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Bodhi Tree TCM treatment for Acne

• Cause of Acne

An incased production of hormone androgen in puberty triggers a higher production of sebum by the sebaceous glands in the skin. The increased sebum allows bacterial to grow drastically in numbers, especially P. acnes which transforms sebum into both free fatty acids and other chemicals cause inflammation, leading to acne.

• Western Medicine Treatment

Acne is due to infection and inflammation; antibiotics are used as the main treatment in Western medicine which can be effective in short term. However, without treating the underline conditions, acne tends to return to patients once they stop using antibiotics and some patients are afraid of the long-term side effects of antibiotics.

• TCM Treatment

TCM views the body as a whole and we are the one with nature. TCM treatments address the imbalances of the body and emphasizes changing our diet and lifestyle according to season and our body conditions. Like treating many other diseases or conditions, TCM addresses through the following aspects:

1. Diet

 Heat Toxin – your green veggies

According to TCM, acne, especially if skin is red and inflamed is due to heat toxin in the body. Cooling or cold foods are great to clear toxic heat from the body. Cooling or cold foods are your green veggies such as kale, celery, bitter melon, aloe, wheat grass, barley grass etc.

Foods that cause heat toxin in the body which you should avoid are spicy foods, deep fried foods, BBQs chips ect.

 Dampness – sweets and dairy

Acne, if accompanied with pustule is due to dampness in the body according to TCM. It is hard to associate dampness into a specific condition according to Western medicine. Dampness is accumulation of turbid fluid in our body which causes phlegm, weight gain, heaviness sensation, turbid body discharge.

Sweet foods and dairy products cause dampness accumulation in our body according to TCM. These two types of foods are commonly recommended for an acne clearing diet by lots of dietitians.

Sweets made with processed sugar can cause the rise of blood sugar in your body. When your blood sugar rises quickly, it causes the body to release a hormone called insulin. Excess insulin can cause your oil glands to produce more oil, increasing your risks of acne. Sweets include anything made with processed white sugar such as deserts, cookies, soda drinks, cereals, granola bars ect. Not only sweets can cause sudden rise of the blood sugar, “high-glycemic” carbohydrates which means they’re made of simple sugars such as pasta, white rice and white bread can cause the sudden rise of blood sugar as well. They should be avoided if patients have acne.

Dairy products are another main cause of inflammation. Dairy cows are treated with artificial hormones that affect their milk supply which in turn can affect your hormone balances if you consume milk products.

Whey and casein are the proteins in milk. When we digest these proteins, they release a hormone like insulin, called IGF-1. This hormone is known to trigger breakouts.

2. Lifestyle

Change your diet is a big part of your lifestyle change. Stress reduction, early bedtime, proper skin care and hygiene products are also important.

In Bodhi Tree, we recommend our patients to use Eminence Acne Advanced Skin Care Kit which includes the following products to supplement their other treatments.

Acne Advanced Cleansing Foam

Acne Advanced Clarifying Masque

Acne Advanced Clarifying Hydrator

3. Acupuncture

In Acupuncture treatment, small needles will be used to treat locally to stimulate blood circulation, break up stagnation. Acupuncture needles will be used on other points to treat the root cause such as high stress, heat toxin, indigestion, dampness accumulation.

4. Herbal Medicine

At the early stage of acne, herbs to hear heat toxin and drain dampness will be used to treat acne patients. Herbal teas made with either dandelion, pepper mint, Coix Seed or a combination are very good at clearing heat and draining dampness.

At the later stage of acne, patients usually have scar or hard nodules formed. Herbs that can move blood and clear stasis are good for this stage, such as safflower, rosebuds, motherworts ect.

5. Morpheus 8 and Microneedling

At Bodhi Tree, we also offer microneedling and Morpheus 8 treatment to treat acne or acne scar. Microneedling tools are comprised of small needles (most commonly penetrating 0.5mm–1mm) that gently puncture the skin and create small wounds. Microneedling can break collagen bundles in the superficial layer of the dermis that are responsible for scars with subsequent induction of more collagen immediately under the epidermis.

Morpheus8 is a deep fractional radiofrequency treatment that delivers exceptional skin, tissue and collagen remodeling to improve skin appearance and reduce irregularities.


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