Acupuncture is A Surprisingly Powerful Treatment for Acne

A lot of people aren’t familiar with the basic aspects of acupuncture even though they might be aware of what the treatment is and may know someone who’s tried it


A form of Chinese medicine, or to be exact, a branch of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), acupuncture has been practiced in the Far East for over 5,000 years. This therapy consists of tiny needles being inserted into specific points on the skin known as acupoints to help resolve diseases, ailments and even mental conditions.


When an individual suffers from a certain illness, it is because the energy in one or more of his 12 pathways of energy is improperly circulating inside his body. This circulation can be restored to normalcy by inserting needles into one or more of the 1,000 acupoints on his skin.

Treatment of Acne

Acupuncture treatment of acne concentrates on the normalization of the hormones of the body. Acupuncture practitioners think that the disharmony and imbalance of the hormones results in more oil being secreted in the skin. When balance is restored in these hormones, the production of oil or sebum is lessened which cures the acne.

The Role of the FDA

The utilization of acupuncture needles is regulated by the FDA. These needles must be used only once, should be clearly labeled, sterile, and only available to qualified acupuncturists. Before you undergo treatment, be sure to ask your acupuncturist if he/she is using single use, sterile needles regulated by the FDA.

Searching for a Qualified Practitioner

It requires the completion of education and training set by your state to become a certified and qualified acupuncturist. Go to the webpage of the NCCAOM (National Certification Commission Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) to look for a qualified practitioner in your area.

Your First Visit – What to Expect

Medical history: Your acupuncturist will question you about your medical history before he proceeds with the treatment itself. He or she may ask questions about your level of stress, diet, lifestyle, and other health concerns.

The needling process: During treatment, your acupuncturist will insert one to a dozen or more very thin needles into your body. The needle’s thinness compares to a strand of hair on your head. Your acupuncturist may likely administer auricular acupuncture, also known as ear acupuncture, on you in the treatment of acne. For most acupuncturists, ear acupuncture is the best way to cure acne, since specific parts of your ear are known to represent the health of your skin.

In an ear acupuncture treatment, the practitioner may insert up to a dozen needles in certain areas in your ear which are left in inserted for half an hour.

Is the Treatment Painful?

A majority of patients say that acupuncture is not painful at all. But since people have a different threshold to pain, some may feel varying degrees of sensation from the needle. Some people might feel a slight pinch during a needle insertion.

Acupuncture needles are not hollow which means they are solid and are different from the needles used for injections or blood transfusions, which makes them much tolerable. The patient might feel a numbing or tingling sensation once the needle is in place. This is to be expected and desired since it is a sign that the treatment is working

After Treatment

You may feel energized, groggy, or relaxed after the needles are removed. These effects should disappear within a day or two. Do not commit to appointments following treatment, since you may not how you’ll feel after treatment.

Does it Work?

Unfortunately, there’s been little research done on acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating acne. Outcomes have been ambiguous although some small studies and individual cases have demonstrated positive results.


In a study printed in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, most of the patients experienced a decrease in their acne symptoms after 8 to 15 treatments. Sixty one patients suffering from acne and other skin ailments in a different study were administered with nine acupuncture treatments. Half of the subjects had a complete cure of their acne while the rest saw noticeable improvements.