Acne is an extremely common inflammatory disorder of the sebaceous (oil-secreting) glands of the skin. It mainly occurs on the
face but can also be found on the chest, back and other places.
Acne is more common in men because androgens (sex hormones)
such as testosterone simulate the cells to enlarge and produce
more sebum (a mixture of oil and waxes) which reduce
the skin porosity.
Teenagers are more susceptible to acne because
at the time of puberty, the sebum produced is usually thick and sticky and tends to block the sebaceous glands and their associated hair follicles. Pre-menstrual women are also often experience the
outbreaks of acne. Excessive stimulation of the skin by hormones is often a
factor as well as heredity, oily skin type and stress.
Acne in terms of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Acne develops because of excessive amounts of heat in the body. This heat arises due to a combination of external and internal factors. Those who suffer the worst from acne generally have a constitution which predisposes them towards becoming too hot than necessary.
The symptoms of this overheat are low tolerance for hot temperatures, strong reaction to certain foods or high temperatures. This heat often combines with other waste products in the body to produce a recognisable Chinese Medicine syndrome.
In terms of TCM, several levels of conditions may be distributed. Although acne appears on the skin, the disorder may come from the blood, the internal organs such as stomach or the skin tissues or a combination of these.
The treatment of TCM looks into both the symptoms and the patients underlying constitution, although the treatment may concentrate on the symptoms in the initial treatment. When the symptoms have been relieved, treatments are aimed at balancing the internal constitution to prevent recurrences.
The time it takes for the successful treatment of acne varies from person to person and depends very much on the condition itself. generally, results will be seen within a month and treatment may need to continue for a few more months.