Adult Acne

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Traditional Chinese Medicine Insights into Adult Acne

From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), effective treatment for adult acne is undertaken by looking to specific diagnostic patterns and finding the one which is appropriate for the individual presenting patient. The chosen acupuncture points, application techniques and herbal medicines used will be focused around this pattern instead of being based solely on the directly manifest condition as is usual in western medicine.

With proper application of TCM, the practitioner will treat the root cause of not only the immediately obvious health issue, but often several others including those which the person may not yet have experienced. One or more of the TCM diagnostic patterns described below are likely to be involved when an adult is experiencing acne. However, some cases may require other causes and complaints to be addressed and may require multiple pattern use and/or complex relationships between the patterns.

TCM describes different diseases as having their origins in both the internal and external environment of the patient with internal imbalances being often affected by the external environment. One or more of the following TCM diagnostic patterns are likely to be involved when an adult is experiencing acne.

Part 1.

Traditional Chinese Medicine classifies adult acne into three different types

1.Conditions that may arises from the Heat in the Blood


Main Symptoms & Signs
Papules -- inflamed lesions that appear as small, pink bumps on the skin often hot to the touch.

Pattern related conditions:- Anaemia, Dermatitis, Eczema, Furuncles, Haemorrhoids, Psoriasis and toothache.

2.General signs and symptoms of Liver Fire

Headache, irritability, explosive anger, dizziness, tinnitus, bitter taste in the mouth, reddish face, red eyes, dream disturbed sleep, constipation.

This type of acne changes with the menstrual cycle. It is usually worse before menstruation, which is accompanied by irregular period or period pain.

Pattern related conditions

Asthma, Gallstones, Chronic Cholescystitis, Cystitis, Convulsion, Coma, Depression, Vertigo, Hypertation, Insomnia, Leucorrhoea, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Thyroiditis, Tinnitus, Trigeminal Neuralgia.

3.General signs and symptoms of the spleen and stomach damp heat

Epigastric and/or abdominal discomfort, lack of appetite, heavy body, thirst with little/no desire to drink, abdominal pain, loose stools, nausea, headache, intermittent acne and cystic acne which are mainly characterised by skin lesions.

Pattern related conditions

Appendicitis, Behcet’s disease, Crohn’s disease, Epigastric pain, Gingivitis, Jaundice, Glomerulonephritis, Obesity, Pancreatitis Sinusitis, Ulcerative Colitis, Uroschesis.

Part 2.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Also Uses Facial Map Reading To Analyze Individual Conditions

Acne affects different facial areas which may be related to different health issues.

Acne around the forehead is related to intestinal problems

The patient would need to eat less processed or junk food and reduce dietary fat.



Acne between the eye brows is related to stomach problems

The patient should increase their dietary fibre intake, reduce their toxin overload and drink herbal teas to help digestion while cutting down sugar and caffeine.

Acne around the left cheek is related to liver issues

The patient would need to avoid alcohol, greasy food and dairy products. Food allergies would be particularly suspect. Adequate sleep should be sought so the liver can rest and regenerate properly.

Acne around right cheek is related to lung issues

The patient needs to begin boosting their immune system. Regular exercise, stopping smoking and consuming more green vegetables with recommended wheatgrass juice would be advised.

Acne around the lips is related with kidney function issues

This is indicative of general dehydration. An urgent need to increase fluid consumption would be advised and the avoidance of acid forming foods.

Acne around the chin is related to hormonal imbalance

Stress and distress need to be given attention. Drinking more water and fluids will help to rebalance the hormonal system together with adequate sleep


Part 3.

TCM treatments for adult acne.

1.Cosmetic acupuncture


This therapeutic protocol would be used with particular emphasis on it’s DEEP ANTI INFLAMMATORY TREATMENT aspects to rebalance the PH levels in the body through use of facial acupuncture points, improving circulation and purifying internal environment.

2.Herbal tea

Certain herbs will do much to detoxify the body, rebalance the hormonal system, and improve digestive function

3.Facial cupping

Detoxification and stimulation of the micro- circulation would be aided by this.

4.Facial reflexology and lymph system massage.

These types of massage enhances the immune system assisting with circulatory function, nutrient flow, tissue fluid retention and toxic drainage.
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