What is acne and why is it such a villain?
Acne is medically known as Acne Vulgaris and in simple language it is a skin disease that causes sort of an inflammation of oil glands at the base of our hair follicles resulting in pimples. They tend to appear on our face, back, shoulders chest and neck. An explanation of it would be that when skin cells, sebum and hair get clumped together into a plug, this gets easily attacked by and infected with bacteria. This condition further results in redness and swelling and a pimple starts developing when that plug begins to break down.
What are the major causes of acne?
Well, nobody is completely sure what the exact causes of acne are but some experts believe the primary cause of it to be a rise in androgen levels in our body. Androgen is a type of hormone whose level rises when we become reach adolescence.
Rising level of androgen makes our oil glands under the skin grow and produce more oil. Excessive skin oil or sebum breaks down the cellular walls of our pores, which then causes bacteria to grow and multiply.
Some studies also indicate that susceptibility to acne could be genetic in many cases. Also, some prescribed medications may contain androgen and lithium which may cause acne as well. Use of greasy cosmetics is also a reason for acne along with hormonal changes during pregnancy.
How does Ayurveda understand acne?
Ayurveda has a simple, straightforward and singular approach to all forms of acne caused by any number of reasons. Theses skin problems appear due to the imbalance of the three doshas that are vata, pitta and kapha. Pitta is associated with the heat in our body and according to Ayurveda, the imbalance or aggravation of this dosha manifests into skin problems causing accumulation of heating toxins in the skin.
The heating toxins then accumulate deep in the tissues of our skin in the form of nutrient plasma, blood, muscles and lymphatics. They further cause contamination of deeper tissues, which leads to the condition of Yauvanpidika. According to Ayurvedic experts, acne is quite deep-rooted and so the use of local creams, superficial lotions and antibiotics work only to mask the symptoms and nothing else.
Ayurvedic treatment is advised if all these fail to garner results for you in the long run. It includes right diet, lifestyle changes and special herbal combinations that remove this disease from its root cause.
How can Panchakarma help in treating acne?
Ayurveda recommends Panchakarma in order to keep you healthy and fit. Panchakarma is detoxification at its best and is the ideal way to cleanse and service the body of all the toxins and doshas. The most awesome benefit of this cleansing system is that it prevents possible serious illnesses due to obstruction in your blood channels, meridians and/ or ducts through our sedentary lifestyle. For a healthy person the effects of Panchakarma are preventive, restorative & rejuvenation oriented. For a diseased person though Panchakarma acts to cure the ailment from the root cause.
Benefits of Panchakarma
- Enhances your blood circulation
- Reduces stiffness in the muscles and limbs and increases flexibility
- Protects your system by eliminating all the toxins from your body (crucial when trying to cure acne and pimples)
- Improves overall strength & stamina
- Treats back pain, relieves sports injuries and other various soft tissue inflammation
- Refreshes the skin by exfoliation (again highly effective in preventing acne)
- Removes dead skin (another cause of acne eliminated)
- Improves the complexion & texture of your skin
What kind of foods to avoid when suffering from acne and why?
Bread can be problematic for many reasons but the main culprit here is gluten. Yes, gluten can cause damage to the small intestine and also increases systemic inflammation.
Basically not just bagels but donuts, pastas and everything that contains refined flour and its derivatives and components would cause acne breakouts. Remember, they are all high in gluten content and low on nutrients.
Don’t you just love potato chips? Well stop because they are one of the most popular junk foods and the biggest culprits when it comes to causing acne.
Some scientific studies have confirmed that though quite enjoyable the fats and sugar content in chocolates causes breakouts. If you must, indulge in the darkest variety and not the milk one.
5. Ice Cream
Multiple scientific studies link ice cream to acne breakouts, major cause of it again being sugar and unhealthy fats.
Sodas are loaded with sugar, caffeine and at times with fructose.
Basically all kinds of junk food fall under this category and 99.90% of them are high on oils, sodium and gluten. This is recipe for acne disaster.
What Kinds of Food are good for You If You Want to Prevent or Ward off Acne?
Try to include Avocado, Yogurt, Fresh fruit such as papaya and musk melons, Nuts, Red Grapes, Artichokes, Brown Rice, Broccoli, Garlic, Bran rich grain, Oils rich in omega 3 such as olive oils and rice bran, Bitter gourd and Cucumber juice in your diet.
Ayurvedic Remedies for Curing Acne at Home
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
A powerhouse of anti-acne ingredients, it kills off the bacteria that cause all the trouble in the first place. It also turns alkaline in composition and balances the pH level of your skin. This in turn makes it difficult for the bacteria to thrive.
2. Cinnamon and Honey Mask
Surprisingly honey and cinnamon make a great combination when it comes to curing acne. Cinnamon has antimicrobial properties that stop bacteria from getting out of control and honey is a natural anti-biotic, which wipes them out and also moisturises your skin. Just make a paste with cinnamon powder and honey, apply on the affected area and wash it with cool water after 15 minutes. Pat dry and that’s it.
3. Raw Milk
Apply raw milk with cotton on your skin or the affected area and you will see the bacteria slowly dying over a period of time and soon your complexion will also improve.
You can also use yogurt because the acids present in it are antibacterial in nature and the fat in it provides moisture. This makes it quite nourishing for your skin.
You will find a solution to all your health problems with Ayurveda. There is no better way to get your health and life back than the all-natural way. If Acne is giving you serious troubles, you can take expert consultation from leading Ayurveda experts in North India, Chandigarh Ayurved and Panchakarma Centre.
Vaidya Jagjit Singh is a 3rd generation Ayurved physician from his family and is the remarkable person responsible for setting up of the Chandigarh Ayurved and Panchkarma Centre in sector 32 and 22, Chandigarh and Zirakpur and he is also the first founder member of Guru Ravidas Ayurved University. He has done his B.A.M.S. from Shri Dhanwantri Ayurvedic College, Chandigarh. He is an admirable ayurvedic physician with specialization in Chronic ailments.