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Pimples are frequently seen in teens. But this doesn't make it a normal phenomenon. Certain people are blessed with immaculate skin and never have to contend with pimples while growing up. Unfortunately there are many others who have to live with this issue. In many respects, it influences the lives of girls more so than boys. While for many this is a temporary phase that will fade away as time goes by, such is not always the case. Even if it does eventually go away, the scars and pigmentation left behind may cause more permanent marks. So what is the best treatment method? Regardless of whether or not it fades away, or how long it will unknowingly persist, the best course of action is to seek treatment so that it no longer poses a problem and is stopped in its tracks completely.
I recently treated a female teenage patient who's been having pimples for a few years. They're seen around the whole face, with particular emphasis on the forehead. A lot of pigmentation were seen there, indicating the severity of flare-ups. As a result, the patient had to always cover the forehead with her hair. I guess that this is a blessing of sorts; at least it is more concentrated in an area that could be at least covered up adequately with hair style modifications.
The pimples were red, and some had white heads, indicating pus. After Chinese Medicine diagnostics, I determined there is a constraint of blood and body fluid circulation within the body causing chronic inflammation which shows up as pimples. I told the patient's parent that since the condition has been persisting for some time, do not expect miracles over night, but with time and dedication to treatment, the problem will improve. As such I prescribed Chinese Herbal Medicine and the patient earnestly complied with treatment for 3 months. During this time she also followed my dietary suggestions, something I should applaud her for, considering the junk-food culture and stressed out schedules of today's students.
Her pimples improved steadily, and after 3 months, 95% improvement was observed. The ones on the rest of the face were practically gone and the forehead has only a few little ones. The pigmentation and scarring marks were much less visible and less densely populated, indicating the frequency of flare-ups had decreased significantly. She could also show her forehead without fear as well.
Pimples are blamed on hormones. While I agree with this, it doesn't say much about what is to be done. Because it is not a deficiency of hormones so modern medications have no way to decrease it; they can only supplement, such as in the case of menopause. Many of the drugs used for acne and pimples instead target the skin area and inhibit secretion of sebum. Unfortunately this is narrow-sighted since not every case is due to over-secretion of oily sebaceous material.
This particular patient is a perfect example; the skin texture was actually quite good, but the pimples were there regardless. So in terms of Chinese Medicine, we see the problem as an issue of the organ systems in regulating, absorbing and excretion of materials, good and bad throughout the body. So being able to deal with almost every type of pimples and acne is therefore not a surprise at all.
We also believe dietary suggestions are very important in the treatment regimen. For one thing, greasy, fried, and high caloric foods must be avoided at all costs. Diet must be based on regular 3 daily and timely meals, hearty and nutritious with more emphasis on veggies. Also, avoidance of foods that are too spicy or too cold('slushees', cold soft drinks, etc) is also paramount. Following dietary guidelines will not necessarily improve the situation however, but it will at least not make things worse or obstruct the therapy of Chinese Medicine.