chinese herbsAcne

Acne has profound effects on people’s lives, effecting social life, education, and even employment. Acne is one of the most common skin conditions I treat with acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine.

Acupuncture treatment for acne considers the whole person.  We think not only about the skin, but also hormone imbalances, digestion, stress, sleep, and other factors.  As an acupuncturist and herbalist, I first  identify the specific imbalance underlying the acne.  We use a customized therapies of acupuncture which often includes LED light therapy and cupping.  Customized Chinese herbal medicine focuses on correcting the underlying imbalance causing the acne.

Correcting the imbalance does not mean simply treating the symptoms or masking the condition, but rather correcting the root of the problem by encouraging self-healing of the body. The key is to correctly identify the imbalance that is causing the acne. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine treat the whole person to lead to natural long lasting improvement.

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Treatment for Acne Cycle

There are many factors that lead to acne.  Acne is a condition which begins when a hair follicle in the skin becomes clogged by sebum. Acne is most common in areas of the body with many sebaceous glands, such as the face, back, and chest. The clogging can result in a pimple. A clogged follicle may become infected from bacteria which causes inflammation. The inflammation leads to the development of pustules, papules, and for some develop into cysts.

Our treatment helps to naturally reduce the cycle of acne development by using herbal medicine and acupuncture to regulating the hormones that effect skin secretions, using LED blue light to kill the bacteria associated with acne, as well as reducing inflammation with cupping and acupuncture. Food choices are also very important to help prevent acne from returning.

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal medicine work by breaking the cycle of acne break outs through address many stages in the acne cycle.

Acupuncture uses customized combination of treatments for those with acne. We will start by examining and determining the underlying imbalance at the root of the acne.

Imbalances Causes Acne in Acupuncture

In acupuncture acne is most often associated with imbalances of 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. Dampness also come from a diet high in sugars and dairy.  This is why it is important to also consider your diet for acne.  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 often reflected in inflammatory acne. Inflammation is called “heat toxicity” in acupuncture.  The acupuncture for inflammatory acne includes points close to the acne, called ashi acupuncture points, or ouch points.  Herbs that clear away the heat have been shown to have many antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Blood Stagnation- Blood stagnation occurs from certain hormone imbalances or if the acne has persisted for a long time. Acne along the chin line that is worse around the period, hormonal acne, will have some aspects of blood stagnation.  Also, acne that worsens with stress will have some aspects of stagnation.  Herbs and acupuncture that help with blood stagnation help to increase circulation in the area to release the clogged pore.  Cupping will also be helpful for this type of acne.