Cystic acne is marked by inflammation of the acne that causes pain. It is a pus-filled acne (pimple) which is formed deep under the skin. In many cases, it is combined with bacterial infection which can make it severe, more painful and can cause scarring. Cystic acne is similar to nodular acne. The only difference between them is that Nodular acne is more solid, and harder than acne cysts because they don’t contain fluid.

Cystic acne can be dreadful and can have a deep impact on a person’s emotions. The individual suffering from Cystic acne can suffer low emotions, fear and stress. They can even prevent themselves from social gatherings and suffer loneliness.

How does cystic acne appear?

Pores in the skin can clog with excess oil and dead skin cells causing pimples. Bacteria can enter the skin pores and get trapped along with the oil and skin cells. The skin reaction causes swelling deep in the skin’s middle layer. This infected, red, swollen lump is an acne cyst. There could be multiple factors responsible for the development of cystic acne like age (teenagers are more prone to cystic acne), family history of cystic acne, lack of hygiene etc.

A cystic acne breakout can cover a large area of skin. Cystic acne tends to appear majorly on the face due to the presence of maximum oil glands but one can also get acne cysts on the back, butt, chest, neck, shoulders and upper arms.

Ayurveda’s approach to cystic acne :

Cystic acne is called Mukhadushika in Ayurveda classics. Vitiated Pitta dosha, Vata dosha and Rakta dushti together can lead to Mukhadushika according to Ayurveda. In some cases, Meda dhatu dushti (vitiation of adipose tissue commonly known as fat cells) is also observed. Ayurveda has always emphasized that low Agni (digestive fire) is responsible for vitiating doshas which gives rise to many imbalances in the system. Skin is the largest organ of the human body and is also known as the mirror of our health.

Ayurvedic Management and Treatment:

Cystic acne can be successfully managed and treated by ayurvedic interventions in the following 4 steps –

  • Shodhana Chikitsa (bio purification)
  • Shaman Chikitsa (herbal therapy)
  • Diet & lifestyle modifications
  • Management of emotional health (pranayama & Vedic counselling)
Shodhana Chikitsa for Cystic acne can be Vamanam & Virechana

This is therapeutically induced vomiting. In short, It has the following benefits;


  1. It clears the excess mucous accumulation in the oesophagus and upper digestive tract.
  2. It clears the accumulated toxins in the stomach thereby helping in better metabolic activity.
  3. It relieves the accumulated stress, stored in the form of emotions in the heart and the glands in the region of the throat.
  4. It activates hunger, and enhances diaphragmatic movement, leading to proper digestion.

It is a therapeutically induced purgation.


  1. Release abdominal distension and evacuate accumulated gases
  2. Balances the tridosha ( three humours – vpk )
  3. Activates the function of apana Vaayu
  4.  Keeps the person grounded and restores mental and emotional balance. (the abdomen is a site for psychosomatic expressions connected with fear, anxiety, restlessness and in specific cases, agitation too. When Virechanam is introduced it removes these blockages from the channels and re-directs the energy- Apana vaayu in the right direction. So a person feels calm, and composed and finds himself in a peaceful, stable mental disposition.)
  5. Releases all undigested matter from the large intestine thereby rejuvenating the colon.
  6. It improves water metabolism
Shaman Chikitsa (pacifying therapy with Ayurvedic herbs)

Indian herbs like Manjishtha, Neem, Haridra, and Aloe Vera are proven to have wonderful therapeutic effects in the management of Cystic acne.

Manjishtha (Rubia Cardifolia) – It has a cooling effect on the skin. It helps in reducing the pain and inflammation thus reducing scarring of the skin.

Neem – Neem is a natural blood purifier that helps treat skin conditions and is used in herbal formulations to control blood sugar levels.

Haridra (Indian turmeric) – Turmeric has a brilliant effect on healing wounds and also reduces the frequent production of pus. It also has anti-microbial properties and has proven to improve the immunity of the skin.

Aloe Vera – It can soothe acne that is inflamed and painful. Apply Aloe vera gel to the skin leave it on for 30 minutes and then wash it off with cold water.

Diet and lifestyle modifications –

A diet based on the individual’s Prakriti (understanding the dosha and Ayurvedic body type) is strongly recommended along with the above therapy to enhance the healing effects of Shodhana & Shaman chikitsa. Lifestyle modifications like following biological clock have also been shown very effective improvements in the ayurvedic treatment of Cystic acne.

Management of emotional health
Vedic Counselling Service03

The person suffering from Cystic acne needs continuous emotional support to boost their self-confidence and to manage anxiety. Pranayama and Vedic counselling sessions can assist in bringing clarity and balance on an emotional and energetic level. It can also help the person to heal past issues to facilitate release and create a safe and protected space for you to open in. Follow-ups and self-healing tools are given in these sessions.



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