Acne vulgaris, commonly called acne, is a skin condition affecting more than 85% of adolescents, two-thirds of adults aged 18 years and older worldwide. It is an inflammatory skin disease involving hair follicles, hair shafts, and sebaceous glands (pilosebaceous units) characterized by seborrhea, open and closed comedo; papules; pustules; and in more severe cases it also results in nodules formation.
Acne is a multifactorial & the most common dermatological disorder affecting patients' quality of life. Its aggravation in most cases is clinically associated with a much-neglected factor-"stress." It is found that people with chronic episodes of acne flare are always associated with a more significant psychological burden & experience symptom like anxiety, depression & low self-esteem. Such factors delay the recovery and further form a vicious cycle of acne-stress-acne, which means nothing but delayed results & more acne pop-ups.
Relationship Between Acne & Stress
Stress triggers worsens acne by multiple mechanisms. In response to emotional stress, the Hypothalamus Pituitary Adrenal (HPA) axis activates & increases levels of cortisol release. The Corticotrophin Releasing Hormone (CRH) acts as a central coordinator and behavioral stress response. The CRH further stimulates sebaceous gland lipid production and contributes to the formation of stress-induced acne lesions.
Manage Stress & Fights Acne With A Unique Approach
The treatment of acne is challenging and often chronic, with high rates of recurrence happening due to incomplete treatment. On the one hand, oral/topical anti-allergic & antibiotics are chosen as the first line therapy for acne patients in other systems of medicine. Ayurveda, a well-known pioneer in treating skin disorders (Kushta roga), emphasizes a multi-system approach, including stress management. There are various herbs mentioned in Ayurveda that have been scientifically proven to mitigate stress & reduce episodes of acne. Some of them are:
Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) - A known adaptogenic & a potent pro-healer
Bacopa monnieri is a well-known adaptogenic herb that helps reduce stress and anxiety by elevating mood and lowering cortisol level. It also reduces lipid peroxidation of damaged skin & increases skin strength with its rich saponin compound. Thus effectively works in curing acne & mitigating stress associated with its recurrence.
Giloe (Tinospora cordifolia)- A novel anti-microbial herb with anti-stress potential.
Various researchers have shown that berberine, the principal constituent of T. cordifolia, is not just responsible for its potent anti-bacterial potential against significant acne-causing bacteria P. acne. But it also acts as an effective anti-stress agent by increasing the levels of norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin and decreasing the level of Gamma Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), resulting in lowering stress & reducing acne.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)- A potent anti-inflammatory & antioxidant-rich botanical
Curcumin, a major bio-active compound found in turmeric, not just significantly reduces comedo count & inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-alpha with its potent anti-inflammatory action. It also found that curcuminoids works on all parameters of oxidative stress, including plasma activities of SOD and catalase. Thus effectively reduces acne-associated edema, inflammations & oxidative stress.
Keeping the multi-system approach in mind, AIMIL Pharmaceuticals brings a comprehensive approach to the management of acne & developed an effective poly-herbal formula PURODIL, that works in all the stages of acne with a multi-mechanism approach. It is fortified with Ayurveda's best herbs that not just reduce endotoxin production, inhibit free radicals, and detoxify blood impurities but also diminish stress induced changes in the body by exerting anti-stress action resulting in potentially breaking the cycle of stress-acne-stress.