Ingred B. Acne and the Menstrual Cycle
Ingred B. Is a thirty-five year old woman who had a long standing case ( 5 years) of acne on her face and neck. This would flare up considerably when she was either ovulating or menstruating. The acne had been getting worse over the last six months. Read more
Ingred is married with three children and has an active social life with her husband. She was upset that she needed a heavy concealer type of make-up to go out most of the time. This was what induced her to consider acupuncture and Chinese herbals as a therapy. Years before when she was using birth control pills it was the only time that she had some relief from the acne, but she did not want to start using the pills again. She also had been using a strong steroidal drug for the past two months but it had not noticeably reduced her acne.
I asked Ingred to describe her l menstrual cycle. The cycle was typically 28 days, however her menses lasted 10 days and the first three days she said she had difficulty leaving the house since she had to change her protection almost every hour, not because she wanted to but because she had to. The first few days of her period produced clotting as well. She confided in me that there were many times that she would ruin a pair of slacks because of this. To my surprise she felt this was normal because her mother and sister also had the same menstrual type of cycle.
She brought a copy of her most recent blood chemistry which corroborated her physicians diagnosis of anemia . It was no wonder that she had felt tired all the time. After twenty years of this type of menstrual cycle and three children she had lost the ability to compensate for the drain on her body.
After additional questioning and Oriental Medical diagnostics we developed a treatment plan together that included acupuncture once a week for four menstrual cycles and herbal formulas that would be changed as her condition stabilized and improved throughout the four months. I selected formulas that have been used for a few hundred years for heavy periods that start with a flood, continue for a long time and produce skin rashes and eruptions along with other signs and symptoms that Ingred had.
The translated names of the formulas were “Clearing Heat and Arresting Flooding Decoction to cool the menses”, and “Consolidating the Root and Restraining the Flow decoction”. I am happy to say that within two months her severe acne was no more and at the end of the fourth cycle her menstruation lasted only five to six days and her menstrual flow was dramatically reduced so that she could easily go out without having to worry about accidents. I saw ingred a few months afterwards for an unrelated shoulder condition. Her periods continued at 5 to 6 days and she was experiencing the same reduced menstrual bleeding. She had no new bouts of acne and said that her energy level had much improved.