Do you frequently experience acne, redness, or spots appearing on your skin? These signs may indicate unhealthy or damaged skin.
An unhealthy lifestyle, environmental effects, stress or regular usage of makeup takes a toll on our skin’s health, eventually leading to damage. However, Ayurveda speaks of natural remedies that help to restore damaged skin.
In this article, we help you understand what damaged skin is, its different characteristics, and the best ways to restore it.
Our Ayurvedic Doctor's Opinion
“Vikriti (disease), is the deviation from the inherent Prakriti (natural constitution). Skin is the first barrier between our environment and body. This first line of defense is highly susceptible to damage from both internal and external stressors.”
Dr. Zeel Gandhi (Bachelor Of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery), Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix
What Is Meant By Damaged Skin?
Your epidermis is made up of two things: skin cells (bricks of your skin wall) and lipid matrix (cement that holds the bricks together). When the cement becomes weak and develops cracks and gaps it is unable to hold the bricks together. It is also unable to keep the germ and allergens out and that results in skin damage.
Our skin goes through a lot every day. Natural conditions or environmental triggers, exposure to pollution, sun damage and other harmful chemicals for an extended period of time, damages the molecular structure of the skin and leads to hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles.
There are certain triggers that can lead to skin damage:
- Intrinsic Triggers: Most of the intrinsic triggers for skin damage initiate from hereditary causes. These are the triggers that you are born with and do not have control over their time of appearance or the level of damage they can do. You can have dull skin from a slow cell renewal rate or hyperpigmentation due to uneven melanin production or fine lines and wrinkles due to an imbalance in sebaceous glands.
- Extrinsic Triggers: Extrinsic triggers can be controlled by you before they do any serious damage to your skin. These depend on your lifestyle habits and environment. If you have an unhealthy lifestyle or are exposed to pollutants and harmful UV rays then the chances of your skin getting damaged are high.
Why Is The Skin Barrier Important?
Your skin barrier helps to restore the natural quality of your skin and protects it from harmful external triggers. It not only protects the inside of your body from harmful toxins and environmental toxins like chemical dyes, industrial wastewater, arsenic, etc., but also prevents unnecessary water loss from your body and keeps the natural moisture intact.
If your skin barrier does not retain the required amount of water or moisture it will become dry, rough, flaky and dehydrated and it will lose all its glow and shine.
Damaged skin tries to heal itself by forming scar tissues. Scar tissue is different from normal skin tissue as it does not have any hair or sweat glands.
Ayurvedic View Of Damaged Skin
Ayurveda describes skin damage as the result of a lack of maintenance of the three doshas. This may also be the result of improper diet and lifestyle issues. Every skin dosha gives rise to certain skin problems that can lead to skin damage. An imbalance in Vata dosha can make your skin rough, and cause wrinkles and early signs of aging.
If you have Pitta dominant or sensitive skin, certain chemicals and allergens can lead to burning and redness of your skin, acne and hyperpigmentation. Ayurveda also states that a proper diet and a healthy lifestyle can help restrict the formation of ama or toxins that can damage your skin.
“Vikriti (disease), is the deviation from the inherent Prakriti (natural constitution). Skin is the first barrier between our environment and body. This first line of defense is highly susceptible to damage from both internal and external stressors,” says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix
What Causes Damaged Skin?
1. Overexposure To Sun
Excessive exposure to the sun does the most damage to your skin. Sun rays damage the elasticity of your skin and disrupt collagen production resulting in early signs of aging and pigmentation. UV rays can also cause life-threatening diseases like skin cancer.
2. Improper Diet & Dehydration
According to ayurvedic experts, your diet and daily water intake is one of the main factors that decide your skin health. Make sure to eat fresh fruits, vegetables and especially vitamin C for healthy glowing skin. Also as an adult, you should drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to maintain healthy skin cells as water is the main component that cells are made of. Especially if you have Vata dominant or dry skin, you need to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day.
3. Smoking And Drinking Alcohol
Consuming alcohol and cigarettes can take a toll on your skin’s health. Smoking clogs your blood vessels and restricts the oxygen supply, and lack of oxygen leads to sagging of the skin and darkening of the lips. Drinking alcohol dehydrates the body and the skin and thus causes acne breakouts and stretch marks on the skin.
Even things that you use on a daily basis like soap or detergent, can also irritate your skin and cause damage to it. Further, severe chemical irritants that are used in factories can also cause dermatitis if you are frequently exposed to them.
Acne can appear on your skin in many forms like whiteheads, blackheads, cysts and pimples. Almost all of them, especially pimples and cysts can leave stubborn scars if not treated properly and on time. To prevent acne, you should keep yourself adequately hydrated, avoid oily food and exercise enough to sweat naturally.
This is a severe skin condition that causes itching, redness and flaking of your skin. This is an unavoidable and chronic skin condition that can be treated with ayurvedic and medicated solutions. When children develop eczema, it’s usually a type of eczema known as atopic dermatitis. This type of eczema usually begins by 5 years of age. 
This is also a skin condition that makes your skin patchy and scaly. It occurs around the areas of your body that are folded like elbows and knees.
8. Environmental Conditions
The environment that you're living in is also a major factor behind the damage to your skin. If you're regularly exposed to extremely dry and cold weather, it can cause skin damage. Exposure to excessively hot and humid weather conditions can also cause acne breakouts. Similarly frequent exposure to pollution and chemicals can develop hyperpigmentation.
Signs And Symptoms Of Damaged Skin
- Chronic irritation in your skin.
- The appearance of your skin seems dehydrated and dull.
- Hyperpigmented skin.
- Skin infections.
- Cuts and bruises take a longer time to heal.
What Are The Different Types Of Skin Damage?
Suntan is one of the most common types of skin damage which is caused by exposure to the sun. When you have a suntan it means your skin is changing on a molecular level. Also, if you have Kapha dominant or sensitive skin your skin is more likely to have a suntan than others but any kind of suntan be it temporary or permanent is unhealthy. 
It is a kind of thermal burn that occurs on the outer layer of your skin after years of direct exposure to UV rays. If the sunburn is severe it causes redness and deep tissue damage and blisters and can also lead to skin cancer.
These are brown-colored spots that appear on the face or other parts of the body that are exposed to the sun.
These are hyperpigmented asymmetrical patches that appear on your forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. It can occur due to external factors or hormonal shifts.
It is the most serious form of skin cancer. Its symptoms are dark brown or black mole with an irregular coloration. 
6. Brown Disease
It is also a form of skin cancer that appears on the surface of the skin. It is usually a flaky or scaly patch on the exposed parts of your skin and is of red/brown color. This form of skin cancer is treatable if you go with a surgical treatment.
7. Actinic Keratosis
Keratosis causes rough scaly patches on your skin. Actinic cheilitis is another form of keratosis that appears specifically on your lower lips causing cracking of lips and dark brown patches on them.
Exposure to harsh chemicals for a long period of time can remove the natural oils from your skin making it very dry.
Apart from making your skin dry some chemicals cause reddening, dryness, and cracking of the skin on contact. This can be caused by fiberglass, soaps, oils/cutting fluids, and solvents.
Certain chemicals and irritants are also corrosive and can cause severe irreversible damage to your skin. You can also have a chemical burn from strong corrosive acids.
Chloracne or acne caused by chlorine occurs when your skin is repeatedly exposed to chlorine compounds and certain pesticides.
How To repair Damaged Skin?
1. Natural methods
Aloe vera works like magic on sunburns. It soothes the itchy patches on your skin that are caused by sun damage. Aloe vera is anti-inflammatory, heals wounds, and moisturizes your skin naturally.
The oil extracted from lavender plants has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It helps in treating skin irritation and redness that is caused due to skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. It also helps in healing wounds and is one of the most commonly used products in skincare products these days.
Shea butter is your natural go-to solution to hydrating and moisturizing your skin. The fatty acids present in shea butter have regenerative properties and help in reducing scars. It also reduces early signs of aging and makes your skin radiant.
Much like lavender oil, jojoba also has anti-irritation qualities and can soothe your itchy patches caused by eczema and psoriasis. It is also hydrating and heals skin damage in general. 
Vitamin C infused skincare products work wonders on early signs of aging. Vitamin c also helps with exfoliation, hydration and skin brightening. Vitamin c also helps with acne-scarred skin and skin inflammation. Vitamin C is a collagen agent which is antibacterial so consuming foods rich in vitamin C can also provide your skin with nutrients that can cure skin damage.
You can rub ice to soothe an inflamed and irritated skin. Ice cubes have been used to heal our sunburns, cuts and bruises for ages. Ice soothes the skin and if you infuse the water you are using to make ice, with rose water, aloe vera gel, or cucumber juice, it makes it even more beneficial for your skin problems like under-eye patches, dryness, etc.
2. Lifestyle Habits
- Staying hydrated is the most important step towards achieving healthy skin. Especially when you have skin damage your skin needs more water than normal. Lack of hydration can worsen your condition.
- Regular exercise is also important. Naturally sweating through exercising prevents your pores from getting clogged and deep cleans your skin from within. Exercising also regulates healthy blood circulation and takes necessary nutrients to your skin.
- Exfoliation is one of the most important things you can do to repair damaged skin. Exfoliation unclogs your pores and removes the debris of dead skin cells from your face and body. This helps your body to regenerate quickly and produce more collagen.
- Protect your skin from the sun. If you live in an environment that exposes you to the harsh sun frequently, you need to be careful. Wear long-sleeved clothes and cover as much as possible every time you go out. Wear sunscreen both inside and outside.
- Detoxify your skin by drinking herbal teas regularly. Sometimes your diet can also cause skin damage if it contains too much oil, spices, or carbohydrates. Herbal teas paired with cinnamon, fennel, ginger, etc. promote better digestion and cleanses your skin from within.
In order to avoid dehydration, take short 5 minute showers throughout the day and bathe in cold water. Also avoid using soap, instead use gentle dye-free cleansing products.
3. Ayurvedic Remedies
Sandalwood: If you have skin problems caused by imbalances of Pitta and Kapha doshas, sandalwood is your best solution. It can treat acne, brighten your skin tone and treat blemishes and rashes that cause itchiness.
Turmeric: Turmeric is a miracle herb in Ayurveda. It has antibacterial, anti-aging properties and is an excellent blood purifier. It soothes and moisturizes almost all types of skin and also helps in removing tan.
Saffron: This rare and expensive herb found in the northern region of India has been used for ages by ayurvedic experts for skin whitening and curing hyperpigmentation. You can mix it with milk and olive oil and apply on your skin for better results.
Kumkumadi Oil: More popularly known as Kumkumadi Thailam in Ayurveda, this ayurvedic oil works wonders for skin-related problems. It is made up of saffron mixed with other natural ingredients and has therapeutic and cosmetic benefits. It can be used as a natural toner, cleanser and moisturizer. 
Winsoria Oil: This ayurvedic concoction is an excellent ingredient for psoriasis treatment. It helps in reducing symptoms of keratosis, inflammation, scaly skin and discoloration. Winsoria oil mixed with coconut oil also works great to treat itchy skin and sores. Even people with allergies can benefit from this oil.
Include fatty fish in your diet. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help in maintaining radiant, hydrated and soft skin. Fatty fish also helps in reducing skin inflammation, redness on the skin and acne marks. It also makes your skin less vulnerable to UV rays.
Walnuts are also richer in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as compared to other nuts. They help in reducing psoriasis symptoms.
Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, which turns your skin into a shield against the UV rays. Tomatoes also contain carotenoids that keep your skin healthy.
One ounce or 28 grams of sunflower seed contains 37% of vitamin E RDI, 32% of selenium RDI, 10% of zinc RDI and 5.4 grams of protein. It helps in preventing early signs of aging.
Consuming too many dairy products makes your skin dehydrated. If you have a pitta dominant or sensitive skin dairy consumption can worsen your skin health.
Tips To Restore Damaged Skin
- Laser Resurfacing: this clinical process uses light and heat energy to tone and smoothen the skin and treat hyperpigmentation.
- Chemical Peels: This treatment involves using non-toxic acidic chemical solutions to exfoliate your skin.
- Dermabrasion: This treatment involves clinically exfoliating your skin with a metal wire tip or diamond tip, revealing the new glowing skin.
- Fillers: collagen and hyaluronic acid are injected into your skin to cure deep lines and wrinkles.
Frequently Asked Questions On Damaged Skin
1. How Long Does It Take to Repair Damaged Skin?
On an average, an adult's skin takes around 28 to 42 days to repair itself with the help of natural and clinical remedies. If you are 50 +, this process can take up to 84 days.
2. Can Damaged Skin Repair Itself?
Unless it is a minor cut or a temporary tan, most skin damages cannot repair themselves. You would need to consult a dermatologist and go through an ayurvedic or treatment process to heal your skin from damage.
The Last Word
It is very important to identify your skin type and then consult a dermatologist or ayurvedic expert before applying any of the above-mentioned remedies at home. Although you don’t need a doctor to tell you that you need to stay hydrated, we can assure you that is the best thing for your healthy skin.Know Your Dosha Now
1. Atopic Dermatitis
2. The Dark Side of Sun Exposure, july 2014
3. Skin Cancer (Including Melanoma)—Patient Version
4. Jojoba Oil: An Updated Comprehensive Review on Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Uses, and Toxicity, June 2021
5. THE EFFICACY OF KUMKUMADI TAILAM IN DISCOLOURATION OF LIPS DUE TO SMOKING” , November 2020,
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