Acne and Traditional Chinese Medicine

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Traditional Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine) is very effective at treating acne. It works by reducing inflammation, infection and increasing circulation. The key is to correctly diagnosis the imbalance that is causing the acne.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a holistic approach to diagnosis and treatment of acne, identifying specific imbalances in the body of each individual. Correcting the imbalance does not just treat the symptoms or mask the condition, but rather corrects the root of the problem by encouraging self-healing of the body.

Imbalance Differentiation:

1. Acne with red papule occasionally accompanied with itching pain, mostly occurring in the forehead, cheek, beside the nose, chest and back. In TCM, this acne type is caused by heat. Other signs of this acne type are dry mouth and like cold drink, yellow nasal discharge, reddened tongue, and yellowish tongue coating. Acupuncture treatment and herbs are used to clear away the heat.

Some of the acupuncture points are Du-14, LI-4, LI-11, LU-5, LU-10, BL-40, BL-13

Many Chinese herbs have been shown to have many antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects property such as Huang Qin, Pu Gong Ying (Dandelion), Jin Yin Hua. This individual herb can be added to Pi Pa Qing Fei Yin formula

2. Acne with pus, nodular surrounding, red, swollen, painful, oily skin on the face, worsen by diet, alcohol, fried foods. In TCM, damp-heat is a significant cause of this acne with pus. Other signs of damp-heat may be bad breath, constipation, abdominal distension, fatigue, and poor digestion.
The treatment goal for this type of acne is to clear heat and eliminate dampness. Acupuncture points are LI-4, LI-11, ST.36, ST-37, ST-44, SP-6, SP-10, etc.
Chinese herbs such as Huang Qin, Sang Bai Pi or Ban Xia would be benefit.

3. Nodular & Cystic Acne- severely inflamed type of acne. The cysts (oily liquid) are large and hard nodule cause scars, cysts lie deep in the skin and can be painful. Other signs of this type of acne may be soft stool, poor appetite
In TCM , this related to stagnation of phlegm dampness.
Acupuncture points can be used such as BL-20, SP-6, SP-9, LI-4, ST-36, RN-12, ST-25, etc.
Many Chinese medicines to soften the phlegm nodules like Hai Zao, Kun Bu, Zhe Bei Mu, Ban Xia, Chen Pi

4. Hormonal Acne: Acne that is linked to menstrual cycle. It usually flared up before menstrual cycle, also can have before menopause. This acne is often a combination of whiteheads and blackhead with some inflammation involved. Some acupuncture points may be used are SP-10, BL-17, SP-6, SP-4.

In TCM, hormonal acne can be related to stagnation, which is a lack of circulation in the body. Stress may also be a factor in the development of hormonal as well as inflammatory acne is a common cause of qi (life energy) and blood stagnation. Herbs such as Chai Hu and Yi Mu Cao can help move the qi and blood & stop acne.

In conclusion, the key to successfully acne treatment is interrupting the cycle that causes acne. Acupuncture and Chinese medicines work to correct imbalances in the body. By removing the imbalances causing the acne, it disrupts acne cycle and allows the body to heal itself.