Acne is a common condition that causes spots to develop on the skin, usually on the face, back and chest. The spots range from blackheads and whiteheads which are often mild, to inflamed pustules and cysts, which can be severe, long lasting and lead to scarring. Western medicine believes the spots and lesions form due to an overproduction of sebum, irritation of hair follicles due to irregular shedding of skin cells, and an overgrowth of bacteria. The cause of acne is not known to Western science. Treatments with conventional medicines can control acne, but not cure it.
How Traditional Chinese Medicine Views Acne
Despite the fact that acne manifests on the skin, TCM considers it to be a condition that originates within the body and believes there are at least six different root causes of acne. The severity of the symptoms depends on the type of body imbalance causing the condition. These imbalances are often complicated further by hormone fluctuations, stress and poor diet.
How Traditional Chinese Medicine Treats Acne
Acne is a condition for which Chinese medicine is extremely effective. Your Practitioner will identify the body imbalance which is causing your acne and prescribe a personalised course of acupuncture, herbal medicine and herbal ointment. The diagnosis will be based on careful inspection of the exterior skin condition, the type of eruption, skin colour, information gained on diet, factors which affect the symptoms, the onset and duration of the condition along with information on digestion, energy, emotions, sleep, and the immune system. You will also receive nutritional advice as TCM considers that poor diet can be a contributory factor to the development of acne. Dietary recommendations for acne sufferers include eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, drinking sufficient amounts of water, and staying away from foods which may exacerbate the condition such as processed, spicy, greasy, sweet and fried foods.
What To Expect
Most people experience a reduction of inflammation, swelling, new lesions and reduced oiliness within three weeks. The length of time of time taken for the condition to be resolved depends on the type of acne – some conditions resolve much faster than others. As a general rule, the longer the condition has been present, the longer it takes to resolve.