Everyone at one time or another has had acne, which can even be painful. Some people have acne on their face, while others have it on their body.
What does acne on the body signify in terms of health problems? Dr. Dawei Guo, director of Fu Yuan Chinese Medicine Clinic in Taiwan, who has extensive experience in treating acne, says that acne on different parts of the body represents different health warnings.
He shares with us eight ways to treat acne on different parts of the body.
Acne on the Philtrum
The philtrum is the space between the base of the nose and the upper lip.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the philtrum is related to the genitourinary system, including the bladder, uterus, and ovaries.
If women have acne on the philtrum, they might also have some problems with their periods. For instance, their menstruation might be irregular and/or painful.
Dr. Kuo would recommend such patients to limit cold drinks, spicy food, coffee, and tea. These foods increase the blood flow in the uterine cavity and might result in fibroids.
Massaging and keeping the Qi Hai point and Guan Yuan point warm would also help decrease the chances of growing acne on the philtrum.
As per Dr. Kuo, the recommended remedies are Si Wu herbal soup and Zhong Jiang herbal soup. Drinking these two remedies after the menstrual period can regulate the menstruation and nourish the blood, so that the uterus and ovaries can be replenished. However, it is necessary to consult with a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner before drinking them. Also, it is best to drink them after the menstrual period, because if taken during the menstrual period, they would reduce the flow, causing bloating and abdominal pain.
Acne on the Neck
It’s usually difficult to get rid of acne on the neck, because there is a lot of perspiration on the neck. The skin is often contaminated by the dirt on clothing and hair, resulting in inflammation.
Those who have acne on the neck should eat less sugar, because refined sugar can cause more inflammation.
Massaging He Gu points on the hands and Tai Chong points on the feet can also help. These four points together are called the “four gates points.” Opening these four gates can open up the energy channels and smooth the flow of qi and blood in the neck.
According to Dr. Kuo, people with acne on the neck can drink burdock and mint tea, which nourishes the lungs and reduces heat in the chest. It consists of dried burdock roots, dried dates, mint leaves, and honey roasted licorice roots.
Acne on the Chest
Among those who have acne on the face, 40 to 50 percent of them also have acne on the chest and back. This is partially because of sweating and dirt blocking the pores.
Usually, acne on the chest has something to do with one’s intestines. Other symptoms include diarrhea and/or irritable bowel syndrome. These people should not eat nuts, spicy foods, and deep-fried and baked foods, to avoid dampness and heat in the stomach and intestines.
To control the inflammation, one can massage the Upper Ju Xu point and Lower Ju Xu point on the legs.
A dandelion and chrysanthemum flower tea can also help relieve acne on the chest. It consists of dried dandelions, chrysanthemum flowers, and honey roasted licorice roots. Dandelion and chrysanthemum flower tea can disperse the inflammation.
Acne on the Back
Acne on the back has similar causes as acne on the chest. Decreasing inflammation is key to treating it.
Massaging Zhu Bao points and Feng Long points on the legs can have a detox effect. Zhu Bao point is a major point for detoxification in traditional Chinese medicine.
People with acne on their back should exercise more and eat less spicy, deep fried, or BBQ foods.
Dr. Kuo recommends that these people drink dandelion tea, which is made with dandelions, burdock roots, goji berries and jujubes. Dandelions and burdock roots can clear the lungs, while jujubes and goji berries nourish the liver and kidneys.
Acne on the Shoulders
In addition to blocked pores, hormones are another reason why some youth have acne on their shoulders.
Medicines such as antibiotics and antihistamine can also cause acne on the shoulders.
Massaging Xue Hai point and Qu Chi point can alleviate heat in those areas. Massaging these points can also treat hives and atopic dermatitis.
We can also make herbal tea with 2 grams of astragalus, 1 gram of cassia twigs, 1 gram of American ginseng, 1 gram of xanthium fruits, and 3 ginger slices.
Astrangulus and cassia twigs can improve blood circulation, while American ginseng and xanthium fruits can nourish the lungs.
Acne on Arms
First we need to distinguish acne from keratosis pilaris, which are bumps on the arms that are not painful or itchy.
For treating acne on the arms, we can massage Xue Hai point on the legs and Tai Yuan point on the wrists. Both can strengthen the lungs.
Mulberry leaves and chrysanthemum flowers make a great tea to clear the heat, detox, moisturize the lungs, and brighten the eyes. It consists of mulberry leaves, chrysanthemum flowers, schizonepeta, and forsythia fruits.
Acne on the Butt
Acne on the butt might be caused by sitting for a long time or problems with the digestive system. Icy cold drinks should be avoided. Exercises are encouraged to increase blood circulation.
Massaging Yin Ling point and Wai Guan point also helps.
People who need to work sedentarily are recommended to stand up and move around every one to two hours, so that the blood circulation in their lower body is better, and their pore blockage can be reduced.
The aforementioned mulberry leaf and chrysanthemum flower tea is also helpful in treating acne on the butt.
Acne can occur not only among young people but also among those who are in their 40s and 50s. If a person is under stress or in a bad mood, stress acne can emerge.
Many people tend to eat a lot of sweets, nuts, and/or fried foods when under stress. Sugar can cause acne, too.
To get rid of stress acne, one can massage the Er Shen Men point on the ear, Tai Chong point on the feet to nourish the liver, Bai Hui point to improve energy level, and Shen Ting point on the forehead to relieve stress.
Lavender tea is also very effective in relaxing one’s nerves. It can consist of lavender, light wheat, and mint leaves.