Acne is common skin disease; the extent and severity can vary. Commonly associated with puberty, this type of acne clears in late teens. However it may flare up again in women in their late 20s and early 30s.This is s a result of hormonal imbalances in women that are frequently associated with the contraceptive pill.
Acne lesions occur when plugs of sebum trapped in hair follicles become inflamed resulting the pustules and papules. Black & white heads or comedones are frequently associated with acne and they are caused by blocked sebaceous glands.
In Chinese medicine adult acne is associated with a weakened digestive system and poor elimination such as constipation or diarrhoea. The resulting toxins plus the subsequent build up of mucus being eliminated via the skin can erupt as painful, pustular acne found on the cheekbones and temples.
Establishing a healthy digestive system and an efficient absorption of nutrients with Chinese herbs is the priority of treatment for this type of acne. Diet and dietary habits are an important aspect of the treatment. A course of treatment will vary according to the severity and duration of the condition but improvements should be apparent by weeks 4-5.
The production of sebum increases in adolescents a result of androgens, male sex hormones. Herbs, which clear heat, are used to reduce the inflammation plus Fire poison herbs to treat the pustules and whiteheads. Herbs to reduce the increased oiliness associated with teenage acne are also introduced to the formula.
A course of treatment may take 8-12 weeks as it is a hormonally based skin condition but an improvement in the complexion should be seen by week 3 as the production of pustules and comedones will have slowed down.
This type of acne frequently affects women in their mid 20’s to 30’s. It is caused by hormonal fluctuations and imbalances and is often associated with menstrual problems such as painful, irregular periods etc.
It is noticeable in this type of acne that there is little response to detoxing and cleansing types of treatment. The herbs that are used in the formulas to treat this type of skin condition are chosen because they have a broad hormone regulating effect. Patients frequently notice an improvement in pms, migraine and other hormonal manifestations as well.
TCM diagnosis the large, nodular lesions, which are slow to develop and resolve as accumulation of phlegm, stagnated blood and Fire, poison. The treatment is slow and may take 6 months or more as this is tenacious form of acne.