Does Acupuncture Help Acne?

By September 1, 2021acupuncture
model showing traditional Chinese medicine facial acupuncture points

For many people, successfully treating acne can be a long-term undertaking. When breakouts of stubborn facial acne, redness and lesions appear, people often seek out cleansing treatments and beauty products, which can sometimes treat acne effectively, but they rarely offer a lasting solution. 

If you are someone who has struggled to find a way past your acne problems, there are  probably underlying issues that beauty and cleansing products will never resolve. As strange as it may sound at first glance, using acupuncture for acne can actually help you address the root cause of your skin issues, and resolve your acne problem for good! 

When compared to Western medical treatments for acne, which can involve harsh chemicals and prescription medications with potential side effects, treating acne with a traditional chinese medicine approach, based around an acupuncture treatment plan, offers a risk-free alternative that can also improve overall wellness and health as an added bonus. 

The Holistic View of Traditional Chinese Medicine

small model showing acupuncture point lines

Evolving through thousands of years of prective, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) seeks to empower the body’s natural mechanisms for healing by facilitating the flow of vital energy (i.e. qi) throughout the body. This approach stems from the belief that when the flow of qi through one part of the body is blocked or distrurbed, it manifests as pathologies in other parts of the body. 

At a fundamental level, a great deal of skin inflammation and acne issues are rooted in stress, which can be effectively managed and mitigated through acupuncture. For specific acne treatments, a licensed acupuncturist can get a good idea of the underlying issues based on the type and location of the acne. 

Using Acupuncture for Acne

treating acne with acupuncture needles in cheek and forehead

Acupuncture offers a holistic approach to health problems, so a major part of any treatment is identifying the source of the skin’s irritation and inflammation. Specifically, this means finding the organ(s) that are out of alignment and returning them to harmony with the rest of the body. 

For example, acne on the forehead is often associated with digestive issues, while acne on the cheeks suggest issues with the lungs and large intestines. When acne appears on the lower half of the face, specifically around the chin, the root cause is usually a hormonal imbalance, stress, or some combination of the two, which acupuncture can help regulate and alleviate. 

What is Causing Your Acne?

In TCM, it is believed that acne and other forms of skin inflammation are symptoms of excessive heat or dampness in different parts of the body. 

Blackheads & Whiteheads

If the issue is the presence of blackheads or whiteheads, it is usually due to an excess of lung heat and toxins, which can be treated with acupuncture to help the skin’s self regulation mechanisms. For cystic acne and oily skin, stomach heat and dampness are usually to blame. 

Acne Rosacea

Symptoms of rosacea include flushed skin, redness, and irritation, all of which point to a clear heat issue. Specifically, this skin problem is associated with lung and stomach heat, which can be treated with acupuncture as well as herbal remedies using Chinese herbs. 

Hormonal Acne

For women who have frequent, predictable acne breakouts around the time of their menstrual cycle, it is normally a sign of qi and blood stagnation, which can also be caused by stress. In many cases, women suffer from a combination of the two, which compounds their acne problems. 

Imbalances in hormones could also result from life events, such as pregnancy and menopause, that disturb the endocrine system. In each of these cases, acupuncture can help rebalance hormone levels to alleviate acne. 

Acne Scars

When an acupuncturist inserts needles into acupuncture points during the course of a therapy session, the body’s natural response is to accelerate the wound healing process. This effect can have benefits for reducing fine lines and wrinkles, as well as helping with scarring. 

Treat Your Acne With Acupuncture at Southcentre Chinese Acupuncture

As a longstanding provider of acupuncture in Calgary, Dr. Yan has been involved in acupuncture education and practice since the early 1990s. Her experience and expertise at treating a wide variety of skin issues with acupuncture and TCM principles can help you get to the root cause of your acne issues. 

For more information or to book an appointment, contact Dr. Yan today!

Leave a Reply