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Treating Acne with Chinese Medicine

Updated: Mar 27, 2022

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. It often causes whiteheads, blackheads or pimples, and usually appears on the face, forehead, chest and back. Acne is most common among teenagers but, due to lifestyle and environment factors, the population suffering from acne is increasing and it is a condition can affect people of all ages.

Acne from the perspective of Chinese medicine

There is a long history of researching and treating acne in Chinese medicine. The earliest documentation on Chinese herbal formula is dated about two thousand years ago. Seeing the causes of acne from a different point of view, Chinese medicine mostly looks at the imbalance of internal systems. Acne can be differentiated into more than 20 pattern, and by treating the root causes and balancing one’s body, we can manage acne naturally and have long lasting results.

A few common types of acne in Chinese medicine:


If you have noticed that your acne breakouts are very much related to your diet; or if you have a tendency towards constipation, your acne might be caused by the accumulation of heat in your digestive system, which can indirectly affect your skin to cause acne.

Treatment: clearing digestive heat and making diet changes.

Heat + humidity

You always had very oily skin which leads to acne breakouts? In Chinese medicine, there are few internal reasons which drive sebum secretion over the top. Usually it is related to dampness and heat accumulation in the body.

Treatment: clearing heat, fortifying spleen functions to resolve dampness.

The “acne cold”

Never had acne before, experiencing acne breakouts out of nowhere? Pathogens distress the skin externally, causing sebum to drain ineffectively and to condense in the skin follicles. When pores are blocked, Yang Qi stagnaes internally, overtime producing heat and developing into acne.

Treatment: disperse external pathogen, boost Qi and blood circulation.

The non-traditional, cystic acne

Qi and blood stagnate and obstruct, which causes internal heat accumulation, it then leads to dampness and phlegm. When phlegm combines with stagnated blood, it could form nodules or cysts.

Treatment: move Qi and blood, clearing heat.

What can you do?

Adopt an anti-acne lifestyle

You might be surprised how stress, poor sleep, and bad eating habits can affect your acne breakouts so easily. Adopt a healthy and consistent lifestyle can sometimes help to keep your acne at bay.

Stick to the anti-acne diet

Reduce the consumption of sweet, greasy and spicy food, cut down on coffee, alcohol and dairy products. Increase the quantity and variety of fruits and vegetables, especially foods that are rich in vitamin A.

The zen skincare routine

Choose natural and anti-acne skincare products; simplify your routine; avoid over washing and over manipulating breakouts. Your body and skin might be more Zen than you think.

Acne can be very frustrating, there is no single and definitive solution for all. Being proactive with a positive attitude is essential for battling with acne. We have been successfully helping people managing their acne , and we are here to help. Don’t let acne take over your life, book an appointment today!


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