There are many people who suffer from acne as it is one if the most common skin conditions, especially amongst adolescents. It can be very difficult to deal with severe acne at a time when developing self-esteem is so important. Acne is a skin condition where the hair follicles, or pores become plugged by an overproduction of the oils (sebum). Normally, these oils moisten our hair and skin, but when too much is produced and in combination with dead skin cells and bacteria, it creates the perfect environment for acne to develop. Acne can range greatly in severity from very mild occasional outbreaks of whiteheads or blackheads, to extremely painful and widespread cystic acne.

 Major Causes of Acne

  • Overproduction of oil (sebum)
  • Accumulation of dead skin cells
  • Clogged pores/ hair follicles
  • Bacteria

Contributing causes:

  • Hormones
  • Certain medications (corticosteroids, androgens, lithium)
  • Diet
  • Stress

Common Medical Treatment

  • Topical Medication (Retinoids, Antibiotics)
  • Oral Medication (Antibiotics, Oral Contraceptives, Anti-androgen agents)
  • Steroid Injections to nodular and cystic area
  • Chemical Peels
  • Extraction of whiteheads/blackheads

Many of the treatments Western medicine has to offer often come with a lot of unwanted side effects. Fortunately, Chinese medicine has much to offer in the treatment of various skin conditions and can be great natural acne treatment.

In Chinese medicine the skin is controlled by the Lung & Large Intestine organ systems, and acne is seen as a sign of pathogenic heat in the Lung/Large Intestine. When heat becomes excessive in the body, it rises up to the head and face. One way this happens is when we eat too much spicy, greasy, sweet or fried food. This puts a burden on our digestive systems and the body creates dampness, which can contribute to or turn into heat. Things like our stress level, hormones, and lifestyle can also contribute to the creation of damp or toxic heat in the body.

The wonderful thing about Chinese medicine is that we are able to truly treat the individual and hone in on the root causes of symptoms. An acupuncturist may see three different people with acne, but successfully treat them in three different ways according to the type of acne they have, their diet, their lifestyle and various contributing factors. Another advantage to treating your acne naturally with Chinese medicine is that acupuncturists have a full toolbox from which to draw upon when choosing how to treat an individual patient. Treatments will most often include a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine (taken internally and used topically), along with dietary / lifestyle recommendations.

Home Care For Natural Acne Treatment

A balanced whole foods diet with plenty of fruits & veggies is extremely important.

Avoid                                            Include

Fried foods                                     Whole foods

Greasy/ spicy foods                      Fresh fruits/veggies

Excess meats w/ hormones       Grass-fed Organic Meats (sparingly)

Dairy                                                Sea Vegetables

Alcohol                                            Beta-carotenes rich foods (think orang foods like carrots, yams..)

Coffee                                              Omega-3 fatty acids (this helps with inflammation)

Margarine                                       Dark leafy greens


Some cooling foods to include in your diet:

Squash               Cucumbers           Cabbage         Beet Tops

Watermelon      Carrots                Celery              Dandelion greens

Lettuce               Cherries              Papayas           Pears

Raspberries       Buckwheat          Millet               Mung Beans


Don’t hide your skin any longer – schedule an appointment to see how Chinese medicine provides natural acne treatment and can benefit you!