Can Acupuncture Help With Acne? Yes!

Maybe it is time to consider acne acupuncture if you have tried everything – from topical treatments and hormonal therapy to medications. Acupuncture works by boosting blood circulation and decreasing inflammation.

One thing to bear in mind is that face acupuncture is not a quick fix. It may take several treatments for patients to see significant benefits. In addition, patients with chronic skin problems should consult a dermatologist or visit their doctor for an evaluation. Acupuncture is frequently used in conjunction with other treatments to get a beneficial outcome – acne therapy with acupuncture requires patience, consistency in treatments, and a change in lifestyle.

Acne is a skin disorder that occurs when dead skin cells and oil clog your hair follicles. It causes whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. Teenagers are usually the most affected by acne, yet it affects people of all age groups. Males are more likely than females to get acne during their teenage years. Acne can persist into adulthood, and it is more common in women. Although effective acne treatments are available, it can be a stubborn condition. The bumps and pimples take a long time to cure, and as one starts to fade, another appears. Acne can cause skin scarring, as well as emotional anguish, depending on its severity. The earlier you begin treatment, the lesser your chances are of developing such issues.

This text will deal with the most important aspects of this skin disease and provide some of the most effective alternative treatment options, including acupuncture, Chinese herbal therapy, and nutrition and lifestyle. 

Book Acupuncture for Acne at Makari Wellness in San Diego

Book Acupuncture for Acne at Makari Wellness in San Diego Our San Diego Acupuncture clinic offers various forms and styles of acupuncture to treat acne. Face acupuncture required extensive training and individualized treatment. We will try to find the root cause of acne and address it. Michael Woodworth, our leading acupuncturist, gives the best TCM treatments for various skin conditions that are considered irreversible, which may include acupuncture, acupressure, Chinese herbs, and nutrition and diet recommendations.

Although acne acupuncture cannot be performed digitally, we proudly offer convenient telemedicine consultations, where you can get dietary and herbal recommendations, instructions about at-home acupressure, and advice about meditation and stress-relaxation techniques. Contact us at (888) 871-8889 and try the best acne acupuncture San Diego has to offer.

What is Acne?

Acne is an inflammatory condition that affects the skin’s sebaceous (oil) glands. These glands are connected to the hair follicle, which contains fine hair. The sebaceous glands produce sebum, which is released onto the skin surface through the pore, which is a follicular opening. The follicle is lined with keratinocytes, a kind of skin cell. Keratinocytes rise to the skin’s surface when the body sheds skin cells.

Hair, sebum, and keratinocytes bind together inside the pore when someone gets acne. This stops keratinocytes from shedding and inhibits sebum from reaching the skin’s surface. Because of the oil and cells, bacteria that naturally exist on the skin can flourish in the clogged follicles and produce inflammation, which includes swelling, redness, heat, and pain. When the blocked follicle’s wall breaks down, bacteria, skin cells, and oil flow onto neighboring skin, causing lesions or pimples.

Acne Types

Acne can result in a variety of lesions, which include:

  • Whiteheads are white lumps caused by plugged hair follicles that remain beneath the skin.
  • Blackheads are plugged follicles that reach the skin’s surface and open. They seem black on the skin’s surface because the air discolors the sebum, not because they are filthy.
  • Papules are inflamed lesions that show on the skin as little pink lumps and are painful to the touch.
  • Pustules are papules with white or yellow pus-filled lesions at the top and crimson at the bottom.
  • Nodules are solid lesions that are large and painful and lodge deep within the skin.
  • Cystic acne is painful, deep, and pus-filled lesions.

Causes of Acne

One or several factors may cause acne. These include:

  • High production or excess of oil in the pore.
  • Dead skin cells build-up in the pore.
  • Bacterial growth in the pore.
  • Increased hormone levels, especially androgens.
  • Family history of acne, as some researchers believe that if your parents had acne, there is a higher chance that you will also have it.
  • Some medications (containing hormones, lithium, or steroids) may cause acne.
  • Although people of all ages can have acne, it is more common in teenagers.

Acne Complications

Acne problems are more common in people with darker skin types than in those with lighter skin types, so that they may experience some of the following complications:

  • Scars: After curing acne, pitted skin (acne scars) and thick scars (keloids) can last a long time.
  • Skin pigmentation: After acne has healed, the affected skin may appear darker (hyperpigmented) or lighter (hypopigmented) than it was before.

Does Acupuncture Help With Acne?

Studies suggest acupuncture can ease acne and other skin problems. Some of the basic reasons why acupuncture can often improve skin conditions include enhancing vitality, circulation, and detoxification. But regular treatment is still necessary to get the best results. Acupuncture treatment for acne will likely require multiple sessions at regular intervals. Although acupuncture is a TCM modality with low risk and contraindications, it is important to choose an experienced and certified acupuncturist to avoid common side effects, like bruising.

A patient’s acne treatment will depend on what kind of acne they have, as everyone gets acne for different reasons. When acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine (in pill or granule form) are used together, clear skin is achieved fast, with long-term benefits. In your initial consultation at Makari Wellness, we will conduct a thorough assessment of what is causing your acne and recommend treatment strategies to eliminate stubborn acne from the root cause. In acne sufferers, there are four main patterns that are present, and Chinese medicine aims to deliver balance to the imbalances. Acupuncture is a holistic approach – it treats the whole person, not just the symptoms.

Results are often very quick, but everyone responds differently, and times may vary from patient to patient.

Acupuncture Points for Acne

Each patient’s acupuncture treatment is customized to address their specific needs. The result will be the stimulation of Qi (life force), reducing inflammation, hormonal balance, digestion improvement, and relaxation. In addition to the acne breakout points, acupuncture points that lie on acupuncture meridians can also be used. The acne acupuncture points may vary widely, and they are located on both sides of the body. Some of the most common acne acupoints are:

  • Xuehai or SP10: Located two finger-widths above the inside corner of the knee cap (when the knee is flexed)
  • Tianshu or ST25: This point can be found two finger-widths from the inside of the belly button.
  • Qihai or CV6: Located below the belly button on the midline of the abdomen.
  • Hegu or LI4: Can be found between the thumb and index finger base.
  • Quchi or LI11: Located outside the elbow crease.
  • Ashi: Those points are located near the inflamed areas.

How Does Acupuncture Help Acne?

As we said before, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), each person’s acne is unique, and each person’s symptoms must be addressed individually. Acupuncturists must try to determine the root cause of acne in order to restore body equilibrium. The acupuncturist will examine the location of the outbreak, the degree of inflammation, the overall appearance of the skin, and the overall health of the body to determine the type of acne present – heat, dampness, stagnation, toxicity, or a combination of these.

Blackheads and Whiteheads

Also known as comedogenic acne, the main causes are heat and dampness. Acupoints usually used are LI4 (Hegu) and LU5 (Chi Ze).

Acupuncture for Hormonal Acne

This acne tends to occur along the jawline and flares up in the premenstrual part of the menstrual cycle. It tends to appear due to stagnation, accumulation of dampness, and a lack of circulation in the body. Acupoints commonly used include ST 36 (Zu San Li), SP6 (San Yin Jiao), Zi Gong Xue, 6 (Qi Hai), and Ren 4 (Guan Yuan) on the abdomen.

Cystic Acne

Cystic acne is the most severe acne type and is related to stagnation and toxins. The main acupuncture points used to treat cystic acne are those near the cysts (also called ‘ouch points’), LI4 (Hegu), LI11 (Qu Chi), ST36 (Zu San Li), and SP9 (Yin Ling Quan).

Inflammatory Acne

Heat is a significant cause of inflammatory acne. Acupoints on the arms such as LI 11 (Qu Chi) and LI 4 (He Gu) are frequently used in conjunction with local acupoints. Acne-related inflammation has been significantly reduced when acupuncture is combined with Chinese herbal treatment.

Acupuncture for Acne Scars

During acupuncture sessions, the body responds with an accelerated wound healing response. This can show quick results for acne scarring, as it accelerates tissue regeneration. Some studies noted that acupuncture might stimulate collagen production and relieve inflammation. Acupuncture can also physically break down built-up fibrosis and adhesions that accompany scars.

Acupressure for Acne

The skin on our faces is more delicate than the skin on the rest of our bodies, and it can be especially sensitive for acne sufferers. Acupressure for acne is deemed safe despite these sensitivities. This Chinese medicine procedure has been used for centuries, and it has been successfully used on the face as well.

Acupressure points on the face are connected to many sections of the body and help to improve the natural functioning of the skin. These spots, when stimulated appropriately, can heal the skin surface, resulting in brighter skin and making skin disorders such as acne disappear. The only way acupressure can harm your face is if too much pressure is applied in sensitive places or use an unclean item to apply pressure, both of which are readily avoidable.

Chinese Herbal Therapy for Acne

Several herbal medications for pimples and papules may be suitable for you, and there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. Balance and customized therapy are the hallmarks of Chinese herbal medicine.

Finding the finest topical TCM medicines for your case, whether it is heat or dampness, requires consulting with a certified Chinese herbalist who has received TCM training.

  • Calendula – As one of the most potent plant species, Calendula can be used orally. However, it is best to use it topically for acne treatment. It is a powerful antioxidant and will fight the free radicals in your skin responsible for acne attacks. With anti-inflammatory properties and rich in flavonoids, it further boosts its ability to fight free radicals.
  • Zhen Zhu – In crushed powder form, pearl helps deal with stubborn acne breakouts. It contains around 18 amino acids and other minerals needed in collagen production. It also eliminates harmful toxins from the blood responsible for acne breakouts while at the same time minimizing rashes and relieving skin itching. Other uses of Zhen Zhu include nourishing the heat and calming the spirit.
  • Huang Qi – Also known as the Astragalus root, is a widely known Chinese herb for treating acne, improving digestion, cleansing the liver and kidneys, and boosting overall immunity. It helps fight free radicals that cause skin inflammation due to its abundance of flavonoids. Also, it contains amino acids that improve collagen production.
  • Jin Yin Hua – Honeysuckle flower and its dried bud have multiple Chinese medical uses. Its cooling and lightweight nature allow the herbal properties to rise up through meridians, eliminating toxins and clearing excess heat in the lungs and stomach. Jin Yin Hua is a highly beneficial ingredient for face creams.
  • Gan Cao – Licorice root extracts can be added to tea or applied topically on the skin. It helps clear excess heat due to toxin build-up in the body. What is more, it inhibits sebum production, which is one of the main reasons for acne breakouts.
  • Dang GuiAngelica Sinensis root extract or ‘female ginseng’ contains estrogen-like compounds that may help lower the acne-producing androgen hormones in the body.

Chinese acne herbs are not simply for applying to the skin’s surface. Herbal and adaptogen teas are also highly suggested for alleviating acne symptoms.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, adaptogens, or herbs that assist the body control its stress reaction, are occasionally advised to treat acne. Holy basil, ginseng, and cordyceps are a few examples. Adaptogens also include certain mushrooms.

Diet and Lifestyle Changes

Acne-healing diet is basically a healthy lifestyle that promotes overall wellness. These dietary changes may benefit you in more ways than one, so here are some suggestions:

  • Mung beans are a good option. These nutrient-dense beans are packed in protein and antioxidants. They even contain vitamins that may help avoid hormone irregularities. They are simple to cook – just toss them into soups and salads.
  • Add more ‘Yin’ foods, which may include broccoli, bananas, bitter gourd, mushrooms, and spinach.
  • Avoid oily, greasy, and spicy food, as these are believed to contribute to heat and dampness build-up in the body. Eating whole foods is beneficial to overall health.
  • Eat at regular intervals. Eating irregularly can lead to digestive stress, which leads to an upset stomach meridian and cause acne.
  • Stay hydrated. One theory regarding acne is that a yang imbalance in the body causes it. Water can assist in the body’s yin energy balance.