How does a nasty pimple popping on your face feel? Doesn’t it spoil your perfect look? No wonder these painful red bumps on your skin come back every time you try to clear them. Wondering why?
“This is because your pimple is not just an external skin problem. It depends upon the state of your hormones , your diet and lifestyle,” says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.
The science of Ayurveda emphasizes on the practice of healthy habits, eating right, and usage of natural remedies to cure such skin concerns. In this article, we tell you what causes pimples and how you can manage it effectively.
What Are The Different Types Of Pimples?
Pimples are small bumps that develop due to the blockage and infection of sebaceous glands, which eventually result in red, swollen, and pus-filled lesions.
Different types of pimples are categorized as follows:
1. Non-Inflammatory Acne
These are closed comedones with dead skin cells and sebum trapped inside.
These are open comedones filled with dead skin cells, sebum, and bacteria which appear black due to oxidation of sebum.
2. Inflammatory Acne
These are small raised bumps that are tender and swollen with inflammation. Papules are more painful than blackheads or whiteheads. However, they are not as bad as cysts or nodules.
These are inflamed, white color pus-filled bubbles.
These are much deeper than pustules. They are often related to hormonal imbalances in your body. Cysts are more painful and take longer to heal.
Nodular acne is the severe form of a pimple that develops in deeper tissues of skin. It is painful at the skin surface, but not filled with pus-like cysts.
What Are The Symptoms Of Pimples?
1. Recurrence of red and inflamed bumps filled with pus, which may generally appear on the face, neck, shoulders, upper back, chest, etc.
2. Open pores that are dark at the center (blackheads)
3. Closed pores appear as tiny white bumps beneath the skin (whiteheads)
4. Lumps or papules filled with pus
5. Nodules that are often larger with an inch diameter. They are tender, inflamed, and fluid-filled
6. Swelling and pain in the area around the pimple
Why Do Pimples Hurt?
“When a pimple develops on your skin, your body identifies oil, dead skin and bacteria accumulated in the pimple pore as a foreign substance (which does not belong to your system),” says Dr. Zeel. Thus, your body fights and tries to push the accumulated substances out naturally, which leads to inflammation  and sensitivity that causes pain in the area of a pimple.
What Causes Pimples?
As per the Ayurvedic tridosha theory, any skin ailment is the result of vitiation occurring in the vital energies of your body and mind: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas.
The aggravated doshas responsible for different types of pimples are as follows:
Type Of Pimple
Doshas In Elevated State
Kapha and Vata dosha (triggered by Pitta)
Pitta and Vata doshas with slight imbalance in Kapha dosha
Kapha, Pitta and Vata doshas
Very high levels of Kapha and Pitta doshas
High in Kapha and vata doshas, moderate spike in Pitta dosha.
“In general, if there is an inflammatory acne on your face, then you can consider that all the three doshas are imbalanced,” says Dr. Zeel.
This imbalance in your doshas leads to the overproduction of sebum and dead skin cells, which block your skin pores or hair follicles. The microbes which feed on these accumulations infect the skin pores, leading to the formation of pimples with inflammation and soreness.
In other words, to treat your pimples effectively and prevent their recurrence, you need to find solutions that bring balance to your disrupted doshas along with controlling the bacterial infection and sebum production on your skin.
Different factors which trigger the imbalance in your dosha levels are as follows:
- Hormonal changes happening during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, etc.
- Stressful lifestyle and anxiety 
- Over intake of junk and fried foods
- Staying awake overnight
- Excessive usage of cosmetics
- Certain medications containing testosterone, lithium, or corticosteroids.
In Ayurvedic terms, the condition of pimples or acne is called ‘Youvana Pidaka’. And, some of the other Ayurvedic names for pimples are ‘Tarunya Pidaka’, ‘Padmini Kantaka’, and ‘Mukha Dushika’.
How To Get Rid Of Pimples?
1. Ayurvedic Herbs
When your skin is prone to pimples, you need to religiously follow a skincare regimen that keeps your elevated doshas in a balanced state. Here are some of the dosha-specific herbal ingredients that you need to look for in your skincare products to not only get rid of your existing pimples but also to maintain clear and healthy skin for a long time.
It balances elevated Vata and Kapha doshas. Besides healing pimples faster, it helps in reducing excess oiliness in your skin.
It balances all the three doshas. It is a natural coolant and also helps in detoxifying your skin tissue.
C. Rakta Chandana
It balances elevated Kapha and Pitta doshas. It helps in improving circulation of blood to your skin tissues besides reducing inflammation of your pimples.
It balances elevated Kapha and Pitta doshas. It has antimicrobial properties and also acts as a powerful blood purifier.
It balances elevated Pitta and Vata doshas. It relieves your skin from oxidative stress and gives a soothing effect to your painful pimples.
It balances all the three doshas. It aids in nourishing your skin tissues as well as blood and helps in faster rejuvenation of your skin.
G. Draksha (grapes)
The sweet variety balances Vata and Pitta doshas. It is a natural coolant and helps in purifying blood with rich antioxidants .
It balances elevated Pitta and Vata doshas. It is very effective in correcting your hormonal imbalances that cause pimples.
It balances elevated Vata and Kapha doshas. It has natural adaptogens which help in coping up with stress levels, thereby balancing your hormonal imbalances.
It balances elevated Kapha and Pitta doshas. Besides maintaining balanced hormonal production, it aids in regulating your skin pH levels  efficiently.
It balances elevated Vata and Kapha doshas. It helps in reducing the scar marks of deeper acne on your skin.
It balances elevated Kapha and Pitta doshas. It has calming effects on your skin and helps you cope up with inflammation and pain that you might get with your pimples.
It balances elevated Kapha and Pitta doshas. It not only reduces the scarring of pimples but also enhances the natural glow of your face.
“You can perform Abhyanga with kumkumadi oil or nalpamaradi oil daily to keep your doshas in balance. Also, consider applying a herbal face pack with mukhadooshikari lepam regularly to control pimples,” says Dr. Zeel.
2. Ayurvedic Internal Medicine For Pimples
It aids in drying up sebum and clearing up your channels and pores.
Maha manjishtadi kashayam and Sarivadyasava:
These formulations help in detoxification and purifying your blood.
It helps to detoxify your blood and help in treating a variety of skin ailments.
It acts as a powerful tonic for your blood.
It is best for oily skin and helps to control the elevated Kapha levels.
This too aids in blood purification.
It is very useful in treating elevated Pitta conditions.
It aids in fighting the microbial infections of your pimples.
Arogya vardhini vati:
It is Pitta balancing and also acts as an enzyme booster for your liver.
It aids in resolving skin ailments related to elevated Vata and Pitta doshas. It accelerates the healing process of your pimples.
Your Ayurvedic doctor can prescribe you the right drugs and dosage based on your elevated doshas, type, and severity of pimples.
3. Home Remedies
Dip a cotton ball in the honey and dab it gently on your pimple. Wait for 15-20 minutes and then wash it off. Repeat it 3-4 times a day.
Mix curd and aloe vera juice in equal quantities. Apply it to your pimples and wash it off after 30 minutes.
C. Lemon Juice
Mix lemon juice and honey in equal quantities. Dip a cotton ball into the mixture and dap it over the affected area. Wait for 10-15 minutes and then wash it off. Repeat this twice a day.
D. Coconut Oil
Apply some warm coconut oil to the pimple. Leave it for a few hours and then wash it off with lukewarm water. Repeat it twice a day.
E. Jojoba Oil
Add a few drops of jojoba oil to a spoon of sweet almond oil. Now dab this mixture on your pimple using a cotton ball. Leave it for half an hour and rinse it off. Repeat this 3-4 times a day.
Blend a few papaya chunks into a fine paste. Apply it all over your face and leave it until it dries up. Later, wash it off with lukewarm water and moisturize your face. Repeat this daily.
G. Green Tea
Add some green tea leaves  to a cup of warm water. Add a spoon of aloe vera gel to it and mix well. Apply the mixture as a face mask and leave it for half an hour before rinsing. Apply this twice a week.
H. Epsom Salt
Add 3-4 spoons of Epsom salt to 2-3 cups of warm water. Soak a clean cotton cloth into the solution and put it on your face for 10-15 minutes. Remove the cloth and then wash your face. Repeat this twice a week.
Warm-up 100 ml of olive oil with a few crushed garlic cloves added to it for 3-5 minutes on medium flame. Strain the oil and allow it to cool. Apply this oil to your pimples using a cotton ball and leave it for half an hour before rinsing. Repeat this twice a day.
J. Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix apple cider vinegar and warm water in a 1:3 ratio. Spray this solution all over your face and leave it for a minute. Then, rinse it off thoroughly and pat dry your face.
4. Essential Oils
Including the following essential oils in your everyday skincare routine. It is one of the best and effective ways to keep acne in control. Make sure that you do not apply these essential oils directly on your skin. You can add 5-10 drops of any of these essential oils to your skincare products such as moisturizers, body lotions, face cleansers, etc. and use them.
A. Tea Tree Oil
It has anti-inflammatory properties and can prevent bacteria growth in your skin breakout. It is also an effective antiseptic.
B. Lemon Oil
It is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C that aids in skin brightening. It acts as a very efficient declogger for your pores, which you can add to your face or body cleansers.
C. Peppermint Oil
It helps in reducing the inflammation and swelling of your pimple. The menthol present in peppermint oil works to decongest your skin pores, thus controlling the redness.
D. Lavender Oil
It is a powerful solution and gentle solution to treat painful cysts. It has antimicrobial properties and helps your cysts heal faster.
E. Oregano Oil
It has natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties that work as the best spot treatment for your pimples. Also, regular usage of oregano oil in your skincare routine helps to control the frequency of acne breakouts.
F. Rosemary Oil
It works best to regulate the sebum production in your skin. While maintaining your skin pH, rosemary oil also helps in controlling redness and inflammation of your pimples.
G. Eucalyptus Oil
It works best for pus-filled pimples(pustules). It has natural antimicrobial and calming properties which aid in faster and safer healing of your pimples.
H. Frankincense Oil
It is gentle on any skin type and helps you relieve pain and inflammation. Also, it prevents scarring caused by popped pimples.
Vedix Tip: People who have pollen allergies should refrain from using essential oils. If you experience a runny nose or rashes after the application of essential oils it means you are allergic to them. In such cases, you need to stop using them immediately.
5. Other Medical Treatments
A. Over the counter medications that contain sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, or salicylic acid for spot treatment
B. Topical retinoids
C. Oral isotretinoin (Accutane)
D. Topical antibiotics
E. Oral antibiotics in case of severe acne which does not respond to any other treatments
Stronger medications to treat severe pimples may cause serious side effects. Also, long-term usage of antibiotics is not advisable in all cases.
6. Diet & Lifestyle Changes
- Drink a liter of lukewarm water first thing in the morning. Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day by drinking at least 3 liters of water.
- Always eat easily digestible foods.
- You can have hydrating raw vegetables such as carrots, cucumber, etc.
- Increase your regular intake of fruits such as apple, pear, pomegranates, guava, papaya, etc. that are rich in antioxidants.
- Ensure you have a regular sleep cycle with at least 6 hours of sound sleep.
- You can do Pranayama, Meditation, and Yoga daily to keep your stress levels under control.
What To Avoid When You Have Pimples?
1. Avoid using an exfoliating glove, washcloth, or loofah to scrub your face harshly when you have pimples.
2. Do not use dirty or unwashed clothes to dry your face after washing. It is better to use a clean cotton cloth to pat your face gently, which you can give for washing after a single usage.
3. Avoid using comedogenic products and cosmetics on your face. Always prefer gentle skincare products that are suitable for your skin type.
4. Avoid using powders, blush, or foundation when you have pimples. If you do wear makeup, ensure you cleanse it at the end of the day. It is better to opt for oil-free cosmetics that are free from chemicals and dyes.
5. Avoid touching your facial skin with your hands.
6. Avoid exposing your skin to the sun for long periods, especially between 10 a.m and 4 p.m. Ensure you protect your skin by using sunscreen, a scarf, or a hat.
7. Avoid eating foods that are junky, greasy, dairy, and made of processed sugars.
8. Avoid foods such as dairy, pasta, bread, polished cereals, and other instant foods that have a higher glycemic index .
9. Avoid using heavy gels or creams on your hair when you have pimples on your face. If you do, ensure that your hair does not come in contact with your face.
Is It Better To Pop A Pimple Or Leave It?
Dr. Zeel recommends to never pop a pimple. Though you may feel good to pop your pimple, it can actually worsen your infection and also lead to scarring. Also, it reverses your body’s natural healing process. Popping a pimple makes it more inflamed and striking.
When To Consult A Dermatologist?
Sometimes, the sudden onset of severe acne can be an indication of an underlying disease that requires immediate medical attention. We recommend you to consult your dermatologist if the self-care remedies don’t clear your pimples in a couple of weeks. Your dermatologist may prescribe stronger oral medications which work to control the hormonal fluctuations in your body.
However, these medications may also have side effects such as swelling of the face, difficulty in breathing, faintness, tightness in the throat, etc. which need emergency medical help if you experience it.
Always consult your dermatologist or Ayurvedic doctor before taking any of the medications and treatments mentioned in this article to clear your pimples.
The Last Word
Besides different treatments that you can opt for to get rid of your stubborn pimples, we recommend you to follow a proper skincare regimen that suits your skin type to keep your skin healthy and glowing. Remember that your pimples won’t vanish away overnight, but you can see great results with regular healthy practices and routines over a while.
At Vedix, we understand your skin needs based on your elevated doshas and customize an Ayurvedic skincare regimen that addresses your unique skin problems.Know Your Dosha Now
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