Yes, you can use acupuncture to improve skin conditions

A face full of needles might sound like a nightmare to some, but it can be a dream come true for those seeking an effective treatment for their acne breakouts. Acupuncture, a form of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), can be very beneficial for your skin health.

Your skin plays a major role in protecting the inside of your body, serving as the first line of defense against toxins, pollution, germs and bacteria. As your skin is exposed to all these harmful substances, it is also your most vulnerable organ. It is not uncommon for one’s skin to be compromised by a number of skin disorders. You can treat these conditions with traditional skin medication, but over-the-counter medicine often comes with unintended side effects. Acupuncture, on the other hand, is a safe and effective treatment for skin conditions with none of the unwanted side effects.

Acupuncture is the practice of inserting hair-thin needles into specific acupoints in the body to alter the body’s functions. It is based on the principle of maintaining a balance of energy in the body. If this is displaced, the body’s functions become unbalanced, and we become prone to diseases. Acupuncture is useful a means of preventive medicine, pain relief and as a natural remedy for numerous health conditions. (Related: Study finds acupuncture to be more effective in treating pain than morphine.)

Facial acupuncture is usually done after a regular full-body acupuncture treatment. If the treatment was only done on the face alone, it would result in a congestion of energy in the face. In a facial acupuncture treatment, the acupuncturist inserts 40 to 70 high-grade surgical steel needles into the acupoints in your face. These needles are so fine that you won’t feel any pain and at most will experience a only a slight tingling sensation. As the needles puncture your skin, tiny wounds called microtraumas are created. Your body then senses these microtraumas and puts itself into a full healing mode. These microtraumas stimulate the production of collagen to improve skin elasticity. They additionally stimulate your lymphatic and circulatory systems, which distribute oxygen and nutrients to your cells to promote proper skin nourishment and a healthy skin glow. They can also even out your skin complexion.

Health benefits of facial acupuncture

Acupuncture can help treat a wide variety of skin conditions. Here are some skin disorders that can greatly benefit from an acupuncture session.

  • Acne. Skin acne, the plague of pubescent teenagers everywhere, is also known as acne vulgaris and though less common, it may still affect adults well past the age of puberty. Acupuncture is most effective in treating acne when combined with the use of herbal medicine and dietary changes. It can be used to reduce pimples and acne lesions on the face. The size of acne scars may also be drastically reduced.
  • Rosacea. Women around the age of 30 to 50 years old are prone to a skin disorder called rosacea. According to TCM, it is caused by a stagnation of energy, which is considered a “heat condition.” Acupuncture can dissipate the heat and the stagnation of healing energy.
  • Psoriasis. An autoimmune skin disorder, psoriasis causes increased production of skin cells that build up on the skin’s surface. These create irritating red patches of skin that cover the body. With the help of dietary modification, acupuncture can be used to treat psoriasis from its roots.
  • Eczema. A subcategory of dermatitis, eczema causes extreme dryness of the skin and rashes, which may be accompanied by redness, itching, swelling or blisters. Acupuncture can help to reduce both the eczema lesions and the accompanying itch. Acupuncture treatments may take two to three months before a marked improvement in the symptoms can be seen, but the treatment is beneficial to even severe cases of eczema.

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