When you feel like you’ve tried every drugstore remedy, every dermatologist-recommended cream, and every expensive potion, it’s only natural to be curious about the treatments that alternative medicine can offer. Acupuncture for acne, a form of ancient Chinese medicine that involves putting hair-thin needles made of stainless steel into key points on the body, is one alternative acne treatment for skin problems like acne that is becoming more and more popular.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, a healthy body will naturally slow down the aging process, both inside and out, says Ansgar Lee, a licensed acupuncturist and the founder of LES Acupuncture. “Each part of the face is related to a different organ in the body. This helps us figure out how to treat each person. For example, dark circles under the eyes can be a sign that the kidneys and adrenal glands aren’t working well.
How does Acupuncture For Acne Work?
Chinese medicine is based on the idea that everything needs to be in perfect balance for it to work at its best. So, whenever there is a “traffic jam” that stops that flow, it will lead to inefficiency somewhere else (in this case, your skin).
“The Chinese found these point functions by watching and noticing that different points had different healing effects,” says the author. It is thought that poking these spots with tiny needles will trigger “a response in the body that tells the body to redistribute these influxes of “resources” as needed to bring balance back to the body.”
how Does acupuncturist Work On acne?
Klein says that in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the part of your face where you get pimples (like your chin vs. your cheeks) can be a sign of what’s wrong. Auth says that acupuncture for acne can help with cystic acne that is red, swollen, and painful because it is a “natural anti-inflammatory that can help calm redness and speed up healing.”
Acne on the chin, jaw, and mouth is often caused by an imbalance in hormones or stress. It can get worse every month because of your period, pregnancy, or a condition like PCOS. Auth says that acupuncture for acne can “help regulate underlying hormonal imbalances that cause acne to flare up.”
Lastly, Auth says that blackheads and whiteheads can be caused by toxins and phlegm in the body. Acupuncture can help get rid of these things. “Skin follicles can get clogged up when we make too much sebum, which is also a major cause of blackheads and whiteheads,” she says. “In Chinese medicine, we focus on using acupuncture for acne points that help the skin produce sebum in a healthy way so it can control itself.”
Is acupuncture Effective At treating acne?
Researchers have found that acupuncture for acne can help with a number of skin problems, like acne. But there needs to be more research on a large scale.
Kempisty says that acupuncture for acne is often able to improve skin conditions because it improves vitality, circulation, and detoxification, among other things.
Still, remember that acupuncture for acne needs to be done on a regular basis. Acupuncture is likely to need to be done more than once at regular intervals to treat acne.
It’s also important to keep in mind that it can be hard to do studies on acupuncture.
Kempisty says that it’s hard to blind the clinician running the study because it’s hard to give fake acupuncture to a placebo group and it’s also hard to give acupuncture for acne without knowing you’re doing it.
Even though more and more research is being done, Kempisty also points to the fact that TCM has stayed the same to show that acupuncture works.
“We can use TCM and culture, which have been around for a few thousand years, to help us make clinical decisions,” he says. “Most licensed acupuncturists learn what works and what doesn’t work for skin problems through experience.”
Dermatologist’s Take On acupuncture as acne treatment
Mona Gohara, MD, a dermatologist, says that acupuncture for acne can help reduce stress, which can make acne worse. She first tries Western treatments, but she also says, “I often tell my patients to find their “zen zone” in the hopes that reducing stress will help acne and other skin inflammations.”
Some studies have shown that acupuncture can help treat acne, at least when used along with other treatments. In a study that compared acupuncture for acne to prescription acne treatments such as viaminate and tretinoin, it was discovered that reducing acne lesions by 30 or 50% did not depend on which treatment was used.
Dermatologist Morgan Rabach, MD says that this is very interesting, but the study doesn’t explain how it was done. This means that the results usually have a lot of caveats, so the results should be taken with a grain of salt.
Dr. Rabach says that more research is needed to really figure out how acupuncture can help clear up acne. Even though she mostly recommends Western treatments that she thinks can treat and cure acne, Dr. Rabach says, “I am not against acupuncture, especially for people who won’t take traditional medicines.” Dr. Gohara doesn’t mind if her patients try new things, either: “You don’t have to stick to just one way to get better; try both.”
How Long It Will Take To Work?
Going to an appointment for acupuncture for acne is a bit different from going to a regular appointment with a medical doctor. Your acupuncturist will talk to you (pretty in depth) about almost every part of your life, from what you eat to how you feel to how you sleep. They’ll also take your pulse and ask you to stick out your tongue so they can look at it. Just so you know, they’ll use this information to figure out how to treat you.
Depending on the practitioner, the first appointment usually takes about an hour and a half and costs between $75 and $250 per session. Some insurance plans cover acupuncture, so you should talk to your insurance company first.
Like so many other things, acupuncture for acne needs to be done regularly, so you’ll have to keep going for a while to see results. “Most of the time, getting acupuncture once a week for one to three months can have powerful effects,” says Auth.