following reasons for the manifestation of Youvana pidaka-
1. Intake of fried and junk food – vitiates Kapha and Pitta, leads to blood vitiation and acne.
2. Night awakening – leads to normal body rhythm imbalance, stress metabolism imbalance, leading to toxins and acne.
3. Over usage of cosmetics – direct impact on facial skin.
4. Stress and anxiety – leading to metabolism imbalance and toxins.
5. Physiological changes taking place during adolescence – attributed to hormonal imbalance.
6. Excess intake of non vegetarian food.
As per modern science, Acne is caused when the hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells.
It is caused
Due to over production of skin oil (sebum, which is produced by a gland at the root of hair follicle)
Irregular shedding of dead skin cells resulting in irritation of the hair follicles of your skin
Hormone imbalance related to menstrual cycle in females, and puberty in men causes acne. Even corticosteroids and androgen hormones used in treatment in certain conditions, causes acne.
Even pregnancy related hormone fluctuation leads to pimples.
Origin of acne
Origin of Acne as per Ayurveda – (Yuvana pidaka):
Above said reasons provoke vata and pitta dosha in the body. In turn they lead to vitiation of Rakta (blood) and Mamsa dhatu (muscle tissues).This causes constant irritation in the localized areas like face, neck, chest and back and thus multiple small elevated lesions are manifested. Such eruptions are known as Pimples (Youvana pidaka).
Features of Acne as per Ayurveda :
Small reddish black or pink eruptions which are initially non itching, non burning and non painful. But in due course of the time, if it is neglected or the causative factors are continued further, the condition may worsen and itching-painful-oozing or pus filled eruptions may be found. In its severity, fever, discoloration and cystic growths may be found. Constant irritation with the cosmetics and pricking by the nails are commonly worsening factors noticed in the clinical practice.
Tips, treatment principles
Tips and treatment in Ayurveda for Pimples:
1. Thorough wash by lukewarm water for three or four times a day
2. Bloods purifying and detoxifying herbs possessing astringent and bitter tastes. Astringent taste helps to dry up the oil (cebum) and bitters like neem, turmeric etc have anti-bacterial effect, they cleanse the acne and heal it quick.
3. Complexion enhancers like turmeric, sandal wood paste etc
4. Coolants and mind soothening medicines
5. Hormone balancing therapy, if the cause lies in it.
Herbs used in treating acne –
1. Nimba – Neem- Well-known blood purifier and it prevents from further worsening of skin
2. Haridra-Turmeric-It helps to give luster to the face and it helps to reduce the oily nature of the skin.
3. Daruharidra – Berberis aristata-It reduces the acne scars and gives glow to the face.
4. Sariva – Hemidesmus indicus – It acts as coolant and promotes the complexion of the skin. Also a good blood purifier.
5. Chandana – Sandal wood – Soothens the skin.
6. Rakta Chandana -Red sandal – Improves the blood circulation and purifies the blood.
7. Jatiphala – Nutmeg-Application helps to reduce the scar mark.
8. Usheera – Vetiver -Acts as coolant and relieves the stress.
9. Manjishta – Rubia cordifolia – Purifies the blood and improves blood circulation.
10. Amalaki – Indian Gooseberry – Amla-Nourishes the skin and blood.
11. Khadira – Kattha-Acacia catechu-Well known blood purifier.
12. Draksha – Raisins -Acts as coolant and improves the blood circulation.
13. Shatavari, Ashwagandha, Ashoka etc – to correct hormonal imbalance
Ayurvedic medicines for acne –
Oral medicines –
1. Kaishora guggulu – Useful in many disorders involving Vata and Pitta – like gout, useful in wound healing
2. Triphala guggulu – dries up the cebum, clears the channels and pores
3. Arogya Vardhini Vati – good liver enzyme booster, Pitta balancing.
4. Mahamanjishtadi kashaya – One of the best Kashaya to detoxify and cleanse blood.
5. Panchanimba choorna – Fights skin infection
6. Triphaladi kashaya – Useful in cleansing the pores.
7. Avipathi choorna – Useful in Pitta imbalance conditions. Especially if the acne is due to high sun exposure, hot weather etc.
8. Sarivadyasava – useful in blood purification and detoxification
9. Khadirarishta – blood purification, useful in wide variety of skin disorders
10. Usheerasava – blood purification, useful in wide variety of skin disorders
11. Chandanasava – Especially useful in oily skin, to dry up sebum.
12. Aravindasava – blood tonic.
Panchakarma for acne
In extreme cases of Acne, Ayurvedic panchakarma treatments like Vamana (vomiting therapy) and Virechana (purgation treatment) are very effective.
Wholesome diet and habits
1. Lukewarm water intake
2. Intake of easily digestible food
3. Intake raw vegetables like carrot, cucumber etc
4. Intake of fruits like guava, apple, pear etc
5. Sleeping for at least 6-7 hours at night
6. Anti stress techniques like Pranayama – Learn how to do pranayama
7. Exposure to bright sunlight
Unwholesome diet and habits
Excess spices that increase Pitta.
Excess sun exposure
Pricking or touching the acne area repeatedly, leading to worsening of infection
Sleeping with the makeup on.
Ayurvedic home remedies
Ayurvedic home remedies for Acne:
1. Prepare a fine paste of the tender leaves of guava, mango and pomegranate and apply over the lesions of acne regularly. It helps to reduce the spots of acne and enhances the glow of the face. This is more beneficial to those who have oily skin.
2. Red ixora flowers and petals of rose are crushed well and made into fine paste. To this little turmeric is added and ground well. This fine paste helps to relieve the scars caused due to acne.
3. The outer skin (obtained on juice extraction) of the lemon is dried and made into ash.This is mixed with little buttermilk and applied over the area of acne. Repeated practice of this for 10-12 days helps to reduce the lesions of acne.
4. In case of cystic acne, where there is local skin infection, applying neem leaf paste or neem – turmeric paste is very useful.
Determination of cause for acne
Do Pimples filled with Pus or Acne – vitiation (imbalance) in Blood
or Hormonal imbalance?
It could be due to blood vitiation or hormonal imbalance.
If the acne is caused after eating excess spicy foods, fried and junk foods, it is more likely because of blood vitiation.
If acne occurs during periods or in specific time of menstrual cycle. If acne subside when hormonal balancing therapy is administered, then it is decided that the cause is hormonal imbalance.
Article written by Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD (Ayu) and Dr Hebbar