How Traditional Chinese Medicine Can Treat Acne

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Though Chinese medicine has been practiced for over 4,000 years, it wasn’t widely accepted in the Western world until fairly recently. Dermatology, however, is a unique subspecialty where acceptance has thankfully flourished, leading to a blend of Western and Eastern techniques to control various dermatologic maladies, most notably acne and eczema.

In my practice, I’ve found traditional Chinese medicine often ameliorates skin symptoms and ailments Western medicine can’t cure. By focusing on the root cause of various issues — poor circulation, energy stagnation, excessive internal heat — Eastern medicine often succeeds where academic, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, pharmaceutical-driven Western medicine has failed. Oftentimes, it’s the simple release of a meridian that can reestablish the balance of Yin and Yang, instantly returning the body to a healthy state.

When patients come to me saying, “I’ve tried everything, every wash, every prescription … and my acne still won’t go away,” it’s clear they haven’t tried using an Eastern approach to skin care. When I tell them acne needs to be treated from within, instead of by slathering various ointments and creams on their skin, they’re often shocked.

The Western approach to acne believes the cause is three-pronged: bacteria, hormonal fluctuations and exfoliation. To treat acne, it’s often a one-size-fits-all approach, with only a few tools used on everyone, no matter how different their acne is. In contrast, Chinese medicine believes acne (known as Fen Ci, which translates to “white horns”) is caused by an overactive yang or “heat” evils, an an internal “dampness.” Stress, “hot” foods, hormonal activity, poor circulation and agitated thought are all causes of excessive heat that rise up through the body and present on the face in the form of acne. Damp environment, raw foods, insufficient sweating and poor digestion are all causes of the dampness that contribute as well.

Obviously this approach to acne doesn’t lend itself to a Western course of treatment. After all, how can any dermatologist prescribe a medication or topical treatment to combat heat evils and internal dampness?

Unlike Western medicine, Chinese medicine even attributes various acne locations to specific internal conflicts. For example, blocking of the stomach meridian results in chest and face acne, whereas blockage within the lungs and stomach results in facial acne. Patients experiencing this type of acne may also note dry mouth, dark urine and constipation, with a fast pulse and bright red tongue.

In this instance, treatment with calming foods like cucumber and green teas can be very helpful, alongside a regimen of Pi Pa Fei Yin, an herbal mixture that helps to cool the blood and clear the lungs. For sores that last a particularly long time, the traditional Chinese therapy is to activate blood circulation using an herbal blend of circulatory stimulators: Tao Hong Si Wu Tang.

As someone who blends Eastern and Western therapies in my practice, I’d sooner recommend gan cao (licorice root) to treat certain types of acne instead of over-the-counter alternatives like minocycline or doxycycline. Another agent that inhibits pus-producing cells from migrating to the face is dong qui (female ginseng).

Acne, or Fen Ci, is far from fully understood … in both hemispheres. A blend of Eastern and Western medical techniques server my patients best.

Source: www.mindbodygreen.com

2015-11-13T12:38:54+00:00

Related Questions

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    Q: I've had acne since about the age of 12. Back then my acne was very serve but now it's light to moderate because I am on birth control. I have read information on your site and want to stop the birth control pills but I don't know what to do about my acne. I know I need to do a detox to my body but the products you have on your website are very expensive for me at the moment. I saw the product for cleansing your blood. Would this be a good place to start? Could please give me some recommendations? Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks

    A:

    An effective blood cleanser is the FULL BODY DETOX and if you can't afford the FBD, then drink vegetable juice daily (beets, carrots, parsley, spinach, apple, etc.

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    Q: I have bad acne....which means I break out almost daily and with the cystic acne deep in the skin. I have tried almost everything and nothing will clear up my skin and keep it clear. Would any products on this site help me without drying my skin to the point of being flaky and without making it oilier than it is alone?

    A:

    I recommend that you read our "ACNE" article for remedy and recourse. Everything you need to know is here in this article.

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    Q: I have severe cystic acne that has caused acne scarring. Some are raised while others are depressed. I have come completely off of the acne medications I've been prescribed and over the counter medicines (i.e., Proactive) and gone the natural route. I first started by changing my diet and followed that with the Full Body Detox. I purchased the olive oil and Shea butter soap and Oz Oil and use this daily. In addition, I use Bentonite clay twice weekly and steam 3-5x a week followed by hydrogen peroxide. I have two questions, will this alone regenerate the scar tissue? And will this also be effective for hyper pigmentation?

    A:

    What you are using now will greatly help your condition (as well as hyper-pigmentation). Just keep doing what you're doing and just know that with Nature patience is required.

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    Q: Can OZ OIL help with acne or scarring from the effects of acne

    A:

    Try our OZ OIL in the daytime and HEALING SKIN OIL at night applied to the face! These can and will help!

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    Q: I am a 39 yr old woman with acne. Today I visited the dermatologist and he suggested that I take spironolactone. I have an issue with prescription drugs. Although I want to get rid of this horrible acne and scaring I don't the side effects of this drug. The doctor mentioned that this drug would reduce the male hormone. What would you suggest that I take in order to balance this hormonal war inside my body? Sincerely

    A:

    Perform the FULL BODY DETOX. Use Bentonite Clay on your face. Apply OZ OIL on your face as well. These products are available in our on-line store. Please read our article on "ACNE".

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    Q: Hello, I'm 39 years old I had acne since I was thirteen years old. I tried everything I have even tried the Moroccan red clay nothing seems to work I suffer from acne scars Blemishes marks that won't go away can you recommend something that will work for me thanks

    A:

    Heal from the inside out! Perform the FULL BODY DETOX followed by the 10-DAY ELECTRIC GREENS CELL FOOD CLEANSE and apply OZ OILto your skin daily. Focus on your healing, not on having acne. Order our MENTAL SCIENCE MANUAL e-book to help with your focus on healing. Also read our article on "ACNE" in our articles section.

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    Q: What is the best formula for a woman who has inflamed acne? Also, what are the dangers of taking antibiotics for acne for a prolonged period of time?

    A:

    THE BEST FORMULA IS THE FULL BODY DETOX. READ THESE TWO ARTICLES: 1. "ACNE" 2. â€DANGERS OF ANTI-BIOTICS†GREAT INFORMATION AND ALSO OFFERS YOU SOLUTIONS.

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    Q: I have suffered from sever acne on my face and back for the past 8 years. I have tried a lot of things from prescription drugs to natural products and I still break out. I have some other symptoms like vaginal discharge, excessive hair growth and swollen lymph glands in my jaw and neck. Are all of these things related to one another? Please help me! I am 28 yrs and feel that I will look older than I am if I don’t find a solution.

    A:

    You're blood is TOXIC and needs purifying and cleansing! Acne is the result of your skin defecating via the skin because your eliminative channels are not working. Read our articles (â€SKIN RASHâ€, â€VAGINAL ODORS AND DISCHARGEâ€, etc.). Perform the FULL BODY DETOX followed by the TOTAL WOMAN CLEANSE, change your diet (raw foods and vegan), soak in hot water, sea salt, and hydrogen peroxide DAILY! All of your problems are connected which is why the total body needs cleansing The new ACNE article will be up soon so stay tuned to Dherbs.Com!

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    Q: My sons is only 2 months old, and his face is very dry and flaky. I keep his face moisturized with either shea, or cocoa butter, but it keeps drying out. I was told he has baby acne, which is when during birthing stages, my hormone passed to him, causing acne. What do you recommend from your product line?

    A:

    Please read our articles entitled "Eczema", and "Skin Disorder = Blood Disorder" in our articles section. Diet-wise, please order and read our "Alternative Diet and Lifestyle" manual, and start feeding the child a vegan diet. Avoid all acidic foods which irritate his skin.

    Articles:
    Eczema
    Skin Disorder = Blood Disorder

    Product Links:
    Alternative Diet and Lifestyle Manual

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    Q: I'm a 40 yr old woman with genital herpes. I also have had acne since I was a teen resulting in some dark spots on my face/neck. What do you suggest to help control the above?

    A:

    Please read our GENITAL HERPES and SKIN RASH articles to have your question answered in depth.

    For healing of genital herpes, I suggest you perform our Full Body Detox kit and regimen followed by our Anti-Viral kit and regimen.

    You can be healed, but healing is an wholistic approach.

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    Q: I have a question. My son is 16 and got him detox just 2 days ago. He hasn't started it because he cannot do with school so I told him to wait for vacation and then start because he cannot handle the food diet. anyway, we are vegetarians, and was wondering if he has bad acne, would just the blood and lymph formula work for now until we start detox to take care of his acne. I also ordered that but thought I will start after the detox and he wants to clear his face sooner and detox with diet is impossible at that age and being in school unless he does not follow the diet? What do you think? Can you let me know? Please thanks.

    A:

    Just do the BLOOD AND LYMPHATIC FORMULA for now until he can FULL BODY DETOX and do the diet. Just do what you can do diet-wise given the circumstances. An "ACNE" article is coming very soon! Stay tuned to Dherbs.Com!

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    Q: Hello I wanted to know what should I do about my acne and my hair has been extremely shedding alot ( I don't receive relaxers/perms) after I had my son and he will be one year old in march 2008? Thank you

    A:

    ACNE: please read our article â€SKIN RASH†for more information. HAIR: please read our article â€HAIR PROBLEMS†and â€BLACK HAIR, NAPPY HAIR†for more information.

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    Q: I'm a raw vegan, and still suffering from acne. I stay away from all sweeteners, except fresh whole fruits. I started to have lots of greens juices these days, and my skin has improved a little bit. What about spices such a cayenne pepper, is it bad for your skin? What about goji berries? I know they are diet fruits, thats why I stay away from them for a while. I even fast for a while. I just don't know how my skin can getter better.

    A:

    Greetings! Have you detoxed (Full Body Detox)? Acne is a blood disorder. Please read our article "Skin Disorder = Blood Disorder" for more information. Our Healing Facial Kit will be out later this month. Recommended reading: The Mental Science Manual. Stay positive! Don't focus so much on the problem. Use visualization techniques, and see yourself as you desire to see yourself, with flawless skin.

    Article:
    Skin Disorder = Blood Disorder

    Product Links:
    Full Body Detox
    The Mental Science Manual

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    Q: Which one of your herbs is really good for acne? I have been a vegetarian for 5 years, but I still have some issues with my skin.

    A:

    Read the article â€SKIN DISORDER = BLOOD DISORDER†and "ACNE" in our articles section on our site!

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    Q: My daughter is 12 and has acne and oily skin I am changing what we eat and a friend suggested I buy her a colon cleanse.

    A:

    THE FRIEND GAVE YOU GOOD ADVICE HER SYSTEM ESPECIALLY HER COLON NEEDS TO BE CLEANSED! CHECK OUT OUR DHERBS 10-DAY SUPREME COLON CLEANSE!

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    Q: I've purchased the items for the acne regimen and was wondering is there any particular order I should use the products. For ex. the OZ OIL. Should I take it orally? Please advise. Continue the good work!

    A:

    You can create your own order. It really doesn't matter! OZ OIL can be used internally as well as externally. Thank you for your words! We will keep up the work we are doing! Peace and Love!

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    Q: A friend told me about your site. I began to read about your Full Body Cleanse. I must admit that initially I was very skeptical about the information given to me, especially since I had never heard of your company, but as I read the articles listed on your site I was so amazed and enlightened. A few years ago I was diagnosed with hypertension and just last year with hypothyroid. I've had irregular menstrual cycles during my entire life. For the past two years my menstrual cycle has really been out of whack, it would come on for a few days go off a day and began menstruating again.... this has been for two years. I have had no real intimacy with a man because I was always afraid that my menstrual would start. About a month ago I thought I was having a stroke which was diagnosed by the neurologist as Bell's Palsy. I am 29 years of age soon to be 30 and all of these things have been going on with me. I have tried pharmaceuticals, which I am still on. When my doctor diagnosed me with hypothyroid he figured that the thyroid medication (levothyroxine) would eventually regulate my menstrual. I have been on this same medication for nine months and still no relief. I was once on one hypertension medication (hydrochlorathiazide) but now have to take another one along with this one because it was not regulating my blood pressure(enalapril). I hate medicine and I am tired of being on all of these drugs that I know are no good for my body. Along with those health problems I am an obese woman, of course my doctor says that this could be from my hypothyroid disease so does this mean I will never be able to get down to a healthy weight? I get so frustrated with things because I try to stay on top of my health and it seems like every time I go into see my doctor there is something new. Since the thyroid medication did not regulate my cycle he is now having me checked for polycystic ovarian syndrome. I don't want to risk my ability to have children by allowing these doctor's to do procedures on my body that will make me barren if that is the case. I am also having problems with acne and skin dryness in some areas of my face. My past doctor told me to use Neutrogena Acne Wash daily and the Neutrogena Facial Lotion that goes along with it. I have been doing this for several years so where is the relief? So I reluctantly began to read your articles and was awed, amazed, shocked, baffled. I am very interested in hearing your opinion about these issues that I am faced with and what you would recommend me do. I thank you in advance for taking the time out of your day to respond to this lengthy e-mail.

    A:

    You are too young to be dealing with so many health issues. These are all issues that can be eradicated with a proper diet, consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables and eliminating processed junk food and animal products completely.
    You should start with the Full Body Cleanse followed by The Female Cleanse. The Female Cleanse will help regulate your menses. You should then perform the 10 Day Colon Cleanser.

    Take the following when you are done with your cleanses: For Thyroid: Take Thyroid Aid and Iron Formula for Hypertension: Take the Cardiovascular and Circulation Aid Formula. For Acne: Take the Blood and Lymphatic Formula and use our Oxy Oil after every face wash. 

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    Q: Do you have any facial products for sensitive acne prone skin, fragrance free oil?

    A:

    Facial products are coming to Dherbs.com very soon. Try bentonite clay for now. Great for acne!

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    Q: Would the Nubian black soap be good for my face to help with the acne?

    A:

    YOU NEED A MEDICATED SOAP LIKE KISS MY FACE OR GRANDPA'S PINE TAR SOAP OR DR. BRONNERS LIQUID CASTILE SOAP

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    Q: I am a 29 year old woman currently living with one functioning kidney. Both kidneys were found to be "swollen" many months ago due to polyps that had formed inside my uterus. These issues were treated and now I'm interested in treating adult acne that has been forming on my cheeks for many years. My nephrologists told me not to take any herbs especially in capsule form because it may affect my kidneys. What is your opinion about taking herbs for people with one functioning kidney (or which article should I refer to)? Is there another alternative to treating acne without taking herbs. I am now greatly increasing my water intake and drinking one cup of unsweetened cranberry juice every day.

    A:

    If drugs don't hurt one kidney, how in the world could a plant hurt it? Herbs are 1 million times safer than drugs. The choice is yours however to make on taking herbs. We deem them safe. You may be interested in performing the 10-DAY ELECTRIC GREENS CELL FOOD CLEANSE as well as the HEALING SKIN OIL for external application of the acne. Please read our article on a href="http://www.dherbs.com/articles/acne-210.html">"ACNE". Check the articles section on our site!