About Chinese Acne Medicine
With one of the oldest civilizations in the world and a written record that reaches back more than 4,000 years, the Chinese have developed traditions and practices that are often very different from those of the Western world. Chinese medicine focuses on balancing forces and fixing the internal disorder that leads to disease. Chinese medicine examines the relationship between six environmental forces (wind, cold, heat, dampness, dryness and fire) and internal forces. Despite the extensive research Western medicine has devoted to acne, cures or truly effective treatments remain elusive. However, Chinese medicine offers insights that some may find useful.
Pimples and Bacteria
The pimples or cysts that appear on the skin of someone suffering from acne reflect an underlying infection. The oils naturally released by our hair follicles sometimes clog the pores of our skin, trapping bacteria beneath the surface. The bacteria are attacked by white blood cells and the conflict leads to an inflammation, or a boil beneath the skin. It is not surprising, then, that Chinese medicine attributes acne primarily to "heat," "dampness" and "wind."
"Heat" involves inflammation, "dampness" involves excessive fluid and "wind" involves dryness. The combination of these forces, or an excess of one, causes acne. Chinese medicine's diagnosis is not really much different from the conclusion reached by Western science. Treatment focuses on resolving the internal conflicts associated with these forces and restoring balance. However, because the balance of forces within each individual is different, Chinese medicine suggests several remedies.
Chinese Acne Treatments
Chinese acne medication can range from cooling foods (foods that reduce the level of "heat" in your system, such as cucumber) to herbal remedies and acupuncture. There are Chinese physicians who can prepare individual diagnoses based on the particular imbalance that must be treated. For example, acne caused by "blood heat" is considered less severe than "toxic heat" and is treated differently. Whatever the variety, a physician will prescribe a treatment using herbs such as huang bai, root water, yi yi ren, fu ling, mu dan pi, huang lian, chi shao, and gan cao.
Daily Healthy Habits
Medical practitioners suggest eliminating stress, washing the face with oil-free soaps and washing after exercising, as well as using non-comedogenic moisturizers, makeup, and sunscreen. Drink plenty of water daily, reduce caffeinated drinks and take a daily multivitamin that includes zinc, vitamins A, B, C, and E. These help reduce sebum production and protect skin tissues. Get plenty of rest and change your pillowcases regularly.
The Web is filled with blogs and testimonials from those who have found Chinese treatments effective and those who have seen no benefits from their treatments. As with any medical condition or treatment, it is important to consult your physician to understand the potential interaction of your treatment with any other medications.
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