For people who struggle with stubborn acne, we understand your pain. No matter the number of skincare products or topical creams, they may not stop those pesky zits from ruining your day. However, that does not mean all hope is lost for people struggling with acne. Turn to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as a natural alternative to your acne woes!
Here is Beauty Insider’s complete guide to everything you need to know about curing acne with TCM.
- What Are Common Causes of Acne According to TCM?
- How Does TCM Treat Acne?
- Western Medicine vs TCM
- Tips to Clearing Up Acne According to TCM
- What Are Some Natural Remedies I Can Take for Acne?
- Are There Any Side Effects to Chinese Herbs?
- Can I Take Western Medicine and TCM Medicine Together?
- Who Can Use TCM to Treat Acne?
- Where Can I Treat Acne with TCM?
- Pulse TCM Clinic
- Bao Zhong Tang Clinic
- Eu Yang San TCM Clinic
What Are Common Causes of Acne According to TCM?
According to TCM practitioners, the main cause of acne is the build-up heat in the lungs, stomach large intestines, liver and kidney. The build-up heat in the body is caused by toxins in the body, which leads to pesky breakouts. This build-up heat in the lungs and stomach is often caused by an unhealthy diet. So it is best to steer clear from that cheeseburger whenever you can.
Aside from heat, ‘dampness’ is also another culprit when it comes to causing acne. The idea behind it is that certain foods can cause ‘dampness’ — which is when the body is unable to rid itself of the excess water that is logged in the body’s tissues. This causes phlegm discharge, unwanted weight gain and of course — acne.
How Does TCM Treat Acne?
TCM is all about using natural remedies and ancient Chinese techniques to heal the internal aspect of the body. As for acne, TCM practitioners believe that it is caused by an imbalance in the body’s energy and blood flow, which affect how the body’s organs function. TCM practices then come into play to rid of acne by using Chinese herbal medicines and techniques to bring back balance and harmony to the body for proper blood flow and energy.
When it comes to using TCM to treat acne, facial acupuncture is the most popular option for treatment. The process involves inserting fine and thin needles into strategic points on the face to reduce redness and cystic acne.
Cupping therapy, which involves using fire and cups to create suctions on the body, is another treatment that is often sought after as it helps dispel high levels of heat and toxins from the body and enhances blood circulation. Applying Chinese herbs topically or consuming them can also help improve acne.
However, it is best to consult a TCM practitioner to find the most suitable treatment.
Western Medicine vs TCM
As for western medicine, doctors tend to focus on treating acne breakouts when they occur. This is done by prescribing medications that fight overactive sebaceous glands or acne-causing bacteria.
In comparison to western medicine, TCM practices dig deeper and focus on understanding the root cause of an acne outbreak internally. In order to understand what are the causes of acne breakouts, the practitioners evaluate the body’s level of heat and dampness in different areas to understand what is the best treatment for you. Depending on each individual, TCM practitioners may prescribe herbs or suggest some lifestyle changes.
Take note: We recommend visiting a dermatologist for more severe conditions.
Tips to Clearing Up Acne According to TCM
Diet is Everything!
Inflammatory foods are your worst enemy if you are struggling with breakouts. Greasy and spicy foods cause internal heat levels to rise in the body, which leads to stubborn and sore acne breakouts. So even if you are an ardent mala fan, you might want to cut back on it for a while!
For people looking to reduce the levels of heat in the body, munch down on ‘cool’ foods such as leafy vegetables and fruits. They not only help you achieve clear skin but build your immune system too!
Exercise is Key
Not only is breaking a sweat great for that beach body, but it can actually clear up the blemishes! Exercising moderately allows blood flow to keep pumping so that your body’s organs can function healthily. However, it is best to keep the exercises light as causing too much stress to the body can do more harm to the skin than good.
‘What in the world are adaptogens’ may be the first thought that comes to one’s mind whenever mentioned. So, what are they? Adaptogens are herbal supplements that work to regulate the hormones and reduce stress. As stress plays a huge role in causing acne, taking adaptogens can be a lifesaver in staving off acne. Having said that, always consult a practitioner first before running down to a medicine hall!
What Are Some Natural Remedies I Can Take for Acne?
The honeysuckle flower is a popular option recommended by TCM practitioners for banishing acne. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, the flower works to clear build-up heat and toxins in the body while repairing the skin. It can be applied topically as a face wash or cream or consumed as a tea.
In addition, licorice root works wonders in clearing up any red spots as it helps reduce excess sebum production and soothes any swelling caused by breakouts. Like the honeysuckle flower, licorice root can be taken as a tea or applied topically as a cream.
Are There Any Side Effects to Chinese Herbs?
Medicines tend to get a bad rap for having side effects, but this is not the case for TCM medicine. The practitioners ensure that the herbs are prescribed in moderation to balance out Plus, many practitioners say that there are almost no side effects! With that being said, if you do experience side effects, always consult your practitioner.
As for facial acupuncture, patients may experience mild bruising after the treatment. However, practitioners say that the chances of bruising are rather slim.
Can I Take Western Medicine and TCM Medicine Together?
Both Western medicine and TCM medicine can be taken during the course of treatment. As a general rule of thumb, take Western medicine and TCM medicine two hours apart. However, many TCM practitioners encourage patients to check with a physician first.
Who Can Use TCM to Treat Acne?
Good news! Anyone can undergo a TCM treatment to banish acne. Moreover, TCM practices are highly personalised for a holistic approach. That means that you are getting a treatment that is tailored just for you for the best results! With that being said, TCM practitioners will need to diagnose every patient and further understand their body as some herbs and acupoints may have adverse impacts on the patient.
However, for more serious conditions, TCM may not be for you as they often require specialised medical attention.
Where Can I Treat Acne with TCM?
Pulse TCM Clinic
Located at the heart of central Singapore, Pulse TCM Clinic takes care of all the health concerns of the person who is always on-the-go. Helmed by a team of well-trained physicians, the clinic provides an all-natural and personalised treatment plan for every patient to deliver nothing but the best results.
For those struggling with acne, the clinic offers an Acne Management program, which includes a one-to-one consultation, diagnosis, facial acupuncture and medication.
Price: $880 for 10 sessions
Address: 501 Orchard Road, Wheelock Place #03-04, Singapore 238880
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 11am to 8pm
Contact: 6235 2855
Find out more about Pulse TCM Clinic here.
Bao Zhong Tang Clinic
Looking for a trusted TCM clinic in Singapore? Look no further than Bao Zhong Tang Clinic. Established in 2007, the clinic has earned its title as one of Singapore’s premier TCM centres and has gained a loyal customer base. The clinic prides themselves in the practice of ‘Synergy Medicine’, which combines the powers of Western medicine and Chinese medicine for efficacious results. Moreover, the clinic provides a comprehensive range of services from acupuncture to cupping to tailor to your needs.
Price: Contact Bao Zhong Tang Clinic directly for prices
Address: 8 Sinaran Dr, #07-13/14 Novena Specialist Center, Singapore 307470
Opening Hours: Mon: 9am to 8pm, Tues & Thurs-Sat: 9am to 6pm, Wed: 9am to 1pm, Sun: Closed
Contact: 6327 7866
Find out more about Bao Zhong Tang Clinic here.
Eu Yang San TCM Clinic
A household name in the TCM scene in Singapore, Eu Yan Sang needs no introduction. With numerous outlets scattered across the island, patients can easily look for a clinic at a stone’s throw away. Among its slew of services, Eu Yan Sang also offers facial acupuncture and its signature Skin Treatment Programme, which includes a personalised diet therapy plan, herbal medication and personal skincare products.
Price: Consultation prices start from $18
Address: 290 Orchard Road, #13-08/09 Paragon (Tower 1 – Lobby E or Lobby F), Singapore 238859
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 9am to 7pm, Sat: 9am to 1pm, Sun: Closed
Contact: 6735 8006