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Acne-Prone Skin

CATEGORY: Appearance

Author: Chaitali Maybhate

Acne is a very common skin disorder that happens to almost every one of us at some point of time.  This apparently trivial thing may lead to serious troubles later if left unattended. Recurring acne may suggest a major disorder in bodily mechanisms.  Timely care through easy treatment help restricting the acne.  This article presents analysis of the acne formation process and suggests some simple home remedies.

Physiology of Skin
Skin is a physical barrier to the external environment.  It is more than a layer separating us from the outside world.  Skin is an important protective organ.

The skin consists of mainly two structural layers – Epidermis (outer layer) and Dermis (inner layer).  The sebaceous gland situated under Dermis layer is primarily responsible for producing sebum (oil).  Sebum acts as lubricant for hair and skin and also serves to repel external substances such as water molecules, damaging chemicals and microorganisms.

What is acne?
Acne is an inflammatory disorder of the skin resulting from an overactive sebaceous gland.  It is marked by the eruption of pimples or pustules especially on the face.

Process of acne formation
Acne formation begins with excessive secretion of sebum that blocks the hair follicle, the passage that leads from the sebaceous gland to the surface of the skin.  Normally sebum helps in removing the dead cells from the lining of the hair follicle and in carrying them to the outer skin surface.

However, if the amount of sebum secreted from sebaceous gland increases, it blocks the hair follicle thus making it difficult for dead cells to reach the skin surface.  As a result, the dead cells get trapped.  These dead cells combine with sebum and bacteria to form a plug in the follicle.  When infection remains under the skin surface, it develops into white head.  When the infection partly reaches the surface and changes color it develops into black head.

Cause of Acne
Many factors are responsible for producing acne.  These can be categorized as follows:

1. External Factors: These mainly include pollution, direct exposure to sun over longer duration etc.

2. Internal Factors: include heredity, hormonal imbalances, stress, constipation etc.

Prevention is better than cure. Acne, particularly the one, caused by internal factors as above can be easily prevented. The following habits can be helpful:

1. Drink 8~10 glasses of water daily

2. Eat plenty of fruits and leafy vegetables    

3. Wash your face 2~3 times a day, but not more than that. Too much washing will aggravate the situation as excessive washing causes the body to produce more oil which makes the acne worse

4. To keep the acne under control, one needs to control both external as well as internal factors.  External remedies, as mentioned below, along with internal nutritious diet lead to healthy skin.

The following external remedies are easy to prepare:

1. Prepare paste by mixing 3 tablespoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder. Apply this paste on the affected area.

    Cinnamon has got antibacterial properties. The oil in cinnamon is a type of phenol, which is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.

2. Apply mixture of 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder.

    Lemon is rich in fruit acids. The fresh lemon juice has capacity to remove dead skin cells gently.

3. Apply Nutmeg (Indian: Jaiphal) powder with un-boiled milk on the affected area.
    Nutmeg has anti-oxidant and antiseptic properties.

4. Rub fresh garlic on and around affected area.

    Garlic has antibiotic properties that help destroying the bacteria thus containing the growth of acne.

5. Make a paste of neem leaves with turmeric powder. Apply this paste on the affected area.

    Neem has got antibacterial properties making it effective in controlling epidermal dysfunctions such as acne.

6. Apply fresh tomato pulp on the face.

    Tomato is known to have anti-oxidants and contains vitamins A & C. Vitamin C in tomatoes can rejuvenate the dull skin and vitamin A is involved in formation of healthy skin.

7. Apply juice of raw papaya on affected area.

    Papaya is rich in natural enzymes. It acts as natural cleansing agent.

8. Apply a paste of orange peel powder with water on affected area. Wash it off after 30 minutes with lukewarm water.

    The citric acid in orange soothes and softens skin removing pore-clogging impurities.

9. Apply cucumber juice on the face.

    Cucumber has hydrating and astringent properties.

10. Prepare a mixture of grated apple and lemon juice. Apply this mixture on your face.

     Apple soaks up the extra oil and helps to close pores.
We have seen above the process of acne formation in brief and presented a number of homemade Ayurvedic remedies that can lead to healthy skin.