Achieving Acne-Free Skin Through TCM: Does it Work?

Achieving acne-free skin through TCM

Due to numerous internal and external factors, acne can be a pervasive problem for many even past puberty. Factors such as hormonal fluctuations and poor lifestyle choices can increase oil production or irritate the skin, causing breakouts. 

In order to combat this skin concern, many have turned to modern medicine and skincare products. But did you know that there also exists an age-old solution that offers a more holistic approach to addressing acne? Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) dates back thousands of years, but it continues to b ean alternative treatment for those on the quest for healthier skin. Learn more about reducing acne on the face through Chinese medicine and whether it’s truly effective. 

Acne from a TCM Perspective

TCM views acne as a manifestation of imbalances within the body, usually attributed to disruptions in the flow of Qi (the vital energy that flows through meridians) and blood (responsible for nourishing the skin). Some of these issues include:

Blood Stagnation: When blood flow in the body becomes sluggish or blocked.
– Heat and Dampness: Excess heat and dampness in the body can emerge as redness and inflammation on the skin, leading to the formation of pustules or cysts.
– Yin-Yang Imbalance: An excess of yang energy in the body causing heat-related symptoms and skin eruptions.
– Imbalance in the Organs: Issues in the organs related to the skin, such as the lungs, spleen, and liver, can result in acne. 

TCM Approaches for the Management of Acne

  • Herbal Remedies

Image of TCM herbs

Root causes of acne can be addressed through TCM herbal remedies, which target different aspects of the condition to manage and treat it. Some commonly prescribed herbs include: 

– Huang Qin (Scutellaria Baicalensis): Huang Qin has bitter and cold properties capable of clearing heat and inflammation, which are great solutions for heat-related acne. It also contains antimicrobial properties that help to combat bacteria on the skin.
– Dang Gui (Angelica Sinensis): Dang Gui is a warm and sweet herb mostly used to nourish and invigorate the blood. It’s suitable for acne caused by blood stagnation or hormonal imbalances, and is especially beneficial for women experiencing breakouts due to hormonal changes linked to their menstrual cycle.
– Chi Shao (Paeonia Lactiflora): Chi Shao is a cooling and bitter herb that promotes blood circulation and clears heat. Red, swollen, and painful acne, particularly those associated with damp-heat imbalances can be managed with Chi Shao. It can also help reduce inflammation and relieve discomfort. 
– Zi Cao (Lithospermum Erythrorhizon): Zi Cao is known for its cold and slightly bitter properties. It can cool the blood, clear heat, and relieve skin eruptions, and are usually effective at treating red, swollen, and painful pimples. 

  • Acupuncture

Acupuncture offers a number of benefits for acne relief. It helps to:

– Stimulate specific acupuncture points in the body to encourage circulation, detoxify the skin, and enhance the body’s healing ability.
– Restore the harmonious flow of Qi and blood.
– Regulate the release of stress hormones to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
– Influence the endocrine system to regulate hormones.
– Strengthen the immune system to fight off acne-causing bacteria and prevent or heal acne.
– Alleviate pain and discomfort associated with inflamed acne lesions. 

  • Dietary and Lifestyle Changes

Image of person sleeping

TCM acne treatment can also involve dietary and lifestyle modifications. Your physician may recommend consuming fewer yang-promoting foods (spicy, greasy, and fried foods) and introducing more yin-nourishing foods (leafy greens, cucumbers, and watermelon) to your diet, which helps with achieving yin-yang balance.

Getting enough restorative sleep of at least seven to nine hours, exercising regularly, practising yoga or taichi, and limiting exposure to harsh environmental factors like excessive sunlight and pollution are also helpful strategies. 

Is TCM Effective at Treating Acne?

For some individuals, TCM acne treatments can be rather beneficial, especially if it’s tailored to address their specific patterns of disharmony and underlying causes. It focuses on healing and rebalancing the body’s vital energies, which is a holistic and natural approach to managing the problem. 

While there hasn’t been extensive scientific research on the effectiveness of TCM on acne, there have been numerous success cases, and the practice of TCM has long been useful for the treatment of many other health concerns.

Image of person with clear skin

If you’re looking for a way to achieve a healthier complexion, Tangs Clinical TCM is a skin specialist clinic in Singapore that focuses on the treatment and management of skin woes through TCM practices. Contact us here to find out how we can help you.