Acne is a common inflammatory disease of the skin, particularly of the sebaceous glands. It appears in the form of comedones (black-headed spots), pimples, blisters and hardened nodules. In China, acne is sometimes called the “White Thorn Disease” because the appearance of the skin resembles skin stung from by thorns with white fluid leaking from the blisters.

The table below shows the most frequent causes and symptoms of acne according to TCM and also recommended herbal mixtures and creams for each type of acne.

Cause Symptoms Tongue Pulse Therapy

1. Lung fever FEI RE – a combination of heat in the lungs that, together with external wind, leads to the hot wind with the hot toxin FENG/RE + RE DU

Typical is the rapid onset and spread of pimples with white or black heads, red spots and pustules, mainly on the chin, forehead and around the nose. They mostly appear during pubescence.

Red on the tip with a thin white or yellow coating

Floating and strained FU XIAN

Anchoring of the hot-air balloon (code 030)
Cooling of the cooking range (code 013)
Wine Garden Cream (code 613)

2. Heat in the stomach and colon with hot toxin WEI/DA CHANG RE + RE DU

Similar to the previous condition but with much more serious progression. The pimples are around the mouth, on the cheeks, chest and upper back, the skin is oily, deterioration occurs after sweet, fried and heavy fatty foods, especially in young people. General symptoms include irregular food, heartburn, constipation or soft stools, bloating after eating.

Red with sticky yellow coating

Full and sliding SHI HUA

Drying up the rice terraces (code 021)
Wine Garden Cream (code 613)

3. Heat in blood with stagnation leads to imbalance of conceptual pathways RE XUE + YU XUE + CHONG/REN MAI

Especially middle-aged women from emotions or after discontinuation of hormonal contraceptives.  Spots and hardened nodules are around the nose and mouth and on the cheeks or between the eyebrows, usually worsening before menstruation or ovulation whereas PMS syndrome or painful menstruation are also present.

Red, especially on the tip, or even mauve

Tense and slightly fast XIAN SHUO

Beauty of jasmine complexion (code 010)
Wine Garden Cream (code 613)

4. Mucus stagnation with blockade of blood TAN + YU XUE

Long-lasting acne that is deep, painful and inflamed and where cysts and hardened nodules are mixed that form keloid scars (swollen and shiny scars), stubborn acne with oily skin.

Yellow oily coating

Gliding HUA

Arch of picturesque temple (code 038)
Raising the stuck sluice gates (code 040)
Wine Garden Cream (code 613)

5. Wet heat + blood blockade + hot toxin SHI/RE + YU XUE + RE DU

Deep and painful inflamed nodules, puss-filled cysts, formation of pits and scars

Red with yellow coating

Full SHI fast SHUO

Five Calm Volcanos (code 011)Birth of the Phoenix (code 009 or Shade of brocade veil (code 012)Beverage of Chinese sages (code 900)
Wine Garden Cream (code 613) 


In case of doubt with the choice of herbal products, we recommend TCM Test Tongue Analysis, which is evaluated by Dr. med. Petr Hoffmann and you will receive a recommendation (herbal products and foods) to your e-mail within 3 days.