A large number of oil producing glands called “sebaceous glands” are present under the skin ( see figure – skin cross section) on face, back, chest and shoulders. During puberty or menopause due to the influence of the sex hormones, which are produced in male and female, these glands become more active and produce an oily secretion called “sebum”. The sebum makes the skin more oily .The excessive sebum clogs the skin pore or the pit of the hair follicle forming acne.
Apart from this the other causes of acne eruption are
• Excess oiliness of skin due to external application of oil or oil contained preparations.
• Medications like steroids, contraceptive pills which increase oil secretion of skin.
• Sometimes constipation.
The blocked pore or acne acts as good habitat for bacteria. The bacterial infection causes inflammation (red, painful swelling of the infected area) of the clogged pore or hair follicle leading to eruption of pimples.
Based on principles of ayurveda Vata and Kapha are two main doshas, which are involved in eruption of acne and pimples.
Let us know how these two doshas vitiate skin to cause acne.
The oil produced by oil glands is called as medha (body fat). Kapha (one of the tridoshas) is dominant in medha. The presence of Kapha in oil makes it sticky. Vata is dominant in skin. When vata gets aggravated due to unhealthy diet and life styles, it activates the oil glands of skin to secrete more sticky oil or sebum. Thus the sticky oil or sebum oozes out to clog skin pores.
Causes of Acne and Pimples as explained in ayurveda:
As explained before vitiation of vata causes acne and pimple. Below are the causes, explained in ayurveda , which cause vitiation of vata
The factors, which vitiate VATA:
• Controlling natural urges like urination, defecation, sleep, hunger, thirst etc cause vitiation of vata which inturn vitiates vital tissues of skin.
• Consuming food irregularly. Irregular meal times weakens digestive system and agni (body fire). This inturn imbalances vata.
• Late nights. Waking up for long hours in night disturbs body vital forces (doshas) and biological clock of body. This leads to production of ama or body toxins which clog skin pores and lead to erruption of acne.
• Talking in high pitch – Talking in high pitch vitiates vata . Vitiated Vata dries up body tissues and increases oil production. This causes excess secretion of sebum
• Consuming dry, oily, spicy foods.- Dry oily foods normally disturb digestion causing indigestion. Indigestion always produces sticky toxin ama which clogs pores of skin
• Psychological disturbances cause stress which inturn produce stress hormones. Stress hormones disturb body balance and decrease the immunity. This leads to acne and pimple erruptions