Chinese Acne Remedies
The principals of Chinese herbal medicine generally have to do with “yin and yang” or hot and cold. The theories range that you need to use certain remedies, aka herbs, to help treat illnesses or conditions (like acne), using heating or cooling herbs.
For instance, it is thought in Chinese medicine that acne is accompanied by too much heat in the body, and it is counteracted by using cooling, soothing, anxiety-tempering herbs and natural compounds. Although it sounds abstract, it is based on theories that have proven very effective for the Chinese people for thousands of years.
We have even adopted many of the commonly used Chinese medicine-based treatments over here in the US and utilized them to help us with certain maladies, skin problems, depression, mood disorders, sexual disorders, and so on and so forth. Acne is no different.
Zenmed’s herbal remedy Dermacleanse is based on a lot of Chinese medicine theory, and it is used to help the body balance it’s hormones, and to help quell some of the internal heat (hormonal flux) that is going on within the body so that skin does not erupt in acne lesions.
Chinese herbal medicine for acne subscribed to the thought that one must avoid a high fat diet if they are to hope to regain their control over their skin and banish their acne. High fat diet and high acid diets are a no-no.
This does make sense when you think of it in the traditional diet methods here in the US, since high fat diets and a lot of acid (sugars, carbs translate into acidic environments in the body), basically increase your likelihood of inflammation. Acne is a hormonally based, inflammatory skin condition.
When you experience an acne lesion, it is a violent inflammation that erupts from the surface of the skin because of an irritation. It is aggravated by hormonal swings which occur because of improper diets, because sebum production is accelerated.
When sebum production is out of control, your skin’s pores attract more dirt, debris and bacteria. This leads to the clogging of the pores, which leads to an acne lesion.
The theories go that when your qi (energy) flow is encumbered or disturbed (here’s where the principals of Chinese medicine sound a bit quackish, but they really do see some good results with their medicines), this causes acne.
Traditional Chinese herbal acne remedies aim to restore this energy flow to get your skin glowing again and open the channels of energy so that your skin is no longer “stagnant” and is able to circulate and become clear on it’s own.
It is often times aggravated by stressful events, which we already of course know since stress is one of the major reasons that we all wake up with a shiner the next morning. One of the great things about acne, it always shows up when you least want it to.
Lack of sleep can also cause the clogging of this qi flow, which also contributes to breakouts and overall bad skin days. In our words, this leads to increases in the stress hormone cortisol, which is responsible for causing hormonal havoc in the body.
The three types of acne as ascribed in Chinese medicine are as follows below. They are actually prescribed different types of traditional chinese herbs to treat them, as they are supposedly somewhat different in their characteristics. If you want to read about a Chinese medicine based herbal remedy that has helped me clear up acne several times over the past eight years or so, go read my review on Zenmed’s Dermacleanse.
The capsules are great and the skin cleansing and moisturizing products also soothe your skin for less redness and irritation, but they thoroughly cleanse and remove bacteria as well, without drying.
Without further ado, here are the three types of acne as theorized by Chinese medicine :
1.) Toxic-Heat Type
2.) Blood-Heat Type
3.) Phlegm-Accumulation Type