Acne is a skin condition that can cause one or more of the following:
• Acne cysts or nodules (deep, painful breakouts)
Acne is most often seen as ‘heat’ in the lung and stomach meridians. The lung meridian starts in the middle of the body and moves up to the chest. The stomach meridian starts at the face and goes through the chest.
When heat is in excess in the body it rises up to the face. If a patient eats too much spicy, greasy, sweet or fried foods then dampness or undigested metabolites are created and transform into heat. If this dampness continues for a long time then it can transform into phlegm, and cause stagnation of blood and more heat.
Chinese medicine differentiates two types of acne: heat in the lungs and stomach, and stagnation of phlegm with dampness and blood stagnation.
The heat in the lungs and stomach will present acne that is mainly on the face with oily or shiny skin. The patient with this kind of pattern might also have a dry mouth and feel thirsty, may be constipated and have dark urine. Their tongue will be red. The treatment principle is to clear heat. Acne due to a stagnation of phlegm, dampness and blood will present acne that is dark red and appears in clusters. The sores will also be quite long lasting. The treatment principle here is to activate blood circulation.