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I am about to treat a patient in our college clinic for severe acne and I want to find out as much as possible about this condition. I understand that this is due to a damp heat pattern which is mainly caused by excessive greasy, spicy foods etc. and I would therefore consider points like LI 4, 11, UB 40, SP 10, SP 6, maybe SP 8 or 9, REN 12, ST 36, ear point endocrine.

The acne is only located on the back, however, and I am a bit confused why this would be the case. If it is due to diet and affecting the ST channel, I would expect it to be on the face. What is the explanation for this?

I am also thinking of herbal pill such as Pi Yan Tang or Huang Lian Jie Du Wan, which seem to have the ability to clear heat, damp and heat toxins.

Would cupping of the back be indicated? Lots of questions, I know, but I hope that one of the experienced practitioners can enlighten me? Thanks a lot in advance




I would recommend that you actually see your patient first and provide us with more details if you are still confused about the diagnosis. One of the best ways to confuse yourself diagnostically is to go into the room with a patient already knowing what you are going to do for him/her. Acne can have other causes from damp-heat. Particularly in women there can be strong hormonal relationships which arise from entirely different patterns and you can have acne without a bad diet.

Acne usually involves the LV, ST, and/or LI systems. For damp-heat conditions cupping can be used as well as for LV excess patterns, etc. It should be used cautiously on people with underlying SP Qi deficiency as it can too dispersive and possibly aggravate the underlying cause. Deciding where the dampness is coming from is important to make that determination.

There are a host of theories about where acne shows up and its meaning and there is clinical validity to many of these. From a simplistic perspective, acne that arises from heat - rises up in the body. So mild cases may only have the back where more severe cases will go all the way to the face. LV stagnation, however, can cause hormone based acne (usually menstrual related) and that can show up at or near the LV points T9 (right side) and in the upper back.

After you meet with your patient and ask appropriate questions, the diagnosis should be clear. My advice is to go in treating -them- not -acne- and you'll find the right answers.


Yes bloodletting and bloodletting with cupping will work for many types of skin conditions. It is important, however, to not universally apply this treatment as in some cases it will either not help or may even worsen their condition. Many skin issues are related to damp-heat/heat in the blood. Bloodletting with or without cupping will release the heat (as well as perform other functions) in the blood level and it will work great for those specific excess patterns. If mixed with deficiencies, however, you have to be more judicious in your use of these techniques as you can greatly weaken the person, possibly increasing sp qi deficiency, increasing dampness and prolonging their issues.

As always proper diagnosis is key initially followed by proper treatment and appropriate adjunctive techniques.


For acne problem is on the skin belong to lung heat, and connect to large intestine channel, to make large intestine go through, can help release body heat, Drink herb tea of " fan xie ye" can release body heat and help acne problem. normally once a day keep 7 days will get effective.


Glad you had so much success with the treatment. Thanks for sharing. I&#39m interested in where you bought the auto-lancet from. Is there a web address for that company you could share?


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