Causes and types of acne
The main factors that contribute to the formation of acne are an overproduction of oil (sebum) and a build-up of bacteria and dead skin cells. Sebum production and dead skin cells only become a problem when they increase to abnormal levels and accumulate inside hair follicles, which can bulge to form a whitehead or blackhead pimple.
The inflammation and blockage can lead to a cyst or infection developing under the skin. Some of the factors the can worsen acne include:
Acne tends to occur in areas where there are high numbers of oil glands, which is mainly around the shoulders, neck, chest, face, and back. There are two common types of acne, inflammatory and non-inflammatory.
Whiteheads and blackheads are generally non-inflammatory acne and are called comedones. This type of acne happens when the hair follicles become blocked with sebum and dead skin cells.
Small, red, raised bumps that occur due to inflammation and infection of the hair follicles. They tend to be tender and painful to the touch.
Pustules tend to be red, tender bumps, and can contain pus.
Nodules occur due to a deep blockage in the hair follicle, which can lead to the formation of a lump under the skin. Nodules can be tender and painful to the touch.
Cysts are present underneath the surface of the skin and are filled with pus. They can cause scarring.
Natural treatments for acne
There are several herbs that can hinder bacterial growth, reduce inflammation, and remove the blockage in hair follicles. Some of the herbs that we may use to treat acne include:
Manjistha is used to help treat several other conditions as well as pimples by assisting with improving pathways of elimination. An accumulation of various substances in the body can cause fluctuations in hormones. In acne treatments, manjistha assists in clearing the skin, and can also help to control sebum production and bacterial overgrowth.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, which can inhibit the growth of bacteria and reduce inflammation in hair follicles. Turmeric may act to support the prevention of acne.
Liquorice contains anti-inflammatory properties, which can be used to treat a number of different conditions. Liquorice, when used in combination with other herbs and treatments, can help to control sebum production by stabilising hormones and reducing inflammation.
Neem contains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help manage acne. Neem can also act as a detoxifier to improve skin health. Neem contains an active constituent that may increase protection against bacterial overgrowth and secondary infections in the hair follicles. Neem may reduce tenderness and redness of pimples.
Giloy is known for its anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties, which helps manage acne by encouraging the body to fight infections. Giloy can help to reduce inflammation in acne lesions.
Triphala is a combination of fruits from Terminalia bellerica, Terminalia chebula, and Emblica officinalis. Triphala has healing properties and can help to expel metabolites from the body. It is believed that one of the contributors of acne is constipation, thus triphala can help to manage acne by supporting healthy bowel elimination.
Ayurvedic therapies for acne treatment
Ayurvedic face pack
An Ayurvedic face pack can act to reduce local tenderness, redness, and pain associated with acne. Our face packs can also speed up the healing process and prevent bacterial overgrowth thanks to their antimicrobial properties. These face packs contain a special combination of vacha, masoor, dhanya, chandan, manjistha, sarvia, jatiphala, and lodhra.
The combination of herbs in the face pack may be tailored depending on the individual, as everyone has different needs. We recommend that an ayurvedic doctor is consulted before applying any type of face pack.
An accumulation of naturally-occurring metabolites, heavy metals and environmental toxins can be an underlying factor of disturbed body metabolism, cause fluctuations in hormone levels, and block the channels of elimination, which includes hair follicles. Clearing the body’s elimination pathways should be considered before starting acne treatment. Virechana is considered one of the best ayurvedic detoxification therapies for treating acne, as it can help prevent further formation using this strategy.
Ayurvedic herbal medicines for treating acne
The following ayurvedic medicines are commonly used to treat all types of acne:
Yoga and acne
There are many types of breathing exercises (pranayama) that can be helpful when supporting the body to avoid acne breakouts or manage breakouts. Some helpful yoga poses include:
Lifestyle changes that can help improve acne
A balanced diet and appropriate skincare can be an essential component when treating acne, and can be used in conjunction with Ayurvedic management. Irregular dietary habits and junk foods should be avoided as much as possible.
Ayurvedic herbs and detoxification can be very helpful in the elimination of acne and can prevent future acne formation by treating the root cause.
If you would like to take a different approach to your acne, make an appointment at our clinic.