Sheena ( name changed ) was the favourite student among the teachers. Good in studies. Good in sports. And good in co-curricular activities. Above all she was good to get along with. She had lots of friends. She excelled in Class X board exams. She secured 92% in SSLC and joined a reputed college in Bangalore to do her PUC. She continued to do well. It was during the first semester, she noticed pimples on her cheek. Since it looked awful, she squeezed it. The next day, it disappeared, but left a scar. After a few days, a few more appeared on the cheek. She did the big mistake of squeezing each one. Within a matter of few days, she had scars all over face.
“Hey Sheena, what’s wrong with your face?” A boy from her class just remarked. Her close friends too started to comment about her face. Her mother took her to a local dermatologist. She was given an ointment for local application. It worked for a few weeks and after a month, her whole face looked totally different with red spots all over.
The sudden change in her demeanour had a cascading effect. She began to dislike herself, even to the extent of not wanting to look at herself in the mirror. She bunked college and remained at home under some pretext. She started to avoid her friends and picked up fights even with her close friends. Feeling of low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence made her moody and aloof. She did not take part even in a single event during the annual college fest.
Meanwhile, Sheena’s parents were really worried about the behavioural change and concerned about the poor marks she obtained in mid-term exams. Yet, she managed to scrap through to the second year.
One day, a few boys, seniors in college, bullied about the way she looked. She felt deeply hurt and embarrassed. Rushed back home, locked herself in the room and refused to eat. Her dad spoke a friend who advised him to take Sheena to a psychiatrist. She was counselled by the psychiatrist and was referred to me. The first day Sheena met me, I reassured her saying that nearly 80% of young people of her age, have such outbreaks known as Acne Vulgaris.
The symptoms include:
- Reddish, tender, small raised bumps called as papules.
- Pimples that are red with white pus at the tip are called as pustules.
- Large, solid, painful lumps known as nodules.
- Pus-filled and painful cysts beneath the surface of the skin, which can cause scars.
I assured that through Ayurvedic treatment, it can be cured. Because, Ayurveda targets the biological reactions that cause Acne Vulgaris (Yauvana pidaka). A deep-rooted approach is taken to get rid of the problem. According to Ayurveda, acne typically involves an imbalance in doshas, (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) that need multiple approaches. Therefore, I addressed all the issues one by one and put her on a strict diet for three months. Added to that I also advised her to refrain from squeezing the pimples, because it causes infection or scarring, and to avoid facial scrubs and excessive washing.
Sheena was curious to know the exact cause of the problem. I explained in detail how hair follicles are connected to glands known as sebaceous glands that secrete an oily substance known as sebum to lubricate hair and skin. When the follicles are blocked, it bulges and forms what is known as whiteheads. So, acne is caused by escalating hormonal levels and excess sebum in young girls (during puberty). Acne is caused by poor personal hygiene which lead to build-up of grease .This can block the skin pores and cause acne. Even the dandruff flakes are yet another cause of pimples . It is observed that using certain oil-based skin care products or cosmetics can lead to acne and worsen the condition. Some medical disorders, like polycystic ovarian syndrome , may also be blamed for acne in women. At times acne can be hereditary too.
Sheena followed my advice and took the medications I prescribed to her. Along with that I started to counsel her about getting back to what she is good at. She started to mingle with her friends once again. Within 2 months there was visible difference on her face. And she was back to her normal self with 3 months of treatment. She enrolled in almost all the activities during the second year college fest and won first prize in debate and singing.
Sheena and her parents met me with fruits and gifts and thanked for saving her life and giving her a bright future, once again.
Dr. Brahmananda Nayak, Ayurvedism,
#400, Ranganatha Complex, Near Hmt Ground, Judges Colony, RT Nagar Bengaluru 560032