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Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

Acne, Be Gone

Oct 30, 2017 07:25PM

by Rene Ng, AP, L.Ac. 


The dreaded and unwelcome acne––we all know its symptoms, but some of us are all too familiar with that feeling of absolute dread whenever acne rears its ugly head. Especially when acne appears on the face or other exposed areas of the skin, we can become both subconscious and embarrassed. According to Medical News Today, acne is defined as a “chronic, inflammatory skin disease that results in whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, cysts and nodules. It is not dangerous, but it can leave skin scars.”  

Acne is more commonly known by the terms “pimple” or “zit”, but it can also include whiteheads, blackheads or cysts on the face, upper arms, chest and back. Most signs of acne appear during puberty and in youth, but adult-onset acne can also occur, although these are commonly attributed to hormonal changes. This skin condition involves the oil glands which are found at the base of hair follicles.  

Acne happens when these oil glands secrete too much sebum which clogs the pores. Sebum secretions will typical increase hormonal changes, especially during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. When too much sebum is secreted, it causes a blockage leading to bacteria and yeast growth. The skin, as a result, becomes inflamed which leads to the formation of acne 

In Chinese Medicine, the skin is controlled by the lungs. Therefore, an individual with some form of imbalance in the lung organ system will be more prone to acne than another individual with healthy lungs. In China, a common approach to addressing the acne is to directly strengthen the source. That means enhancing the lung function through food, herbs and acupuncture. Pears are a common food used to condition and strengthen the lungs.  


Causes of Acne  

According to the Mayo Clinic, acne can be caused by oil production, dead skin cells, clogged pores and bacteria. In addition to hormonal changes and issues directly tied to increased secretion of sebum as previously discussed, the following triggers also can cause acne, make existing acne worse or increase the risk of acne formation:  

  • -  Medication (especially containing corticosteroids, androgens and lithium)  

  • -  Greasy physical factors (such as cosmetics, hands and tools)  

  • -  Stress  

  • -  Poor nutrition  

  • -  Menstruation  

  • -  Pregnancy  

  • -  Dirty skin  

  • -  Smoking  

  • -  Scrubbing the skin too hard  

  • -  Continuous picking at the skin or pimples  


Natural Remedies for Acne  

  • -  Avoid excess sugars, dairy products, chocolate, milk, caffeine and carbonated beverages. -  Limit the consumption of nuts and certain seafoods (especially shellfish). 

  • -  Avoid oily, greasy and fried foods.  

  • - Apply tea tree oil to acne lesions which can help eliminate or reduce the inflammation. (Consult with your healthcare practitioner first before using this remedy to determine if it will be beneficial for you).  

  • -  Boost immunity and circulation with exercises like fast walking, biking or running. The increased blood-flow to the skin helps to bring healing cells to the affected area to both nourish the skin cells and ward off bacterial invasion.  

  • -  Engage in activities to reduce stress like singing, dancing, painting or sculpting.  

  • -  Avoid picking at your face or pimples.  

  • -  Reduce the use of makeup.  

  • -  Make sure that you have regular bowel movements. This will help reduce the heat and toxic build-up in the body.  

  • -  Get adequate amounts of sleep.  

  • -  Reduce the intake of alcohol and smoking.  


  • Conclusion  

Acne is an issue that can readily be controlled and reduced, even eliminated. Being able to manage your body’s hormones goes a long way toward achieving this. The majority of hormones in question here are directly tied to the liver and kidney.  

A board-certified, licensed acupuncturist can go a long way towards helping you manage your hormone production and levels to indirectly, but effectively, address acne symptoms. In addition, herbal creams are available that can soothe acne inflammation when applied directly. If you are suffering from acne problems, regardless of your current stage of life, Chinese Medicine provides many powerful, potent solutions that can help you with resolve this issue.  


  • Rene Ng, AP, L.Ac., is a board-certified, licensed Acupuncture Physician and Chinese Herbalist in Sarasota. He is also a four-time winner of Sarasota’s “Favorite Acupuncture Physician” award. In addition to his work with cancer, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune disorders, he is known for his work in helping patients with their skin problems (including acne) through Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, 7-Star needling and cupping. These treatments occur naturally with no use of steroids, fillers or medications. For more information, call 941-773-5156, email or visit   





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