Acne is something most people have suffered from. We’re always finding new ways to get rid of those pesky pimples. They seem to pop out of nowhere and refuse to leave. Especially when pimples start to hurt, we can be desperate for a solution that will get us our clear skin back.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is increasingly considered as an alternative form of medicine to treat various ailments. It uses various natural products and has helped many. However, you might be wondering, can TCM actually cure acne?
In this article, we explore TCM and whether it is a viable option for treating acne.
Before we dive into whether chinese medicine for skin can cure acne, we need to understand what causes acne.
Acne is a skin condition where pores on our skin gets plugged with dead skin cells, dirt and oil. This causes pimples, whiteheads and blackheads.
Each pore on our skin is linked to a hair follicle and a sebaceous gland. The sebaceous gland releases sebum that is transported onto our skin via the hair. The sebum secreted is meant to keep our skin hydrated and protect the skin from external factors.
This process can lead to acne if the following occurs:
Acne and clogged pores are commonly attributed to many factors. These include hormonal changes during puberty and pregnancy, eating certain medications, poor diet or having parents who have had acne.
In the TCM perspective, there are 3 causes of acne.
Firstly, diet. Consumption of spicy, sweet, heaty or oily can cause a build-up of heat in our stomach and lungs. This heat is caused by diets rich in unhealthy fried food, fats and spicy food. Qi, a person’s life force, is disrupted. As such, when the heat rises up from our organs to our face, it gets trapped at the surface of our skin and results in acne.
Secondly, TCM Physicians commonly associate acne to dampness and wind. With excess dampness, our body might not be able to excrete normally. Our body will then find other means to excrete such as through our skin. In TCM, wind is believed to have disease-causing ability. It can be referred to our external environment. Acne causing bacteria obtained due to wind can cause acne as well.
Finally, acne is also said to be caused by overwhelming amounts of dampness in the body. This impairs the function of the spleen. Processing nutrients from food and water is affected which in turn disrupts the flow of qi, blood production and circulation. This can lead to obstruction of skin pores and thus acne.
According to TCM physicians, TCM can be used to treat acne effectively.
TCM focuses on promoting or restoring Qi, and reducing heat, dampness and wind if there is too much. This could be in the form of acupuncture and/or herbal medicines.
In order to use TCM to treat your acne, you need to consult a TCM physician. A TCM physician will diagnose the cause of your acne and prescribe Chinese herbs for you.
Western medicine and TCM look at illnesses through different lenses.
Western Medicine is based on scientific technology, chemistry, anatomy. On the other hand, TCM is less supported scientifically. TCM focuses on flow of Qi within the body and achieving balance.
When consulting a western doctor, they will attribute the cause to bacteria or genetic disorders. The problem will be treated through prescription of drugs and antibiotics. For example, in order to treat acne, doctors might simply prescribe antibiotics to treat acne causing bacteria.
However, in TCM, the cause of the problem is attributed to lack of balance. A TCM physician will prescribe herbs or use therapy to treat the ailment and restore balance of Qi.
TCM is a highly-personalised method of treatment. When consulting a TCM physician, they will evaluate your body constitution and the underlying cause. Herbs and treatment prescribed to one person takes into consideration your body’s conditions such as whether you are pregnant or have high blood pressure.
As such, for the same ailment, a different treatment might be prescribed. On the other hand, in western medicine, the same drug is likely to be prescribed to treat the same problem.
As such, when using TCM it is important to consult a TCM physician and refrain from sharing your prescribed TCM medicine to treat someone else with the same ailment.
In general, there should be no problem in taking tcm for skin while still on western medicine. Everyone’s body is different and different medicines have different effects. As such, it is recommended that you consult your physician on whether the treatments you are receiving can be received simultaneously.
Acne can cause our self-confidence and self-esteem to plummet. It not only affects our physical health but can also harm our mental and emotional health. If you are interested in trying out TCM to treat your acne, visit Tong Jum Chew clinics at any of our retail outlets for a consultation and prescription.
Tong Jum Chew was founded in 1965 as a medical hall. Since then, it has grown into a manufacturer and distributor of traditional chinese medicine and health supplements. We boast a modern manufacturing facility in Singapore that includes a clean room environment.
All products are produced using modern machinery and undergo stringent checks to ensure that they are safe for consumption or usage.