Annoyed by pimples? Here’s an ayurvedic guide you need to achieve that flawless skin By Dr. Tabassum Hasan. Do you remember the last time when you were planning to attend a wedding function? From dresses to matching shoes you took care of everything and were ready to dazzle everybody. But guess what? All of a sudden on that very day you got a new pimple on your forehead. Yes, we know how it feels. Those pesky red pimples seem to always appear before any important event in our lives. Almost every one of us suffered this embarrassing situation at some point of our existence, especially in our teenage years. But is there any solution for it? Can we avoid them? What are the causes? Let’s find out answers to all these questions.
Table of contents
• What is Acne?
• Causes and Risk Factor of Acne
• Symptoms of Acne
• When You Need to See Your Doctor
• General Tips For Acne
• What to Eat and Avoid
• Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
What is Acne?
In ayurvedic literature, acne has been described as yuvan pidika or tarunya pitika because it primarily affects adolescents or young people. In some texts, it is also called mukh dushika because it spreads mainly on the face of a person and has inflammation and scarring.
Acne is characterized by saruja (mildly painful), filled with meda (pus or oily secretions), shalmali (Salmalia malabarica) thorn-like eruption on the face. These pilosebaceous follicles are distinguished as comedones, papules, pustules, and scars. It mainly affects the cheek, chin, forehead, nose, and upper trunk of the body.
According to global burden of disease (GBD) study, almost 85% of young adults aged between 12-15 years get affected by this dreadful condition. Although it is not a life-threatening condition, but it impacts the social life and emotional well-being of the affected individual.
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Causes and Risk Factor of Acne
According to classical ayurvedic texts, acne is manifested due to vitiated vata dosha and kapha dosha. These doshas further vitiate rasa-raktadi dhatu, primarily rakta dhatu(blood). As result, there is excessive sweda(sweat) production, which obstructs the skin pores. This leads to local swelling and microcomedones formation. Rupture of these micro comedones leads to scarring. Vata dosha and rakta dosha also causes hyperpigmentation.
The factors which lead to all of this are mainly divided into 4 types:
• Time or age factors- young age or adolescents, summers or spring season.
• Dietary pattern- excessive sweet and spicy, heavy and oily food, milk and its products, meat and alcohol.
• Lifestyle factors- Insomnia, holding natural urges, excessive sleep, excessive sunbath.
• Psychological factors- Anger, stress, depression, and behavioral changes.
Other than the above factors, few other factors are also responsible for acne like genetics, hormonal changes, etc. Furthermore, menstrual cycle, anxiety and tension, oil-based makeup, exposure to pollution, skin allergies due to certain medication, hot and humid climate, greasy hair, and squeezing the pimples will make these conditions worse.
Symptoms of Acne
Acne is described under kshudra rogas (minor ailments) in Ayurveda. Kshudra means minimum that means these diseases happen with minimum causative factors, signs and symptoms, and requires minimum medical intervention. Acne also doesn’t have deadly symptoms but it surely affects your self-confidence. Some of these symptoms are stated below-
• Shalmali kantakakara pitika- acne resembles with the thorn of salmalia malabarica as it’s an eruption in a conical shape
• Saruja- These can be mild to moderate painful lumps.
• Ghana- The eruption is hard, thick, or indurated due to vitiated kapha.
• Medogarbha- Due to obstruction of pores or pilosebaceous glands, it is filled with pus.
• Yuna mukhe- This disease usually affects young people or adolescents.
Apart from these symptoms, some associated symptoms are also there like itching, burning, and secretions. Mental health is also affected as it has a huge impact on someone’s looks.
When You Need to See Your Doctor
Generally for acne, people prefer to have OTC (over-the-counter) products. Mild to moderate acne will calm down after the use of these gels or creams in the course of over 4 to 6 weeks. But what if these products stopped working or you have stubborn nodular or cystic acne? Then you definitely need to see your dermatologist. Also if your physical appearance is taking a toll on your mental health, a doctor will help you to combat this situation.
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General Tips for Acne
Everyone dream to have smooth, silky, and radiant skin. But having acne is a big hurdle to achieve that flawless skin. In this scenario, you can take the help of ayurvedic tips to get rid of those pimples:
• To flush out toxins (ama) in your body, you should take warm water in the morning. Mixing lemon juice in it will also give you a daily dose of vitamin C.
• To balance your body doshas, you can take Triphala. It will remove toxins and reduce your acne. Take 1 teaspoon Triphala powder with warm water.
• Shatavari is also a good ingredient to balance hormones. It will also help in pacifying pitta dosha and treat hormonal acne. You can take one teaspoon of Shatavari powder and boil it in one glass of water. When this will reduce to half, you can consume it.
• Ashwagandha is a popular herb for skin disorders. Its anti-inflammatory, detoxifying properties make it suitable for acne treatment. Take one teaspoon of ashwagandha powder and take it with water or honey.
• Apart from these, blood purifiers told in classical ayurvedic literature like sariva, manjishtha, draksha, and neem are also beneficial for acne treatment. You can include them in your daily routine to purify the blood and balance your doshas. They also have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
• Drinking amla juice daily can help you as amla helps in balancing your doshas. Amla also contains vitamin C which is a potent anti-oxidant. This will reduce harmful free radicals and will keep acne at bay.
• Fennel seeds and coriander seeds concoction is also a good option as it will cool down your body heat. Take one teaspoon of both and boil it in one glass of water. When it will reduce to half, take it after it cools down.
• As clogged pores are the cause of acne, you should wash your face at least twice a day. Use gel-based mild cleansers according to your skin type.
• Avoid touching your face as your fingers usually have bacteria on them. Touching your face can lead to transfer of those bacteria to your face and this can result in infection.
• You should avoid squeezing the pimple. Yes, we know that you have a strong urge to pop that pimple. But always remember that it will lead to more scars.
• Always use a broad spectrum SPF if you are stepping out of your house. Even inside your home, you should at least wear sunscreen of SPF 30.
What to Eat and Avoid
As the saying goes, what you eat appears on your face. This is definitely true in the case of acne. Our skin health says a lot about the way we eat. So if you are someone whose diet is full of junk food and sweetened beverages, then you need to reconsider your food choices. Follow these dietary rules to get rid of your skin ailments and for a healthier complexion-
• Always eat homemade fresh food. Make it light and less spicy.
• Amaranth, barley, oats, rice are healthy grains for you. Include them in your diet.
• Fresh vegetables like bitter gourd, leafy greens, cauliflower, peas, okra, bell peppers are good for your skin and health.
• Soaked almonds and nuts are also a good option as they contain healthy fats that your body needs.
• Eat fruits like apple, oranges, mango, watermelon, dates, figs, pineapple, cherries, grapes, and lime.
• Turkey, salmon, and freshwater fish are the best options if you are a non-vegetarian.
• Always avoid refined grains and sugars like white bread, pasta, noodles, sodas, and artificial sweeteners.
• Heavy and spicy diets create an imbalance between doshas, so try to avoid them.
• Consuming dairy products is also not advised if you are suffering from acne.
• Fast foods like burgers, chowmein, French fries, nuggets, and soda drinks are a big NO if you want to have good and healthy skin.
• Avoid meat (especially red meat) and alcohol consumption as these create havoc on your skin.
Other than that you should keep track if you are allergic to any particular food, foods that may cause bloating or increase inflammation in your body. Just follow these simple rules and you will start noticing a positive difference in your skin soon.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Q1. How acne scars can be removed?
Ans. In Ayurveda, there are several local applications for acne scars like haldi, sandalwood, multani mitti. However, in modern medical treatments like microdermabrasion, chemical peeling, micro-needling, fillers, punch excision, and laser resurfacing are prescribed for different types of lesions. Topical treatments like antibiotics (clindamycin and erythromycin), benzoyl peroxides, and vitamin A acid derivatives like tretinoin are also helpful for mild to moderate scars.
Q2. Why acne occurs on the face?
Ans. Acne occurs when your pores get clogged by oil, pus, dead skin, or bacteria. It's like a small red protuberance with pus at its head. This can happen on your shoulders, back, and chest too.
Q3. Which acne cream is best for oily skin?
Ans. Creams with active ingredients like neem, tea tree oil, aloe vera, turmeric are best suitable for acne. In Ayurveda, there are different types of face masks for acne. Some of those are vachaadi lepa, dhanyakaadi lepa, lodhraadi lepa, jayaphalaadi lepa, manjishthaadi lepa and kumkumaadi taila etc. Other than these, you can look for ingredients like bakuchiol, Centella asiatica, honey, colloidal oatmeal, willow bark extract, and resveratrol in your acne products.
Q4. Can acne scars be removed permanently?
Ans. Most of the acne scars get faded over time. As our skin gets renewal after almost 5-6 weeks. That means dead skin cells get replaced by new skin cells. So our scars naturally go away. But in the case of severe scarring, one should get treatment by a dermatologist. They can surely help you to reduce the appearance of your scar.
Q5. Can acne scars be removed naturally?
Ans. Several home remedies like lemon juice, potato juice, turmeric powder, aloe vera, and gram flour are used for ages to remove hyperpigmentation and scars.
• Acharya Sushruta, SushrutaSamhita,AyurvedTatva Sandipika Hindi commentarytranslated by Ambika Datta Shastri, Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan Varanasi, Reprint edition. Nidanasthana, 1995;1(13/38):287.
• Acharya Sushruta, SushrutaSamhita, Acharya YadavjiTrikamji, Choukhambha publication, Varanasi. Edition 2005, Nidanasthana 2005;13/ 39:323.
• Acharya Vaghbhata, Astanga Hrdayam, Dr. Brahamanand Tripathi. Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan, Delhi, Reprint edition, Sutrasthana, 2009;1(25):19.
• Agnivesh, Charak Samhita, revised by Charak and Dridhabala with Ayurveda Deepika commentary, by Chakrapani Datta, edited by Vd. Yadavaji Trikamaji Acharya, Chaukhamba Surbharati Publications, Varanasi, reprint 2002, Sutrasthana 18/24, S S11/49.
• Lad, Vasant. Textbook of Ayurveda: Fundamental Principles. Albuquerque: The Ayurvedic Press, 2002
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New Delhi, June 14 (IANS) The Union Ministry of Science & Technology said on Monday that a study conducted by Indian scientists have recently found that cancer-causing Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) affects the glial cells or the non-neural cells in the central nervous system (CNS) and alters molecules like phospho-inositols (PIP) when the virus infects the brain cells.
The findings could pave the way towards understanding the probable role of the virus in neurodegenerative pathologies, especially given the fact that the virus has been detected in the brain tissue of the patients suffering from neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and multiple Sclerosis.
The EBV can cause cancers like nasopharyngeal carcinoma (a type of head and neck cancer), B-cell (a type of white blood cells) cancer, stomach cancer, Burkett's lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, post-transplant lymphoid disorders, and so on.
However, the infection is mostly asymptomatic, and very little is known about the factors which trigger the development of such a disease. It was the detection of the virus in patients with neurodegenerative diseases that triggered the search for the mechanism of propagation of the virus.
Scientists' teams from the Departments of Physics nd Biosciences and Biomedical Engineering at IIT Indore along with their collaborator, Fouzia Siraj, at the National Institute of Pathology (ICMR), New Delhi, used the Raman Spectroscopy System supported by the Fund for Improvement of S&T Infrastructure (FIST), a scheme of the Department of Science and Technology, to trace the propagation mechanism of the virus.
The study, based on spatial and temporal changes in the Raman signal, was helpful in advancing the application of Raman Scattering as a technique for rapid and non-invasive detection of virus infection in clinical settings.
Hyderabad(IANS) Aimed at demonstrating data generation and data transparency, Covaxin maker Bharat Biotech on Saturday said that the company has published nine research studies on the safety and efficacy of its vaccine in a year.
"The company has published as many as nine research studies on the safety and efficacy of Covaxin in five globally reputed peer-reviewed journals in a span of just twelve months," Bharat Biotech said in a statement.
As part of its preclinical studies involving testing of vaccine candidates on laboratory animals, the company has already completed three studies which were published in 'Cellpress'.
Likewise, Covaxin's phase I studies carried out to assess vaccine's safety, immune response and right dosage as well as phase II clinical trials which also evaluate a vaccine's ability to generate immune response were published in the 'The Lancet - Infectious Diseases' journal.
"The full data from studies on Covaxin's neutralisation of variants are already published at bioRxiv, Clinical Infectious Diseases, and Journal of Travel Medicine," the pharmaceutical major said.
Similarly, the study on neutralisation of beta and delta variants (B.1.351 and B.1.617.2 respectively) and the study of B1.1.28 variant were published in the 'Journal of Travel Medicine'.
Studies on B.1.617 variant and Alpha variant B.1.1.7 were published by the journal of 'Clinical Infectious Disease' and the 'Journal of Travel Medicine' respectively.
"The published studies are widely cited for the rigor and breadth that Bharat Biotech brings to its clinical trials. Currently, data from both efficacy and safety follow-up of Covaxin's phase III trial is being analysed and compiled," the statement added.
According to the company, complete data for phase I, II and partial data from phase III trials of Covaxin have been thoroughly scrutinised by the Indian regulators.
The Hyderabad-based company promised that it will make phase III trials data from the final analysis public soon.
"Demonstrating its scientific commitment to data generation and data transparency, Bharat Biotech shares full data of all research studies of its Covaxin, India's first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine," the statement added.
Mysuru, June 8 (IANS) The University of Mysore (UoM) has jointly developed a self Covid detection kit in collaboration with Hyderabad-based Lorven Biologics Private Limited.Mysore University's former Vice Chancellor and a member of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), K.S. Rangappa, who led the team of researchers, told reporters that the new Covid detection kit has an accuracy rate of over 90 per cent.UoM Vice Chancellor G. Hemanth Kumar and Rangappa jointly announced this at a press meet at Vijnana Bhavan on the varsity campus here.The kit has been developed by a research team comprising S. Chandra Nayak, Coordinator, and C.D. Mohan, Assistant Professor, Department of Studies in Molecular Biology, University of Mysore.Rangappa said that the kit is expected to be available at an affordable price since it has been developed by the state-run university, adding that the research team is sending the new kit for emergency use approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)."The unique feature of the kit is that a barcode strip is linked to an app. As soon as the barcode is scanned, the health status of the patient (whether tested positive or negative) is updated in the server, thereby enabling the governing agencies to monitor the cases immediately. The recent technologies in molecular biology, nanotechnology and Artificial Intelligence were used in the development of the kit," the research team explained in a press release.The release further added that any person suspecting to have Covid symptoms can use this kit to test the virus in body fluids, including sputum, nasal secretion and saliva. "The kit can be used in households too. It takes less than 10 minutes to detect whether the person is infected," said research coordinator Mohan.In response to a question, Rangappa said that the team was in negotiation with the manufacturer for keeping the price as low as Rs 100 per kit."During the current second wave, infection in some Covid patients could not be detected in RT-PCR tests. Therefore, there was a need to develop a kit that can detect all the mutated variants of the virus," the research team said."We are hoping that the kit will be able to detect the mutated virus in case of subsequent waves," Rangappa said.He also acknowledged that Venkataramana, the Director of Lorven Biologics, Hyderabad, was instrumental in the making of the kit by providing necessary scientific and logistic support.--IANSnbh/arm
New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) In view of the current Covid-19 situation, the "flexi" (flexible) attendance option in the Central government offices was on Tuesday extended till June 15.This is in continuation of an earlier order providing for the "flexi" attendance in the offices. Prior to that, the offices were expected to function on a pattern of 50 per cent attendance.Union Minister Jitendra Singh made the announcement while chairing a meeting of senior officers of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).As per the current order, Secretaries of the ministries or departments and heads of department of attached and subordinate offices are mandated to regulate the attendance of employees at all levels, keeping in view the Covid positive cases in the office and the functional requirement.Persons with Disabilities and pregnant women employees may be exempted from attending office, but they shall continue to work from home, the order also mentions.All officers and staff residing in the containment zone shall also be exempted from coming to offices till the containment zone is denotified. These officers or staff who are residing in containment zones shall work from home and shall be available on telephone and electronic means of communications at all times.Officers or staff shall follow staggered timings to avoid overcrowding in offices or workplaces as decided by the heads of department.All officials who attend office shall strictly follow Covid-appropriate behaviour including wearing of mask, physical distancing, use of sanitiser and frequent hand-washing with soap and water.The Minister also hoped that all these instructions will be followed in letter and spirit in the interest of the well-being of all the citizens and government employees and their families.Singh, however, reiterated that official work will not be allowed to suffer and all attempts will be made to minimise the loss of man-days on account of government employees falling sick on account of Covid.He expressed satisfaction that the concept of "vaccination at workplace" had emerged as a successful model and urged the states and Union Territories (UTs) to emulate the same.At the vaccination centre set up at the North Block, the Minister said, over 228 had received vaccination so far and that such centres are also being set up in other Central government offices and departments.He once again renewed his appeal for speedy vaccination of all the eligible Central government employees of the age of 18 years and above.During the last one year of the pandemic, DoPT had developed a set of guidelines to be followed in the government offices, which not only sought to contain the spread of coronavirus but also aimed to carry on the office functioning effectively and without interruption.According to the Minister, Work from Home (WFH) protocol developed by DoPT had been so successful that many a time, the work output was even more than the normal circumstances because government functionaries were working online even on the weekdays or holidays.--IANSrak/vd
New May 31 (IANS) Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers D.V Sadananda Gowda on Monday announced that an additional 30,100 vials of Amphotericin-B have been allocated to all the States/UTs and Central Institutions.The injection is used for treatment of Mucormycosis, a serious but rare fungal infection caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes that has been developing in Covid-19 patients. The fungal disease is commonly being observed in patients who were given steroids for a long time; those who have been hospitalised for a long time, were on oxygen support or ventilator, faced poor hospital hygiene or those who have been taking medication for other illnesses such as diabetes. If not treated on time, the infection can turn fatal. --IANSmiz/ash