How to get rid of acne is one of the burning questions, when you suffer from these monstrous ever popping pimples that seem to multiply within hours!
When pimples cover visible parts of your skin, specially your face, it is all but natural to get shy for social functions and public places altogether. You find yourself with scarfs all the time, when you can’t easily mask it with make-up.
If you are looking for quick fixes, then this is definitely not the post for you and neither it is right platform for you.
However, if you in for a permanent solution that will help you eliminate acne forever and also relieve your other health symptoms, then my friend, this is the place. Read on!
What I am going to tell you is that yes, you can find a permanent cure to your biggest skin issue. However, this cure is not a quick fix! It is an overall adaptation to a nourishing diet and lifestyle that says “Big No” to pimples and gives a “Big Hug” to clear and supple skin. So, are you ready?
Let’s get started!
Understand the Causes and Remove the problem from the roots
It is when these causes of your health symptoms are understood; you can effectively and holistically tackle your health issues. Removal of causes behind your health problems is the underlying principles of Ayurveda and holistic health care.
To better understand the causes, we will take a quick look into our biggest organ – yes, I am talking about “The Skin”!
Our skin is made up of three layers
Our skin is composed of three layers. All three layers work together in a synchronized way to carry out different functions of skin such as clearing the toxins through sweat, protection from harmful microbes and temperature changes, and together they maintain the integrity of our inner body organs.
- The topmost layer is epidermis, which has PORES for sweat and other openings for hair, the hair follicles.
- Below this the dermis, which has a network of circulatory system and lymphatic system that pass of nutrients to upper layer and also push toxins out.
- And further under, there is the subcutaneous tissue, which is basically a layer of fat. This acts to protect us from temperature changes.
Women are more prone to Acne Breakout
Acne is a general problem for anyone who has entered adolescence and is passing through puberty. Acne is more prevalent among women than men.
At the adolescent stage, there’s not much of a difference in the prevalence of acne among these two gender groups, but once the twenty-year threshold is crossed, the prevalence swings so much that 85% of people above twenty years old with acne just happen to be women.
So, if you’ve come here seeking remedies for acne, keep in mind that you’re not alone. But the fact that you’re not alone does not mean that it’s okay that you’re one of the numbers with this worry.
Types of Acne based on affected Body Parts
Acne can breakout in different and multiple body parts at once. Usually, the affected area is dependent on your specific imbalances and most affected body organs. Here is a modern medicine’s classification of acne according to the body parts:
- Acne Vulgaris, which is most commonly present.
- Acne Rosacea – This is primarily find in middle aged women or those nearing the menopause. Pitta dosha imbalance during perimenopause triggers development of rosacea.
- Perioral Dermatitis – It usually occurs with small papules around the mouth and chin. It primarily affects young women.
- Acne Conglobata – This is categorized into severe type of acne. It affects the back, chest, and other parts besides the face.
Types of Acne based on the Symptoms
The affected doshas have given a good idea of the symptoms of acne that are commonly manifested. Summarily, depending on the type of acne, health symptoms could include:
- Blackheads – these are microscopic inflammations that develop when the pores are closed.
- Whiteheads – IF the pores are open, acne inflammation takes the form of whiteheads.
- Large and firm inflammations that appear below the skin.
- Pus-filled, yellowish areas of skin.
- In severe cases, one will develop sac-like, pus-filled areas that spread under the skin with diameter of or greater than 5mm. These are categorized as cysts.
What causes Acne?
Acne can be caused by multiple combinations of dietary, lifestyle related, environmental factors, or even stress related factors.
When the pores or the opening in the epidermis get blocked, it restricts the passage of nutrients to upper layer and stops removal of the toxins from layers below. This creates a jam like situation in the layers of skin.
If this jam is not cleared, the toxins and other blocked nutrients start popping out in the form of pimples. This blockade can either be triggered by short term and long term hormonal imbalances, or by other organic factors that we will see below.
Progression of Imbalances and Development of Acne
To make things clearer, follow this progression of causes of Acne
1. Blockage of pores
Cells of the topmost layer of the skin are shed off periodically at a microscopic level. It is the skin’s way of keeping itself fresh. If this natural shedding process is disturbed then old skin cells keep piling up forming a rough and scaly skin layer, which not only blocks the pores but also blocks new cells from coming up.
2. Excess skin oil
Now, hair comes from the deeper layers through the hair follicles, and there are sebaceous glands that secrete an oily sebum to lubricate these follicles for optimal function. If these sebum gets too much, the excess gets the hair follicles blocked. In fact, any excess of oil at all can get the skin pores blocked.
3. Bacterial colonization
As a result of these blocked pores, the natural skin cleansing activities of the skin are hampered(like the cell shedding for instance), and microorganisms get trapped into this blocked pores, and they have the perfect culture medium to grow and multiply in.
4. Infection and inflammation
The bacterial population then causes an infection and inflammation, that you now see presented as pimples, or acne, generally.
What Medicinal Drugs help to get rid of Acne?
That depends on the context in which that question is being asked. There are many quick fixes to get rid of acne that are offered by conventional medicine.
However, these quick fixes are not recommended, because what they do is alleviate the symptoms without treating the underlying cause of the condition.
The symptoms are relieved for a while, then return with a vengeance. The problem is that, Conventional Medicine treats the body to be made up of separate and individual organs.
So, it takes care of one organ without considering the others, thereby inadvertently breaking another organ while fixing one.
Problems with Medicines for Acne
Some solutions for acne provided by conventional medicine and the problems with them are briefly listed:
- Use of antibiotics: while antibiotics, such as tetracycline can take care of the bacteria, they don’t treat the underlying cause of the condition. They could also cause allergic reactions in some people.
- Intake of Vitamin A derivatives: what they do is reduce production of oil. What happens with this however, if you are familiar with vitamins, is that reducing Vitamin A intake causes damage to sight, particularly night vision, and in severe cases, complete loss of light. It could also cause damage to liver, nose bleeding, dandruff, among others.
- Scraping and abrasion: either with the use of mechanical tools or implements, can make the skin ‘look’ smooth for a while, but eventually, the bumps and depressions on the skin return.
- Skin Care: skin care is just what the name implies, skin care. It in not acne cure. Again, like the other items on this list, it only proffers a temporary solution to acne, but it does not cure it.
- Contraceptives: contraceptives help reduce hormone levels in an attempt to reduce oil production and subsequently reduce acne, but this leads to severe hormonal imbalance.
Types of Acne in Ayurveda
Acne, also known by its Ayurvedic name, Yauvan Pidika, is a potentially debilitating skin condition, and not just physically, but also emotionally and socially.
Acne breakout is a distress signal from your body of the prevailing health imbalances. Generally, health conditions arise when there’s an imbalance involving any of the three doshas, be it the Pitta Dosha (Fire & Water), Vata Dosha (Air & Space), or the Kapha Dosha (Earth & Water).
Since acne is a skin condition, one can be more specific about what happens with the skin when you are struggling with imbalances in your body.
Skin Conditions Due To Vata Imbalance
- Black/brown discoloration
- Rough and dry skin
- Piercing pain
- Numbness and loss of sensation
- Cracks in affected area of skin
Skin Conditions Due To Pitta Imbalance
Pitta Dosha Imbalance leads to inflammation and burning sensation. It is also one of the primary Doshas that trigger Acne breakouts, especially adult acne. If any of the following skin health issues are bothering you, then follow the Pitta balancing diet here.
- Coppery or bright red discoloration
- Burning sensation
- Pus formation
- Ulceration, etc
- Hives and rashes
Skin Conditions Due To Kapha Imbalance
Kapha Dosha Imbalance leads to clogged pores and development of fungal infections in the skin. While Pitta Imbalance triggers the breakouts, Kapha Dosha Imbalance is the leading cause behind development of Acne in the first place. If any of the following skin health issues are bothering you, then follow the Kapha balancing diet here.
- Pale or white discoloration
- Fluid retention and clammy skin
Ayurvedic Diet and Lifestyle for permanent solution of Acne
Ayurveda provides us a clear framework to understand various types of acne and its accompanying symptoms. We have shared with you specific diet and lifestyle regimen that you can take to remove the underlying dosha imbalance that is creating your acne symptoms.
These principles are in many ways unlike the quick acne fixes conventional medicine has to offer! Ayurvedic Diet and Lifestyle take care of the whole body and treat the underlying causes.
Once you begin applying the principles to your diet and lifestyle, you will see for yourself that this is the way to go. It gives long lasting and permanent solution for a healthy skin.
Take this fun fact for example; did you know that skin blemishes on your forehead might indicate some imbalance in your intestines?
1. Foods, Diet, and Herbs to get rid of Acne
- Include a variety of fresh vegetables in both raw and cooked form.
- Prefer Astringent, Sweet, and Bitter tasting vegetables, fruits, and grains. Here you can learn about the tastes of food.
- Eat in a calm and relaxed setting. Do not work while eating and do not rush through the meals.
- Prefer cooling Ayurvedic Herbs and spices such as Rose, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Lemon Grass, and Coriander to eliminate excess pitta.
- Oils to prefer are Ghee, Olive Oil, and Coconut Oil.
- Take salads in moderation during lunch time or morning, but avoid salads in evening.
- Prefer cooling and normal temperature beverages such as coconut water, still water, and herbal teas.
- Do not skip meals or avoid food when hungry. Do not overeat! Do not take food when you are not hungry.
- Follow this guide to 10 Ayurvedic Dietary Habits for Metabolism.
- Eliminate foods with a hot potency and hot temperature such as chilli and cayenne pepper.
- Remove and avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.
- Remove Incompatible foods from your diet.
2. Lifestyle tips to get rid of Acne
- Keep your skin clean by regularly washing it with normal temperature fresh water.
- Avoid tight clothes and prefer lose fitting clothes that improve circulation.
- Avoid synthetic fibres and prefer natural fibres such as cotton.
- Avoid all synthetic make-up and personal care products. Only apply natural and chemicals free products to your skin. Remember, nearly 60% of what you apply to your skin goes inside.
- Avoid intense heat, hot temperatures, and excessive exposure to the hot midday Sun.
- Handle stress by slowing down, enjoying, and relaxing. Be in the moment and do things for the sole purpose of joy rather than productivity.
3. Physical Activity to get rid of Acne
- Engage in regular, relaxing, calming, and cooling physical activity.
- Exercise at least 3 – 5 days a week through stabilising workout routines such as involving in recreational and non-competitive sports, traditional dances, swimming, hiking, running or brisk walking in nature or near water, yoga, Tai Chi, or Cycling.
- Physical activity should be avoided in warm/hot temperatures as it will aggravate pitta dosha and lead to acne breakouts.
- Prefer cooling temperatures of early morning or late evening.
- Avoid over exertion and excessive stretch. As a golden rule, exercise up to 50% of your body’s capacity.