Acne & Oily Skin

Symptoms Acne is a skin condition which is a disorder of the pilosebaceous unit, known more commonly as the hair follicle and sebaceous gland. Acne is therefore often present in areas with a high concentration of sebaceous glands such as the face, chest and back.

Causes Acne is caused by a number of internal factors which include excess sebum production, hyperkeratinisation (when keratin blocks dead skin cells from natural shedding), bacteria and androgens (hormones). The outer layer of your skin contains a hard protective protein called keratin. When this keratin unnaturally ‘blocks’ the sebaceous gland the over production of sebum plugs the sebaceous duct. This subsequently produces inflammation and is a breeding ground for bacteria.Because the formation of acne also involves hormones, mostly androgens, this condition is often seen as a problem of youth. However acne can occur at any age and in some cases adults may have their first case of acne well into their 20s or 30s.

Acne is characterised by comedones or ‘blackheads’, papules, pustules and in severe cases, cysts and scarring.

Treatment Severe cases of acne are often treated with systemic medications which can have undesirable side effects. Numerous topical applications which claim to clear or reduce Acne are on the market. It should be noted that many of these ointments, solutions and washes are extremely drying which in turn causes further hydration problems for the affected areas of skin.

There is a better way to treat acne. In Ayurveda, people who suffer from acne are more likely to have a Kapha dosha. The Kapha dosha is characterised by a tendency towards oily skin, and we all know it’s that excess of oil that can cause acne troubles.

By knowing their dosha, acne sufferers can consume foods and use skincare products that help to keep their dosha in balance. Products that include turmeric and red sandalwood can be a great way of keeping that oily skin under control.