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Acne Treatment With Chinese Medicine

Most people know what it’s like to have acne.  With hormones raging, particularly in the teenage years, acne ‘break outs’ are an all too common occurrence. But baring the knee-jerk reaction of getting a short term topical treatment from the chemist, where can you go for acne treatment in Sydney?  And what works best?

Acne Treatment Sydney

Acne Treatment Sydney

Before we answer that question, let’s find out a little more about what actually causes acne in the first place.

Causes and Symptoms of Acne

Acne results from the obstruction and inflammation of hair follicles with their accompanying sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands produce sebum (oil). When these glands become clogged with a plug of sebum and dead skin, the gland becomes colonised and infected with a normally present skin bacteria.

The areas most affected are those with higher concentrations of sebaceous glands – the face, neck, back, chest and shoulders. The most common trigger is puberty when hormone surges stimulate sebum production.

Best Acne Treament – Chinese Medicine

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, acne can be due to a number of different types of internal imbalance – referred to as “patterns”. These patterns have names like Lung Heat, Stomach/Intestinal Heat, Blood Heat, Qi (energy) and Blood stagnation, and Blood stasis with Phlegm binding. Each pattern has its own list of characteristic symptoms and signs and correct diagnosis determines which herb combinations and acupuncture points will be used.

You can probably gauge from the names of the patterns above that the concept of internal Heat is a common theme with acne. This partly explains its prevalence in adolescents. Young people, with their higher levels of activity, and rapid growth and development, are Yang (Hot) by nature. Often it only takes a seemingly insignificant level of exposure to poor diet or lifestyle choices to tip the scales resulting in a Hot or Yang condition such as acne.

Traditional Chinese Medicine terminology can seem strange to those unfamiliar with it. The important thing to remember is that Chinese Medicine simply provides an alternate system for describing the same problem and, in most cases, a similar treatment. While the herbs and acupuncture points that treat acne do so, in Chinese Medicine terms, by clearing Heat and Toxins, resolving Phlegm, and regulating Qi and Blood, they actually have the effect of reducing sebum production, treating infection, reducing inflammation and regulating hormone imbalances.

Because Chinese medicine generally views skin disease as an outward manifestation of an internal imbalance, treatments are nearly always internally – via the drinking of herbal medicine. External treatments such as washes and compresses are commonly used but are usually supplementary to an internal treatment. External preparations are rarely relied upon as standalone treatments.

Acupuncture Treatment for Acne:

Generally speaking, acupuncture tends to be less effective in dermatology than it is in other specialty areas, however acne is certainly one skin condition that does benefit from the inclusion of acupuncture in the treatment regime.

Being holistic medicine, Chinese Medicine also addresses the peripheral issues associated with acne such as bowel problems (usually constipation), excessive thirst, greasy skin, acne scarring; and if related to the menstrual cycle, other problems at period time.

Ensuring diet and lifestyle are correct is important when trying to overcome any health condition, however it is especially important when treating skin problems. No crash diets or heavy restrictions here, just a focus on clean and sensible living and eating.

Since acne is usually a situation of excessive Heat within the body, diet should avoid “hot” natured foods and focus more so on “cooling” foods and cooking methods. As an example, greasy and deep fried foods, rich fatty foods, processed foods, alcohol and cigarettes are considered hot natured substances. Salads, steamed vegetables, soups and juices are considered cooling substances. Diet recommendations will vary depending upon which TCM disharmony pattern you fit into.

If you are suffering from acne and are interested in an effective natural treatment without harsh side effects, consider traditional Chinese medicine.