Many people think that acne is just a part of growing up and that it only affects you through puberty. Actually over 50 million Americans experience symptoms of Acne vulgaris. While around 85 percent of those affected are between ages 17 and 24, there is a large population who experience the redness, itching, sores, and inflammation that are associated with acne after the typical time period. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) this is because there are many more factors involved in your skin's health than just your age. There are dietary, psychological, and environmental concerns among others that could contribute to poor skin health. In this blog we will cover some of these causes from a TCM perspective and offer you some solutions you can begin today to help ease acne symptoms and boost your skin health.
What is Acne?
Your skin is your largest organ it functions as a barrier that protects you from any thing undesirable entering. Acne is caused when the skin’s oil glands and hair follicles have a blockage that keeps sebum (an oily substance that the sebaceous glands produce) from releasing onto the skin through a pore. Bacteria that normally grow on the skin's surface instead grow in the blocked follicle, signaling white blood cells, which cause inflammation. When the wall of the follicle finally breaks down, it spills its contents into the nearby skin, causing lesions or pimples.
So if Acne is caused by blocked pores and follicles, then what are the different ways that our pores can get clogged? Below is a list of the many possible causes of clogged pores that can lead to acne:
- Excess sebum or oil production
- Accumulation of dead skin cells
- Bacterial infection of the follicle
- Changes in hormonal levels as noted during puberty or pregnancy
- Certain medications such as corticosteroids and lithium
- Foods including chocolates, chips, etc. are known to trigger/worsen acne
- Family history
- Skin contact with greasy or oily substances
- Friction or pressure on the skin
These are a few of the circumstances that can lead to complications from acne. Any one or combination of these can lead to symptoms that show up on our skin. Things that rise to the surface of our bodies are typically signals of something deeper.
According to TCM there are many approaches to treat acne symptoms. The one we will focus on is stomach and spleen damp heat. Two major contributing factors for damp heat are diet and emotional strain.
Diet: Excessive consumption of dairy foods tend to create dampness. Also greasy foods tend to create dampness and frying foods makes them hotter, leading to heat.
Emotional Strain: Anger and frustration cause the body to tense up and decrease the free flow of blood, oxygen, food and body fluids. The lack of flow (accumulation) creates heat.
There are many symptoms associated with this condition
- Lack of appetite
- Heavy body
- Thirst with little/no desire to drink
- Abdominal pain
- Loose stools with strong odor, possibly w/burning anus
- Nausea, vomiting, fever, headache
- Yellow, sticky coat on tongue
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms along with your acne or not please contact us we would be happy to help.
What we do.
At the Point of Health Wellness Center we work with you to find the root cause of your issue. Then we find natural, organic, and time tested solutions that fit your specific situation and needs. So if you are looking to find holistic solutions to your acne problem then please schedule your initial appointment today. Also here are some things you can do at home to begin your healthcare journey.
Here are foods to avoid:
- Fermented tofu
- Deep-fried or greasy food
- Energy drinks
- White rice
- Spicy foods
Here are foods to increase:
- Mung beans
- Pearly barley
- Adzuki beans
- Corn silk tea
- Water chestnuts
- Winter melon
Here is a home skin care remedy that can help with symptoms: Mix pearl barley powder with aloe vera gel to make a facial mask. Apply every night before bed. Leave on overnight and wash off with water in the morning
You could also use Essential Oils such as HD clear, Tea tree, and Juniper berry. Another simple home remedy is to add 2 drops tea tree oil with 1 cup warm water and use water to gently wash face once a day
One of the best things you can do for your skin along with all of these suggestions is to get a good night's rest, and drink plenty of water. If Acne is an issue for you the Point of health wellness Center is here to assist you with all of your healthcare needs.