Chinese Medicine For Acne And More
Dermatological conditions have been one of the most widely known and clearly recognised health issues in many disciplines of medicine, going back thousands of years. This is because in most cases the condition is clearly visible and easily recognisable.
Acne, in particular, is one of the most common skin afflictions, striking most people at some point in their teen years. Still, not uncommon is for acne to be more severe in some individuals, or to persist into adult years.
Chinese Medicine for acne is an increasingly popular option with a reputation for being relatively low on side effects compared with mainstream options.
Chinese Medicine for Acne in Orange and Bathurst NSW
Acne results from the obstruction of sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are the natural oil-producing glands in the skin, found in pores beneath hair follicles. This condition is most commonly caused by hair follicles or dead skin blocking the glands, at which point they can quickly become infected. The areas most affected are those with higher concentrations of sebaceous glands, such as the face and neck, chest, shoulders and back. Puberty is a common trigger, where the accompanying hormonal changes often stimulate skin oil production.
Generally speaking, Chinese herbal medicine tends to be more useful than acupuncture in dermatology, but this does depend upon the condition being treated.
The Treatment Of Acne With Chinese Medicine
Acne is something that has affected us all at some point in our lives. Although a seemingly mild medical situation, severe acne, especially of the face, leaves individuals feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable in their own skin. People try all sorts of creams and washes and spend lots of money on advertised cures with mixed results. Happily, acne is a condition for which Chinese medicine has a treatment and the springtime is the perfect season to address this skin issue.
You are always best served in Chinese medicine by meeting with a licensed practitioner who can offer you a diagnosis and differentiate one type of acne situation from another. The power of Chinese medicine is in a personalized treatment. For example, you and I might both suffer from acne but have it treated two different ways with Chinese medicine depending on who we are and our personal situation.
Chinese medicine treats acne through herbal medicine, acupuncture, diet suggestions and exercise routines. In Chinese medicine, metaphors are used to describe the pathogens in the body. Acne is most often seen as heat in the lung and stomach meridians.
The lung meridian starts in the middle of the body and moves up to the chest. The stomach meridian starts at the face and goes through the chest.
Chinese medicine differentiates two types of acne: heat in the lungs and stomach, and stagnation of phlegm with dampness and blood stagnation.
According To Chinese Medicine What Causes Acne
While more Western treatment methods discuss sebum, skin cycles, and hormones, theres a very different focus for Chinese herbal solutions. When it comes to Chinese medicine, its getting hot in here, as Nelly once said.
Chinese medicine postulates that acne develops due to an imbalance of heat or dampness. Excess heat builds up in the lung and stomach meridians, or lines of energy that flow throughout the body and rises to the face. It shows itself as inflammation like redness and pustules.
Another traditional Chinese cause of acne lesions is dampness or damp heat, which is brought on by dairy and oily, cold, and/or processed foods. This triggers oily skin, according to practitioners. Other factors, such as phlegm or a qi deficiency , can also contribute to severe acne.
In Chinese medicine for acne, the causes of breakouts are seen as highly individualized. Therefore, treatment is catered to the person: their energy, diet, and whatever stagnation or imbalances they struggle with.
Despite the personalized nature of this style of medicine, 5 steps run across most treatment plans. Many are backed by scientific studies, too. Below, I describe a method of using Chinese herbs and medicine for acne.
What is the best herbal treatment for acne? The best herbal treatment for acne is a combination of topical remedies and herbal teas and supplements with a healthy lifestyle.
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Chinese Herbs Are Safe With The Help Of A Professional
Chinese herbal treatments are generally considered safe, with little to no side effects, as long as you take them as directed from a professional.
Here’s the thing: “herbal” and “natural” doesn’t always make a treatment safe. Anything strong enough to heal you can also harm you if taken incorrectly. Make sure your herbalist has experience treating skin conditions, and that they’re committed to using Chinese herbs from a reputable pharmacy. Ask about whether the herbs have been tested not only for quality, but also for pesticide or fungicide residues. Herb quality is a big concern in the Chinese medicine community, and is something to which you should pay close attention.
Effective Chinese Herbal Remedies For Acne
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions affecting people. Characterized by pimples and breakouts on the face and other parts of the body such as the chest and back, acne not only occurs in adolescents but is also suffered by adults. Acne breakouts often occur as aresult of hormone changes, stress, trigger foods and poor skincare routines.
Although acne is usually viewed as a mild medical condition, severe acne attacksespecially those that occur on the facecan leave not only physical scars but emotional ones too. Treating acne is, therefore, very important for cosmetic purposes as well as for maintaining a sense of well-being and self-confidence.
To treat acne, most people try over-the-counter medicated creams and skincare products. These treatments are often ineffective because they do not address the root cause of the attacks. The result is, at best, temporary relief from acne with the condition reappearing at the slightest provocation.
Recurring acne often leads people to try prescription creams and drugs, which can, unfortunately, pose serious side effects and health risks. These unsatisfactory treatments are leading people to explore more natural methods for getting clear and healthy skin. A safer, holistic approach is to use Chinese herbal remedies to address acne.
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Herbal Treatments Are Individualized
In Western medicine, there aren’t a lot of options for the internal treatment of acne. Generally, people are either prescribed birth control pills, antibiotics, or isotretinoin, the latter of can have dangerous side effects.
Herbalists look at the whole health picture. What does the acne look like? Is there background redness, or is the skin more greasy or shiny? Are there pimples, pustules, cysts or all three? Where is it located? How are other symptoms like digestion? How old is the patient? Are there other factors involved, like drinking, smoking, diet or stress?
The whole health picture helps determine what Chinese medicine calls “patterns of imbalance.” Treatment specifically targets each of these patterns and, as they change and evolve, herbal treatment evolves, too.
Blood Stasis And Phlegm
What it looks like: Dark red or purple sores that are deep and painful . May accompany other hormonal issues related to blood stasis and phlegm such as PCOS or endometriosis.Organ System it affects: Liver, Spleen, HeartWhat it is: When the bodys fluids stop moving properly, stagnation occurs and slows everything down. As that stagnation progresses into stasis, fluids and blood congeal and become stuck. The result is painful clots and phlegm nodules . Stagnation and stasis can occur for a variety of reasons, but in general, a lack of movement, inflammation, poor diet, and emotional constraint are at the core.
Chinese Medicine helps improve this kind of acne by: Clearing heat in blood Cooling and calming the skin Breaking down stuck phlegm Encouraging a healthy flow of blood throughout the body Relieving stress or emotional constraint
Lifestyle tips to clear damp-heat acne: Stay hydrated, especially with mint or green tea Choose foods like Asparagus, Bamboo Shoot, Banana, Cucumber, Endive, Mung Bean, Mushroom, Peppermint, Strawberry Avoid dairy, alcohol, sugar, heavy, and greasy foods Exercise daily for better blood circulation throughout the body
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Best Chinese Herbs For Hormonal Acne
- Jia Wei Xiao Yao San Jia Wei Xiao Yao San is a modified version of the famous Xiao Yao San. It contains two added herbs that cool inflammation, making it a go-to formula for those with hormonal acne that tends to be red or angry looking. This formula is also a good choice if you struggle with jawline acne, irritability, mood swings, loose stools, or trouble sleeping especially around your menstrual cycle.
Banishing Hormonal Acne With Chinese Medicine
If youve used topical acne treatment products recently, youre probably all too familiar with how harsh and drying they can be. Active ingredients like alcohol, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid may be effective, but the effects are often worse than the acne itself. Not only do they leave the skin irritated, red, and flaky, but they also stimulate even more oil production!
And if youve seen your doctor about your hormonal breakouts, theres a good chance hes prescribed oral contraceptives. Theres no doubt they can be very helpful, but they also come with some pretty scary potential side effects, include a greater risk of some types of cancer and blood clots that could lead to stroke.
In Chinese medicine, the recommended approach is entirely different. The focus on balancing the hormones, since that is what causes hormonal acne in the first place.
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Chinese Herbal Medicine Is Commonly Used To Treat Acne With Personalized But Complicated Prescriptions
What is acne remedy for based on principles of chinese medicine, acne remedy by ginsen is clinically experienced formula that works by eliminating inflammation, clearing heat, balancing hormones, de stressing the body and mind and removing toxins. The better your digestion is, the better your skin is. Zilch acne formula by dr.
Ayurvedic Masks Cleansers And Essential Oil Acne Magic
What you use to clean your skin is also important. I have inexpensive natural cleansers I have had very good success with in curing hormonal acne and cystic acne. I also use Ayurveda Herbal Masks, and Original Swiss Aromatics brand Acne Magic and other essential oil products that detoxify the skin and promote healthy new skin growth.
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Chinese Herbs For Acne
Traditional Chinese medicine has long used a variety of herbs and plants to heal a whole host of conditions. We have rounded up a selection of the best herbal treatments to use for acne.
These can be applied topically to the affected areas of skin or can be consumed as teas, or in food. As with any major lifestyle change, if you have any concerns we strongly advise consulting a doctor, dermatologist, or licensed Chinese medicine practitioner.
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Acupuncture Channels: The Location Of Your Acne Tells A Story
Acne Along the Chong Channel: Menstrual Hormonal
In Chinese medicine we look at the location of the acne in women to determine if it is associated with hormonal fluctuations. When the acne is predominant along the path of the Chong channel, which is related to both the stomach and menstrual/reproductive function, around the mouth from the cheeks to the chin, it is typically hormonally related.
When we see this pattern of acne, and when we see acne anywhere on the face or back that is dramatically worse premenstrually, or occurs only premenstrually, then this points us towards a particular pattern of acupuncture treatment to regulate the hormones, and herbal therapy that restores balance to the hormones, as well as clears damp-heat from the skin.
Acne Along the Gall Bladder Channel: Stress Hormonal
On the other hand, when you see acne along the side of the face, in front of the ears up to the temples, this is a completely different pattern, requiring a different treatment, clearing damp-heat from the gall bladder channel.
This pattern is more typically the result of stress hormones than progesterone/estrogen imbalance, especially if it is unchanged through the cycle. In this case I often use an herbal prescription called Long Dan Xie Gan Tang/Gentiana Decotion to Drain the Gall Bladder
How You Choose The Right Chinese Herbal Formula
There are many different Chinese Herbal formulas I use for hormonal acne. I choose the formula based on
Cold Beverage Consumption and Acne
Western Vs Traditional Chinese Medicine
While many Western medical treatments are focused on relieving the symptoms of skin disorders, traditional Chinese medicine examines the root cause of skin conditions and addresses them through a more holistic approach.
Chinese medicine is a system based on a very different understanding of the human body than Western medicine.
Can Chinese medicine treat skin problems? Yes, Chinese medicine has long been used to treat skin problems. Much of the treatment plan focuses on how blood and energy flow throughout the body and environmental factors.
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Choose Your Chocolate Carefully
Chocolate is another food that is not inherently bad. It is rich in antioxidants which are considered to be anti-aging due to their ability to fight free radicals. It also contains magnesium which women need more of right before our period, which is why we crave it. The issue with chocolate is it often contains loads of sugar or dairy. Opt for dark chocolate with low sugar and dairy-free if possible.
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What Does Hormonal Acne Look Like
Hormonal acne is usually inflamed and painful with cysts forming below the skins surface, but it can also show as blackheads, whiteheads and smaller pimples. For more advanced cases, cysts can form deep under the skin and dont come to a head on the surface. These bumps are often tender to the touch, says Isaacs.
One of the most obvious signs of hormonal acne is where it appears. The common places youll find hormonal pimples are on the chin and jawline . That said, hormonal acne can also appear on the neck, chest and upper back.
Causes Of Hormonal Acne In Traditional Chinese Medicine
Hormonal acne is a term that exists in Western Medicine which means acne or breakouts in the skin that are due to imbalances in hormones of the body. With hormone fluctuations in the body, the skin can become hypersensitive, overly dry or oily which can result in the development of hormonal acne that are cystic and mostly along the jawline.
So what are the causes of hormonal acne as explained from Traditional Chinese Medicine?
In my Instagram Weekly Ask Me Anything, I have posted 8 main reasons for the causation of hormonal acne. Watch it here!
The elaborations to the reasons are posted here in this blog!
1. Too much caffeine
Caffeine is usually found in teas and coffees. In Western Medicine, caffeine can increase the alertness of a person within a very short period of time but also result in a heightened stress response in the body. Stress hormones such as cortisol can increase the amount of oil secretion in the skin which can clog up the skin and increases the chances of inflammation in the pores and the development of acne.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, caffeine is heaty and more Yang in nature as they increase the inflammatory response in the body. This causes the skin to be more heated and irritated and thus result in the formation of hormonal cystic acne.
2. Skipping meals
3. Taking Cold Foods and Drinks
For ladies, cold foods and drinks are a big no no as written in my past blog post here about why everything cold is not encouraged for ladies.
4. No rest days
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Ayurveda And Chinese Herbal Medicine
Ayurvedic and Chinese Herbs are part of my protocol for curing hormonal acne. Acne in Ayurveda is primarily a Pitta elevation, and secondarily a Kapha elevation. So the Ayurvedic treatment of acne is based on a diet, lifestyle, and herbal medicines that pacify Pitta and Kapha.
These are herbs that clear pathological heat from the body, especially from the skin. These herbs also decongest the tissues and shrotas/channels, and clear pathological dampness from the skin. This is the Kapha pacifying effect.
Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs that clear heat and pacify Pitta from the skin have a strong antibacterial effect. They are like herbal antibiotics, but are much less harmful to the gut than antibiotics, and in many cases actually detoxify the gut in a good way.
These herbs clear infections anywhere in the body. They are combined with Chinese herbs that detoxify the skin, and are used in China to promote healthy radiant skin.
Chinese herbs like Forsythia and Lonicera are used to bring infections in the skin to the surface. Others are used to soften cysts and can be used for boils and any kinds of cysts. They are used for swollen glands as well as for hormonal acne.
When treating hormonal acne I use herbs for the Acne itself, as above. But I also use herbs to treat the underlying cause of the acne. This includes herbs for Constipation and Digestion, and above all herbs to balance your hormones and regulate your menstrual cycle.