Below are some tips that I have just recently shared with a patient of mine who has been struggling with acne. I thought it might be worth sharing. I also included a link to a recent article from The New York Times about diet and acne that is worth a read.
1-Diet, the key is to increase your intake from fruits and vegetables and to cut overall your intake of refined sugar, red meat, alcohol and dairy products. These foods in Chinese medicine cause to increase heat and phlegm and generate excessive yang energy. If you like cheese, whole fat cheese could be better for the skin than skim or low fat cheese. Natural vitamin A for helping acne is found in animal livers, fish liver oils, green and yellow fruits and vegetables. Pears and carrots have the highest concentration of Vitamin A. Research suggests that people with acne have lower blood and skin levels of zinc. Taking zinc by mouth appears to help treat acne. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of natural zinc.
2-For topicals, I recommend trying a soap made with Calendula ( a daisy flower), It has antibacterial properties and is gentle on the skin. Very rarely does someone have a skin allergic reaction to Calendula. During the American Civil War, calendula flowers were used on the battlefields in open wounds as antihemorrhagic and antiseptic, and they were used in dressing wounds to promote healing. Calendula also was used in this way during World War I. It has been historically significant in medicine in many cultures.
3-Stress with college and school can definitely take a toll on the skin, so try to keep finding ways to relax and meditate and focus on your deep breathing.
In Chinese medicine the Lung Qi governs the Skin and Large intestine to help with eliminating all toxins. Our skin breathes.
Anas Hana, MD