The word acne is derived from a Greek word akme, which means point or spot. Acne Vulgaris is a skin disorder, which is identified by scaly red skin, blackheads, whiteheads, pinheads, pimples, blemishes, black spots, and scars. Acne is more common during puberty when sebaceous glands are abundant. Acne is often seen on the face, also present on the chest, shoulder, neck and back.
In Unani system of medicine, acne vulgaris is termed as Basoore Labniya, Mohasa or Keel. The renowned Unani physician, Ibn Sina says in his treatise, Canon of Medicine, that Mohasa are small white eruptions on the nose and cheeks which resemble condensed drops of milk. The etiology is considered to be Madda Sadeediya (suppurative material), which comes towards the skin surface due to Bukharat (vapours) of the body and is not resolved in the skin due to its viscosity.
What are the causes of acne?
- Adolescence experiences acne due to more production of testosterone hormone. This hormone makes the oil glands bigger under the skin, result in more production of oils.
- Skin with more oil concentration means more appearance of acne.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Stress and anxiety increase the gravity of acne
- Propionibacterium acnes, a form of anaerobic bacteria causes acne.
- Glycemic diet is more prone to acne.
- Medications i.e. steroids, anticonvulsants, birth control pills
- Environmental conditions such as humidity and excessive facing of sunlight.
What are the symptoms of acne?
There are many signs and symptoms associated with acne:
- Presence of more number of oil glands on the skin
- Presence of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, scars, etc.
- Pus filled swollen and red facial parts
- Solid and raised bump nodules
Types of acne vulgaris
- Whiteheads: Whiteheads are small in size, occur below the skin.
- Nobules: Nobules are comparatively bigger in size, painful and visible from skin surface.
- Papules: small in size and can be seen from skin surface.
- Blackheads: One can see blackheads from the skin; the size is little bit bigger.
- Pustules: It is pus related acne that can be seen from the skin surface.
- Cyst: Cyst is painful pimples and full of pus, and can cause scars easily.
Unani medicine for acne treatment (Busoor-e-Labaniya)
Unani medicine is helpful to remove acne, pimples, and scars. Unani medicine is beneficial in the treatment and management of acne vulgaris. Few of the Unani prescriptions are being discussed here.
- Make a mixture of 4 grams each of fumaria indica, Chirata, Taphrosia, Globe flower, and Jujube fruit (5 in numbers). Now, boil these Unani medicines in about 200 ml. of water. Strain it and add sugar for sweeten purpose. It is suggested the patient should take it twice a day i.e. in the morning and before going to bed.
- Take the sufficient quantity of cuttle fishbone. Now, rub it on stone by using water. After preparing the paste, use it over the pimples and acne. Continue it for one week to have a good result.
- Take six grams each of dried rind of orange, egg shell, tragacanth gum, barley, gram, lentil, starch, kernel of almond, and kernel of sweet melon seeds. Make a fine powder of all the ingredients. Take the necessary amount of powder and make a paste with water. Apply it before going to bed and wash it with lukewarm water in the morning. This procedure helps in removing of acne and pimples.
- Take a mix of gyrated apple (10 gm) and honey (1 tsp). Now make a paste of it and apply on the face for over 15 minutes, followed by washing it with clean water.
- Make a mix of oat meal (2 tsp), honey (1 tsp) and water. Now a make a paste of these ingredients and apply the same on the face and leave it for 10 minutes. Wash it with lukewarm water for better results.
- The massage of the mix of almond powder, and castor oil helps to control acne. The massage paste should be washed after 10-15 minutes.