General Approach to Acne in Ayurveda


Acne is a common skin disorder affecting many teenagers. It is the disorder of pilo sebaceous apparatus (sebaceous hair follicle). Each hair follicle contains a tiny hair and a sebaceous gland. The sebaceous gland is made up of multiple lobes and it produces sebum. Sebum is an oily substance. Four major factors are involved in the pathogenesis of acne through all the factors may not present in one patient, Sebum travels up to the hair follicle and then comes out to the skin. These sebaceous follicles are blocked and inflamed in acne. Acne develops on those areas of the skin where sebaceous glands are many in number. Mainly you get acne on the face, but it also appears on neck, scalp, chest, back, upper arms and shoulders. Lesions of acne are called 'black heads' (open comendones), 'white heads' (closed comendones), papules and nodules (which are inflamed red and are filled with pustules) , in our ancient science, Ayurveda gives perfect radical treatment to it.

Keywords- Acne, Sebum, kapha dosha, inflammation.

Millions of people have acne, making it one of the most common skin diseases. Although acne is not a serious health threat, severe acne can lead to disfiguring, permanent scarring, which can be upsetting for people who have it. This article shows education lesson will help you understand what acne is and how it can be treated.


  • Increased sebum secretion: Increased sebum secretion is one of the major factors causing acne. Severity of acne increases with the increase of sebum secretion. Androgen hormone, which usually secretes more during teenage, stimulates sebaceous glands and increases sebum secretion, which consequently causes acne. Sebum secretion rate may remain high even after the healing of acne. Sebum of the patients with acne contains excess of free fatty acids. This excess sebum accumulates in hair follicles. Later it gets blocked and gives rise to inflammation due to bacterial infection.
  • If the sebum glands are unduly sensitive, then even with the normal level of hormones the sebum secretion may increase.
  • In young women acne usually flares up during their menstrual cycle, which naturally coincides with the hormonal changes.
  • Keratin is a protein, which is the main constituent of skin cells. Worn out Keratin is a cleavage by keratinisation, which is facilitated by enzyme keratinase. Due to abnormal and increased keratinisation the flow of sebum at the outlet of the pilo-sebaceous follicle gets blocked.
  • Bacteria: A normal skin bacteria (proprionobacterium acne) colonises in pilo-sebaceous duct. It breaks down triglyceride in sebum to free fatty acids and triggers off the inflammatory process.

What is the Concept of Ayurveda about Acne?

According to Ayurved, acne are the papules resembling the sprout on the bark of 'Shalmali ' tree, appears on the face in adolescents. Increased 'kapha and vatadosha' and 'rakta and medadhatu ' are involved in causing this disease.
According to ayurved most important contributory factors in this condition is diet. Improper dietary habits may lead to acne or yavanapidika.

The Factors

  • Adhyashana: Eating food when previous meal is not digested.
  • Virudhashana: Eating incompatible food such as fruit salad, fish with milk etc.
  • Vishamashana: Eating when you are not hungry or fasting when you are hungry. Eating food in larger or lesser quantity, than required, is also termed as vishamashana.
  • Regular consumption of hot (ushna), pungent (katu), penetrating (teekta), salty food such as pickles, papads, spicy food, fried and oily food, junk food, preserved food, fast food etc., weakens the digestive power (jatharagni) and also vitiates dosha, rakta and medadhatu. This also leads to constipation and irregular bowel habits.
  • 'Kama' (excessive thinking about sex) may increase the secretion of hormones from adrenaline, and this increased hormone vitiate and aggravates medadhatu (increased sebum secretion) and give rise to acne.
  • Other psychological factors such as grief, anger or psychic trauma (especially in girls) may lead to imbalance in dosha and flare up condition of 'mukhadushika'.

Symptoms of Acne

  • Usually acne lesions are limited to the face, shoulders upper chest and back.
  • Your skin often remains greasy.
  • Open commendones (black heads) and close comendones (white heads) are commonly present.
  • Inflammatory papules nodules and cyst may be present.
  • In severe cases, scarring may follow.
  • Acne conglobate is a severe variant of acne and is with many abscesses and cysts. They are often connected with intercommunicating sinuses. Excoriated acne is seen in early teenage girls and manifest as discrete denuded areas caused by pricking.
  • Infantile Acne - This is a rare type. Stimulation of infant's adrenal gland through the placenta in some instances may give rise to infantile acne.
  • Some drugs such as corticosteroides, oral contraceptives, androgen steroids, and anticonvulsant may induce acne.

Acne & Pimples

Acne is a skin condition in which there is excess production of oil from the sebaceous glands leading to the blockage of hair follicles. It is the most common problem of adolescents, therefore, it is known asYauvanpidika in Ayurveda; Yauvan means ‘adolescence’ and pidika means ‘pustules or papules’.

Home Remedies:

  • Prepare a paste by mixing equal quantities of saffron, turmeric, margosa (neem), red sandalwood, basil, and fuller’s earth with buttermilk or milk. Apply twice a day.
  • Prepare a powdered mixture of coriander seeds, fennel, basil, turmeric, and Indian gooseberry (amla; amalaki) in equal parts. Take ½ teaspoon of this powder 15 minutes before lunch and dinner.
  • Have 1 teaspoon of powdered Indian gooseberry fruit (amla; amalaki) in morning and evening with water.

Diet and Lifestyle:

Avoid spicy, oily, bitter, and sour foods. Eat fresh, unprocessed food. Increase the use of herbs that have cooling effects on the body like fennel, coriander seeds, Indian gooseberry (amla; amalaki), and aloe vera. Increase intake of water to about 8-10 glasses per day, and take coconut water. Wash your face frequently with mild herbal soaps. Cleanse your face with lemon peels.

Do's and Dont's: Precautions for Acne

Acne is common at puberty. If infected by pressing and pricking and allowing dirt to infiltrate the vulnerable areas, it causes major problems. Following precautions could help to get rid of the problem:

  • Don't press or prick acne unnecessarily.
  • Hygiene of the whole body, especially of the face, is essential to remove dirt and grime from the face, wash your face frequently with warm water.
  • Remove oil (surface oil) from the face by washing it with mild soap. To clean your face you can use a small slightly abrasive face sponge. In severe conditions when pain and inflammation persists steaming will be beneficial. Avoid oily cosmetics. Non-oily, non-greasy and water-based cosmetics can be used. But it is always better if you avoid the use of cosmetics.
  • Avoid mental tensions, worries fear and avoid excessive thinking about sex; mental relaxation with meditation and yoga will help you to release your tension. Be relaxed, the problem gets resolved.
  • Fresh water, fresh air, and sunlight will help to improve the skin condition.
  • Fresh water, fresh air, and sunlight will help to improve the skin condition.
  • Regular exercise and long walk will keep you fresh, fit and fine.
  • Diet plays a dynamic role in keeping you healthy. Bad dietary habits are likely to produce disease. So you should be keen on taking nutritive and healthy diets.

Diet Described in Ayurveda

According to ayurved improper diet is a major factor in pathogenesis of any diseases. So pathya (dietary measures) are mentioned in all the diseases to reduce the severity of the disease and also to prevent the same. Given below are certain rules, regarding the diets which are mentioned in Ayurved, will guide you - how to eat? When to eat?, and what to eat? Get yourself acquainted with them.

Though, preserving the food in refrigerator and then cooking it has become a need of our fast life style, it decreases food nutrition value. Avoid this way of life, as far as possible. Consume fresh food.

  • You should eat warm i.e., snigdha (unctuous) food in proper quantity.
  • You should eat only when earlier food is digested.
  • Don’t take virudhaanna (food that is incompatible to each other such as fruit salad, milk with fish etc.)
  • Don’t eat too fast or to slow, chew your food many times.
  • You should eat in pleasant place.
  • Avoid hot (ushna), spicy, oily, fried and pungent food.
  • Always try to avoid junk food, fast food and outside food (because it contains lots of spices, oil, and chemicals such as sodium bicarbonate etc.)
  • Cut out fats and take leafy vegetables in plenty with proper washing and cleaning, it will form bulk of the stool you pass and will give you relief from constipation.
  • Take sufficient amount of water, liquid juice etc., which will reduce dryness of intestine and will drain out wastes from your blood through urine. Fruit juice such as grapes, lemon etc., is recommended.

Treatment of Acne

External -

  • In severe cases of acne (fulminant acne) you should always consult a doctor.
  • Correction of diet and regular exercise is necessary to regain regular bowel habits.
  • Mild laxatives can be given to prevent constipation.
  • Make the paste of lodhra, dhanyaka and vacha with water and then apply it on your face.
  • Apply the paste of maricha and gorochana on your face. Or,
  • Make the paste of ashwagandha, chandana, manjishta and yashtimadhu with water and then apply it on your face. Or,
  • The paste of masurdal (lentil) with curd and a few drops of neem oil, if applied on the face will bestow you a good complexion and will cure acne. Or,
  • Make the paste of haridra and chandana and apply it on your face.
    Leave all the above-mentioned local applications on the face for about twenty minutes (till it dries) and then wash your face with luke-warm water.

Internal –

  • In Ayurveda, certain Raso-aushadhi had typical role in acne, such as Arogywardhini vati 500mg twice a day for 14 days, had got specific role in constipation, also in acne ,
  • Mahamanjishtadi quath 20ml twice a day for 15 days
  • Sukshmatriphala 250mg once a day for 7days
  • Also we used Raspachak, raktapachak gana dravya 500mg bd for14 days.


More by :  Dr. Bhushan Mhaiskar

Top | Ayurveda

Views: 3487      Comments: 0

Name *

Email ID

Comment *
Verification Code*

Can't read? Reload

Please fill the above code for verification.