Can using a tongue scraper improve your acne?

tongue pimple, pimple on tongue, pimple under tongue
Acne home remedies: the tongue scraper

To scrape or not to scrape

If you’re like Gene Simmons from Kiss, you’ll need a tongue scraper the size of a snow plow to get the job done.

When pondering ideas to blog about I’m often fond of reflecting on the simplest, easiest practices that you can do combat the acne scourge. Sometimes simple, means cheap and easy—a creed by which many live their lives. By going after the “low-hanging fruit” of the acne world, we may find solutions present themselves in corners of study we never knew existed.

Ayurveda treatment for acne

I’m keen at looking across the wide spectrum of possibilities for health, one of which happens to be Ayurvedic treatment for acne. Now this post won’t go into the study of the practice or attempt to break down how and what ways it lends itself to the modern world. That’s beyond my qualifications. What I am qualified to do is find topics that suit my curiosity complex.

As a study of health and medicine, acne treatment in Ayurveda would probably fall closer to a holistic approach. The fact that it’s been around for thousands of years seems like it lends a degree of credibility to it. Otherwise, if it was an abject failure, few patients would live long enough to extol its virtues or create descendants who would do the same. This is hardly a ringing endorsement, either; as new information comes along that upends the old order, what was once in vogue should cede to the closest approximation of truth as we can obtain.

To the best of knowledge, the practice of tongue scraping has been a common practice of Ayurveda and Chinese medicine for several thousand years. [1] It has, to some degree or another, stayed around in some fashion over that entire time. Outside of the epicenter where it is rooted—India and China– it’s enjoyed varying degrees of ebb and flow of popularity, including a resurgence in recent years in other parts of the world.

Free acne guide

It was this resurgence that lead me to include it in the free acne guide given away by this website. The guide isn’t some ancient tome with direct lineage to some forgotten source of knowledge passed down through the various stages of rise and fall of human civilization going back several hundred thousand years, when sticks and stones were all the rage, and the wheel hadn’t first found its groove.

By the same token, it’s not akin to the Necronomicon that blesses its reader with some power akin to the ancients that ruled in the shadows. No, far from it.

The free acne guide is a PDF that presents the simple and easy ideas that I first wished I knew when starting out on the journey for conquering the foul beast with the name acne vulgaris. Most people are fortunate enough to outgrow the condition, but for those that aren’t, more hardship and sacrifice are required to prevail. This free acne guide is my note to former self on things to mark off the check list. Most are simple and easy with a price that runs from cheap to free. Not all, but many.

It’s definitely something to file away in your wheelhouse of acne fighting knowledge and only requires your time and commitment to try.

HP Lovecraft items can be found here.

What’s this about a scraped tongue you say?

Our tongues are excessive breeding grounds for all manners of life. Think of it as the collection plate of the microbial world. Our mouth’s provide perfect cradle for this life to flourish in abundance—specks of food debris litter every manner and fold, darkness abounds, the temperature is set to putrefying perfection, the humidity is balmy and moist. It’s one of the main party buses for microbial life in the body.

If, upon waking, you head directly to a mirror and exam the unfurled taste tester, you will find some funky junk. Gobs of gunk litter every crevice with gleams of spittle to match a wide spectrum of color. [1] Make no mistake, this is normal and either directly or indirectly responsible for most of your dainty morning breath that can cut through a diamond or melt lead.

tongue forest, tongue scraper, acne
Wiki Commons
tongue diagram, tongue scraper, acne
Wiki commons

If you notice tendrils of hair or fibers of fur growing, seek medical attention, as this is a sign of some bad stank that no weedwacker or edging device can cure. You may need the jaws of life and an exorcism to get you going. Pity. It merely means you waited too long to scrape that tongue.

Don’t feel bad. We’ve all been there. It’s not fun. I won’t ask where your tongue has been or what its tasted, if you will return the favor.

Bringing the tongue scraping full circle

The philosophy behind the tongue scraping is simple. The body’s way of dealing with excess is to eliminate it in the manner of least resistance. This can sometimes be the skin that results in t zone acne. Combine this with the t-zone being close enough to the tongue so any foul remnants can find an easy path to exit the mouth through the thin skin lining it.

It’s theorized that this thin layer may allow for a conduit for some bacteria by the blood vessel network to spread out and boogie through other parts of the body. This may explain why t-zone acne is so bad. Do you get acne around mouth and chin? Acne along jawline? Acne around lips? Between eyebrows? Around the nose?

Through all of this, your immune system is going defcon 1 on the acne bacteria, trying to wage a war on multiple fronts, all the while home base (tongue) keeps getting more and more funky. [3] In addition, since most of these bacteria exist within a biofilm, [4] it further strains the immune system. Also, the removal of the biofilm of the tongue makes it easier for the immune system to do its job.

white pimple on tongue, pimple on my tongue, can you get a pimple on your tongue, pimple on tongue
Biofilm and pimple on tongue care of Wiki Commons

Tongue scrapers

When deciding on your weapon (best tongue scraper of choice), several schools of thought are to be carefully considered. Do you want a high end metal tongue scraper? The kind made with materials that are worth more than some small country’s GDP, that’s jewel encrusted and has the kind of alloy that pre-dates time and will exist after the universe ends? Cause if you have that, great! I need it to finish my space-time folding machine and get the hell out of here.

If not, there’s little shame in lower tier properties. Now, you will find all types of material for a tongue scraper to consider: plastic, bone, metal, etc. I can’t speak with any great certainty about which way to go other than find something cheap and easy as a starter kit (diy tongue scraper). Even a common kitchen spoon will work and serve as an excellent proxy for a stainless steel tongue scraper.

How to use a tongue scraper

Various tongue scrapers can be found here.

The goal is to scrape with precision, in a consistent and persistent drive that allows you to make an objective decision after several weeks.

In addition, it’s better to start out with a spoon and be like, “bollocks to this,” than to shell out for the primo level stuff and have to pay for it until after you die.

Of course, if you want a recommendation then Dr. Tung’s tongue scraper is an excellent product that will adequately do the job.


I’m not claiming that scraping the tongue will remove the reservoir causing your problems. Nor am I saying that failing to use a tongue scraper is the reason your acne won’t go away or heal. What I’m saying is less toxins and bacteria that are present in your body, the better. Most of all, it means your immune system will be less taxed and won’t have to wage as many fronts of attack. Tongue scraping has the side effect of making your breath less foul [5] and may improve your sense of taste.

Finally, tongue scraping should be used in conjunction with proper dental protocol and that involves brushing and flossing. Combined, they can work in tandem to further lessen the amount of bacteria in the mouth and on the tongue. [6]


This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using these links.

Work Cited:

[1] The Metabonomic Studies of Tongue Coating in H. pylori Positive Chronic Gastritis Patients.

[2] Oral hygiene: a history of tongue scraping and brushing.

[3] Biofilm: A dental microbial infection.

[4] Biofilms in the edentulous oral cavity.

[5] Tongue-cleaning methods: a comparative clinical trial employing a toothbrush and a tongue scraper.

[6] Effects of tongue cleaning on plaque and salivary mutans streptococci levels: A randomized controlled trial.;year=2015;volume=13;issue=4;spage=378;epage=383;aulast=Jacob

These same techniques apply in terms of how to brush your tongue, which is also workable. Keep in mind that a tongue brush or anything other than a hard scraper to brush your tongue may not do the job as effectively. Brush that tongue. Scrape that tongue. Get it done.

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12 thoughts on “Can using a tongue scraper improve your acne?”

    1. Thanks, Grady. I know results vary from person to person but that’s awesome that you’re experiencing a good reaction. Feel free to offer up more specifics.

      The key is persistence and consistency. Even if you don’t experience 100% results, any percentage from such a simple, easy and cheap method helps.

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