Written by Dr. Kate Zouev
How to treat Hormonal Acne naturally
It’s enough that we women have to endure monthly bleeding, but acne during that time of the month? Why? Haven’t we suffered enough? Hormonal acne is relatively normal to an extent. The odd pimple around the chin and jaw area around days 18-28 is not uncommon. When the acne becomes painful (in the case of cystic acne) and/or the affected area increases, this can lead to embarrassment and an overall hit to our self-esteem.
I remember coming off the pill in my twenties and really suffering with hormonal acne. The painful bumps underneath the skin would be so hard to cover with concealer and just as one would go away, 5 more would come and replace it. There were days when I seriously contemplated not going to work or uni because of it and I know I wasn’t alone. The effects of acne (hormonal or otherwise) can be massive. We all think of teenagers going through puberty with acne and once we leave high school, the last thing we want is a repeat of that crap. It’s embarrassing and takes a toll on our self image.
Can Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) help?
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, there is a lot more going on than just an excess of sebum or bacteria, there is a root to the issue. This is the beauty of Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment – it’s holistic! That means that every aspect of your health is looked at in determining why you are getting acne. It is impossible to know how to treat someone without a thorough health history and some TCM diagnostic testing such as pulse-taking and tongue inspection. It’s fun, I promise.
Ever spent 40 minutes at the GP discussing all aspects of your health before receiving your acne prescription? No, me either. In Western treatment I can feel like your health is reduced down to one symptom and besides being asked what allergies to medicines you might have, your GP may not ask you anything else. But ‘one-size-fits-all’ is never the answer because you are an individual and the reason for your acne may be very different to the next person that walks in the door.
Perhaps your hormonal acne is due to what we Acupuncturists refer to as ‘wind-heat’ or perhaps it is a ‘blood deficiency’ or maybe even ‘damp-heat’. Each diagnosis relates a different aetiology and set of acupuncture points to ensure that your underlying diagnosis addresses the root cause of your pimples and that your treatment helps your body to correct itself, restoring homeostasis.
Another benefit of regular acupuncture treatment is the opportunity to discuss your diet, your lifestyle, your stressors, your sleep and your digestion, forming an overall picture of your health and helping you identify what might need to change. Sometimes as acupuncturists we hold a mirror up to our clients and help them see what they have been ignoring. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to fix hormonal acne but there is certainly a size that fits you in our clinic so come and check it out for yourself!