Acne

Acne Protocols in Chinese Medicine

In Western medicine, acne is often considered a result of hormonal imbalances. Chinese medicine does not technically have an endocrine system, so how is it possible that it treats gynecological and infertility problems in women so well? The theories of Chinese medicine are independent of a western diagnosis and have been applied to skin disorders with recorded protocols and strategies dating back thousands of years. The patterns of imbalance common in acne include Stagnation, Heat, and Internal Dampness as detailed below. Because Chinese medicine recognizes acne as an internal imbalance, self care modalities including acupressure, topical remedies, and organic herbal formulas must be used in tandem over a matter of months for good outcomes. Additionally, proper dietary habits are vitally important in resolving acne.

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Acupressure Points to Get Rid of Acne

Learn How to Effectively Activate Pressure Points Linked Here!

 

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Causes and Types of Acne

Liver Imbalances and Acne

What causes one person to develop acne, whereas another does not? We know that acne is due to a build up of oil under the skin, but understanding the set of imbalances that culminate in to acne is not well explained by modern medicine. It is well recognized that hormonal imbalances and stress can contribute to the formation of acne, but Chinese medical theory is able to further break down the foundation-level bodily imbalances that cause acne. Liver Qi imbalances are a common thread with cases of acne, but are also rooted in hormonal imbalances. Consider our organic Free and Easy Wanderer formula!

Spleen Qi Deficient Acne with Internal Dampness

This common type of acne presents with deep cyst-type nodules that are difficult to expel; it is said in Chinese medical theory that there is an insufficiency of Qi energy to force the foreign material out of the body efficiently. This type of acne is often associated with a diet of fried food and carbohydrate loaded fast food.

Consider our organic Restore the Middle Way formula!

Damp-Heat Causing Acne

This type of acne presents with:

  • Red painful pustules
  • Yellow discharge
  • Painful acne

One suffering with this type of acne may also have oily skin, bad breath, and a wet tongue with a yellow coat. Consider Peaceful Warrior formula with Restore the Middle Way formula. The Peaceful Warrior would be replaced with Free and Free and Easy Wanderer formula after 3 months’ time.

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Acne Due to Blood Stagnation and Hormonal Imbalances

This is a common pattern for women who have indications of PMS and Blood and Qi Stagnation of the Lower Jiao common with:

This pattern may combine with other patterns, but is marked by acne that is more pronounced before and during the menstrual cycle. Consider our organic Stasis in the Lower Palace formula!

Acne Due to Fire Toxins

This pattern simply recognizes a more potent type of Heat causing

A Chinese medical diagnosis will often recognize Toxic Heat at the Blood Level and require cooling herbs internally that dispel Heat Toxins and Internal Wind-Heat when addressing chronic acne. ‘Internal Wind’ is often due to Liver Qi Stagnation creating Liver Fire and Wind, and herbs that sooth the Liver are commonly indicated. Consider our organic Peaceful Warrior formula!

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References

Fu S, Sun C, Tao X, Ren Y. Anti-inflammatory effects of active constituents extracted from Chinese medicinal herbs against Propionibacterium acnes. Nat Prod Res. 2012;26(18):1746-9. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2011.608675. Epub 2011 Oct 14. PMID: 21999396.

Kanlayavattanakul M, Lourith N. Therapeutic agents and herbs in topical application for acne treatment. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2011 Aug;33(4):289-97. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2494.2011.00647.x. Epub 2011 Mar 15. PMID: 21401650.

Baroni A, Ruocco E, Russo T, Piccolo V, Geng L, Zhou H, Chen HD, Gao XH. The use of traditional Chinese medicine in some dermatologic diseases: Part I--Acne, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis. Skinmed. 2015 Jan-Feb;13(1):32-8; quiz 39. PMID: 25842471.

Law MP, Chuh AA, Molinari N, Lee A. An investigation of the association between diet and occurrence of acne: a rational approach from a traditional Chinese medicine perspective. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2010 Jan;35(1):31-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2230.2009.03360.x. Epub 2009 Jun 22. PMID: 19549242.

Winkelman WJ. Aromatherapy, botanicals, and essential oils in acne. Clin Dermatol. 2018 May-Jun;36(3):299-305. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2018.03.004. Epub 2018 Mar 10. PMID: 29908571.