Posts Tagged ‘acne’
Nov 6, 2012
I came to Alban Acupuncture because I continued to have problems with acne flare-ups triggered by stress and monthly hormone changes. All dermatologist prescribed acne medications had only provided temporary relief and I was looking for a natural and long-term solution. Joe’s tailored acupuncture and herbal program has resulted in major improvements. The improvements have been steady and my skin is looking great so much so that Joe has recommended I conclude treatment! I highly recommend acupuncture and especially Joe for those, like myself, interested in finding long-term and natural solutions to skin issues.
Jul 27, 2012
Traditional Chinese Medicine has been used to treat skin conditions for thousands of years. While Perioral Dermatitis is a newly recognized disease, only about 35 years old, the Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments for similar skin conditions remain helpful in addressing the condition.
Symptoms of Perioral Dermatitis
Perioral Dermatitis is a skin disorder which causes an erythema (redness of the skin), red bumps (called papules and pustules), and scaling. Perioral Dermatitis can look like acne, although it is not the same condition.
As the name infers, the most common locations of Perioral Dermatitis include around the mouth, on the chin, cheeks, and next to the nose. It can also occur around the eyes or on the eyelids, which is referred to as Periocular Dermatitis. Characteristic of Perioral Dermatitis is the sparing of the vermillion border around the mouth. The condition is generally not itchy.
Perioral Dermatitis most often affects young women, but the condition can occur in children and men. The cause is unknown. It was thought to be triggered by topical steroid creams. However, there are many people who contract the condition without having used topical steroids. Stress can be a significant factor at the onset of the condition. In children, the dermatitis may be associated with foods or other substances irritating the face.
Although Perioral Dermatitis does not pose a serious risk to your health, it can be very stressful and upsetting to an otherwise healthy person.
Perioral Dermatitis in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Chinese medicine takes a holistic approach to the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, a state of health is reached when the body is in balance. In order to address Perioral Dermatitis, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine bring the body back to balance.
During the examination, the acupuncturist will consider physical, emotional, and environmental factors, as well as the appearance of the skin. For example, the degree of redness, presence of papules and pustules, or scales will factor into the determinations of the imbalance. This is combined with information from taking the pulse, observing the tongue and the skin, and asking in-depth questions.
The predominant imbalances causing Perioral Dermatitis are stagnation and heat. If caused by stagnation or lack of circulation, symptoms most often include redness, thin scaling, and only a few pustules. The more redness and pustules, the more heat is present. If the erythema is persistent or becomes worse when you are hot or in the sun, the heat is more intense and deeper in the body. Digestive health can also be a factor.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine Therapy for Perioral Dermatitis
The goal of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine is to correct the imbalance underlying your condition. Once the imbalance is removed, the body is able to heal itself.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese herbal therapy are tailored to your specific symptoms and imbalance. Both the herbal ingredients and the acupuncture points will vary, depending on the condition. Chinese herbs are generally given in combinations of 8-12 herbs. The herbs are thought to work by synergistically regulating the inflammatory process underlying the condition.
It is important to consult an acupuncturist or Chinese Medicine practitioner before taking herbs. When treating Perioral Dermatitis from stagnation, the herbs may include those which help circulate the qi such as chai hu. If there is more erythema, herbs such as sheng di huang will help remove the heat. If there are many pustules, herbs that reduce inflammation, such as ye ju hua, are used.
Jul 20, 2012
For years I tried a mix of different treatments for my acne. Sometimes they would work temporarily, but I always still had regular monthly breakouts and flare-ups during stressful times. After the first week of acupuncture treatments and herbal formulas, my skin had been clearer and smoother than it had been in years. After a few month treatment with regular acupuncture sessions and herbal formulas, my stress-related breakouts have stopped, and the hormonal breakouts that I do have are now very minimal. My circulation has also gotten better, as well as my overall level of stress. In sum, a completely wonderful experience!
Aug 31, 2011
Chinese herbal remedies have been used for centuries for many conditions and to boost overall health. For many conditions the combination of acupuncture and herbs is the most effective approach. I almost always use herbs when treating acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions.
The current Chinese pharmacopeia contains more than 5000 herbs and medicinal products. A pharmacy will most often contain 500-1000 of the most commonly used herbs. Some of the herbs are only used in the region they are grown and are not easy to find elsewhere.
Chinese herbs are most often combined into formulas rather than given as a single herb. This approach produces synergy, the combination is more powerful than any one herb. The herbs are combined and specifically tailored to your imbalance.
Chinese herbs are holistic, that is they target the underlying imbalance as well as the symptoms, herbs can address many conditions at the same time.
There are many ways to take Chinese herbs.
Raw Herbs: The most traditional way, and the most potent for certain conditions, are raw herbs. Raw herbs are generally dried herbs.
The are prepared by boiling in water to make a very strong tea. The herbal dregs are discarded and the tea is drank. The herbs should be cooked in a ceramic herb pot or a glass pot. Metal pots, even stainless steel, should be avoided.
Many herbal pharmacies have pressure cooking machines that can prepare the herbs for you. The tea is then vacuum packed into a small bag.
Raw herbs are very potent. I believe they are the strongest form of herbs. I most often use raw herbs for skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
Pills or Capsules
Herbal pills are possibly the most common way to take herbs. This is also a traditional method, as many formulas were designed to be made into honey pills. Honey pills consist of ground herbs which are binded together with honey.
I find prepared herbs very effective for many chronic health concerns such as anxiety, insomnia, and allergies. They are very easy to take and easy to store. They may not be strong enough for certain women’s health or skin conditions.
Tinctures are alcohol extracts of herbal formulas. That is, the herbal formula is boiled down to make a very concentrated tea. A small amount of alcohol is added as a preservative. They are very easy to use, quite effective, and affordable.
Granules or Powders
Granules are concentrated boiled herbs. The herbal formulas are boiled down and the liquid is concentrated. Mix this powder with warm water to reconstitute the herbs. Sometimes the herbs are also encapsulated for pills.
Jul 12, 2011
Throughout my life I have struggled with acne on both my face and body. I felt like I had tried just about everything that Western medicine had to offer – accutane, light therapy, facials, antibiotics – you name it, I’ve tried it! Finally, my fiancé suggested I look into acupuncture since other methods certainly did not seem to be doing the trick. I had always been interested in trying Chinese medicine, but I was a little doubtful since it doesn’t promise the immediate results that big name pharmaceutical companies advertise. Much to my surprise, I started seeing results almost immediately – in more than just my skin. My anxiety, which has always been an issue for me, is basically nonexistent at this point and I feel calmer and more clear-headed in general. My night sweats, that I learned were tied into the food I was eating and the overall condition of my body that had produced the acne, are completely gone. Throughout this process I have not only learned so much from Joe, but I have gained a deep respect for his technique and abilities. Joe is such an amazingly calming force and is extremely open-minded and intelligent – I can’t recommend a better acupuncturist!
Apr 21, 2011
Some think that only teenagers get acne. But many adults, mostly women, develop acne in their 20’s and remain with it well into their 40’s. Adult acne is a very common issue I treat in my acupuncture clinic. The combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbs are very effective for adult acne treatment.
One theory is that stress causes hormone imbalances which effect the development of acne. Also, as many people know, the menstrual cycle can influence acne.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Acne Treatment
Acupuncture helps the body to manage stress and encourages the body to relax. Chinese herbs work to regulate hormone imbalances, especially if there are irregular menstrual cycles. Herbs can help to control bacteria levels and decrease inflammation.
The key to successfully adult acne treatment is interrupting the cycle that causes acne. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs 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. Physiologically, this happens through regulating hormonal imbalances and removing the opportunity for bacteria and skin inflammation to develop.
Jan 25, 2011
Acne has profound effects on people’s lives, effecting social life, education, and even employment. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine are very effective at reducing acne. Acupuncture works by reducing inflammation, bacteria, and increasing circulation. The key is to correctly diagnosis the imbalance that is causing the acne.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for Acne
Traditional Chinese Medicine has a holistic approach to the diagnosis and treatment of acne, identifying specific imbalances in the body and using acupuncture and Chinese herbs to correct them. 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.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs help to reduce the cycle of acne development by regulating hormones that effect skin secretions, decreasing inflammation, and reducing bacteria. Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture are holistic therapies which can help people both with the acne as well as improve overall wellness.
Imbalances in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Causing Acne
Whiteheads and Blackheads: This is also called comedonal acne. In Chinese medicine, dampness and heat are the main cause of white heads and black heads. Chinese herbs and acupuncture to clear dampness and heat can be effective at treating whiteheads and blackheads, such as huang qin or sang bai pi. Other signs of dampness may be oily skin, fatigue, and poor digestion .
Inflammatory Acne: Inflammatory acne occurs when pimples become infected and inflamed. In Chinese medicine, heat is a significant cause of inflammatory acne. Heat imbalances are reflected in red skin as well as red inflamed papules and pustules. If there is very bad inflammation it is called “toxicity.” The acupuncture and herbs that clear away the heat have been shown to have many antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties such as jin yin hua and lian qiao. Heat can also manifest as night sweats, excessive thirst, and constipation.
Cystic acne: Cystic acne is a severely inflamed type of acne. The cysts are large,lie deep in the skin, and can be painful. In Chinese medicine, this is related to toxins and stagnation. Pu gong ying (dandelion) is one of the herbs that may be useful in this type of acne.
Hormonal acne: Many women find that their acne flares up premenstrual. The acne is often a combination of whiteheads and blackhead with some inflammation involved. In Chinese medicine, 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 which is a common cause of qi and blood stagnation. Acupuncture and herb treatment would focus on moving the the qi and blood stagnation. Herbs such as chai hu and yi mu cao can help move the qi and blood to stop acne.
Acupuncture’s Holistic Treatment
Another benefit is that acupuncture helps the body to manage stress and encourages the body to relax. Chinese herbs work to regulate hormone imbalances, improve digestion, control bacteria levels, and decrease inflammation. By removing the imbalances causing the acne, acupuncture and Chinese herbs disrupt the acne cycle and allows the body to heal itself.
Jan 24, 2011
What Causes Acne?
Acne is a disorder of the hair follicle sebaceous gland. This gland can get clogged up with proteins and oils from the skin. The clogged pore develops into a pimple, a white head or a blackhead.
The pimple allows for a situation which bacteria can take advantage. When the pimple becomes infected, it leads to inflammation, and the acne cycle begins. Clogged pores and bacteria lead to more inflammation and more acne. The pimples become what is called a papule, a pus filled lesion. In some people this develops into large painful pimples, commonly referred to as cysts.
Acupuncture, topical herbs, and internal herbal formulas can help reduce this cycle of acne development by regulating hormones that effect skin secretions, decreasing inflammation and reducing infection.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Approach to Acne
In Chinese medicine, acne is most often associated with imbalances called heat, dampness, and blood stagnation. The correct analysis and treatment of these imbalances leads to the long lasting improvement. The imbalances can develop from stress, interaction with the environment, hormonal changes, or other causes.
Dampness- Dampness is the main cause of white heads and black heads. People with dampness generally have oily skin and may sweat a lot. Dampness may occur from hormonal imbalances which is why teenagers often get acne. It is also the reason that stress may lead to acne, because stress can have a profound effect on hormones. Acupuncture and herbs that treat dampness help to decrease oiliness on the skin and regulate the hormone imbalances.
Heat - Heat imbalances are reflected in red skin, red inflamed papules and possibly pustules scabs and crusts. This is very common with those suffering from acne. If there is very bad inflammation, it is called “heat toxicity.” This is the Chinese medicine way of describing infection and inflammation in the skin. The acupuncture and herbs that clear away the heat have been shown to have many antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Blood Stagnation- Blood stagnation occurs from long term clogging of the pores. Purplish skin and purple raised lesions is the main sign of blood stagnation. Herbs that help with blood stagnation help to increase circulation in the area to release the clogged pore.
I would be happy to speak with you more about how acupuncture can help reduce your acne and break the cycle of breakouts. Call 917-887-4946 or e-mail us to make an appointment.
Sep 1, 2010
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine work by correcting imbalances in your body. When you regain your natural balance, you are healthier, and you feel better.
Joseph Alban is a New York Licensed Acupuncturist and Board Certified Herbalist. He is known for his unique approach blending the concepts of Chinese Medicine and Western Physiology to specifically target the root of your problem.
Joseph’s treatment approach includes a combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbal remedies, tui na massage, qi gong, electric stimulation, cupping, and stretching. Every patient receives an individualized treatment plan.
Commonly treated conditions:
- Chronic joint pain: arthritis, back pain, neck and shoulder pain, and rotator cuff injury
- Chronic prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain syndrome, overactive bladder, interstital cystitis
- Skin Conditions: Acne, eczema, psoriasis, perioral dermatitis, rosacea, and others
- Tension headaches, sinus headache, seasonal allergies, and migraines
- Click here for more information
About Alban Acupuncture:
Alban Acupuncture is the Midtown NYC acupuncture practice of Joseph Alban. Joseph has extensive training in acupuncture, tui na, and Chinese herbal medicine from both the United States and China. His practice focuses on relieving chronic pain, sports injuries, as well as helping people with skin conditions. Joseph is a frequent blogger and has authored numerous journal articles. He has been featured in magazines such as Time Out New York. Read more about Joseph Alban, L.Ac.
Our New Office:
Our new office, located at 40th and Lexington in Manhattan, was designed to create a beautiful and calming environment. The office design features specially designed sound panels mounted on the walls which soften sounds in the office and prevent outside sounds from coming in. Its the perfect place for rest, healing, and wellbeing. Feel free to come early and enjoy a cup of tea before your appointment!
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine:
Traditional Chinese Medicine works by correcting imbalances in the body. When your body regains its natural balance, you are healthier, and you feel better. Treating 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. The treatments are specifically tailored to your condition and symptoms.
Acupuncture is a natural therapy with little risks of side effects. Acupuncture can help you to reduce your dependance upon medications and bring about a sense of well being. Acupuncture works by stimulating the body to heal itself. Physiologically, acupuncture works to reduce pain and inflammation through regulating neural pain pathways, stimulating the release of the body’s natural pain relievers, as well as regulating pain relieving receptors. Acupuncture also has an anti-inflammatory effect reducing the circulating inflammatory hormones.
Mar 6, 2009
Who is the best Acupuncturist in New York City?
This is a great question, but impossible question to answer. Just like there is no one best physician for every condition, there is no best acupuncturist for every health concern. It is really about finding the best acupuncturist for your needs. There are a few questions to consider.
1. What is their Education and Experience?
Education and experience are obviously important factor for being a good clinician and acupuncturist.
After finishing Touro’s Graduate Program in Oriental Medicine, which is a 4 years master’s degree, I continued on to a postgraduate training in China at the Hunan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. When I came back to become an NYC Acupuncturist, I received a National Institutes of Health research training grant in the Pediatric Immunology Department of Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
This education was very intensive, covering hundreds of acupuncture points, herbs, and herbal formulations. I also had unique and extensive training in acupressure and Tui na (Chinese medical massage), learning techniques and treatments that other acupuncturists don’t know.
In 2012 I graduated form the Avicenna Diploma in Chinese Medicine Dermatology in London taught by world renown Chinese Medicine Dermatologist Mazin Al-Khafaji.
My experience and training provided an opportunity to develop a specialty in treatment of pain, chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome, interstitial cystitis, and dermatology.
2. What is their Specialty?
Find our where your acupuncturist has special training in any specific area.
While I worked in China and through my postgraduate training I developed a specialties in a few specific areas.
- Treating and managing chronic pain: shoulder and neck pain, frozen shoulder, migraine, sinus headaches, back pain, sciatica, knee pain
- Skin Conditions: acne, eczema, psoriasis, hives, and shingles.
- Integrative Urology: Interstitial Cystitis, Chronic Prostatitis , Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome, and prostate surgery recovery.
- Immunology: Asthma and Sinusitis.
If you are looking for someone who is an expert on issues of pregnancy or mental health, I would recommend my colleague Jessica Yunker. If you are looking for facial rejuvenation acupuncture, then call Jessica Silver. And if you would like support in Cancer Care, you should contact my good friend and colleague Kejian Xiao.
3. Do you like their bedside manner?
Communication is important with your health care provider is very important. Your practitioner should listen to you with patience and compassion and you should feel comfortable asking them to explain their honest opinion about the treatment outcomes and assessment.
4. What do their patients think about them?
You should ask around with your friends and family to see if anyone knows a good acupuncturist. If none of your friends know anyone. You can also look at their website , see if they have a lot of reviews and testimonials.
5. Do they offer free consultations?
Your acupuncturist should be open to discuss your health concerns and situation before you commit to treatment. This will help assure you that Chinese medicine is the right choice for you as not everyone is familiar with the benefits of acupuncture treatment. We are happy to schedule a telephone consultation.
To schedule an appointment, please call us at 917.887.4946 or request an appointment through e-mail.
This post was updated May 17th 2013.