15 July, 2016 Physician Joyce Chee

The natural way to acne-free days

We are all aware that acupuncture relieves physical discomfort and internal ailments. However, do you know that acupuncture can combat acne too?

Acupuncture can be used to cure acne, for both adults and youths. It is especially useful for those who has tried conventional acne treatments such as anti-acne cleansers, spots creams and prescription medicine, as TCM enhances its effectiveness.

 

Why does one have breakouts?

Acne development can be compounded by genetics, digestive or gastrointestinal function, skin care products, the environment or even your emotions.

When problems manifest on the skin, it is a signal that a deeper imbalance is going on somewhere in the body. From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) point of view, acne can be due to a variety of internal disharmony–(1) Lung Heat, (2) Stomach/Intestinal Heat, (3) Blood Heat, (4) ‘Qi’-Blood stagnation, and (5) Phlegm-Blood stasis. Each type of imbalance is reflected in its characteristic symptoms and signs. The shape and appearance of the pimples, as well as the body area on which the pimples develop, is also of significance in understanding the root of imbalance.

Subsequently, the diagnosis by a TCM physician determines the herbal combinations and acupuncture points. When the internal balance is achieved, other issues associated with acne such as bowel problems (usually constipation), excessive thirst, oily skin and menstrual-related skin problems will also be resolved simultaneously.

 

Does it work? How do I know if it’s suitable for me?

In order to treat acne with acupuncture, patients are required to make some changes to their diets, come in for weekly acupuncture appointments and take some Chinese herbs. Most patients have seen amazing results after a course of treatment.

Individuals with mild to moderate acne lesions have experienced a reduction of inflammatory lesions, as well as overall improvement in the complexion in various randomised control trials. These trials support our findings in numerous study of how acupuncture works: (1) Reduces acne inflammation by vascular and immunomodulatory factors released; (2) Enhances natural killer cell activities and (3) Increases local microcirculation that disperses swelling.

Since acupuncture depends on getting the body to heal itself, many patients see their acne go away for good. If you are struggling with acne and have not been getting satisfactory results from the usual treatments, acupuncture may be the answer.

 

What to expect?

Treatments are specific from person to person, depending on the factors that are causing the acne. In the case of pre-menstrual acne, you require treatments twice a month, just before ovulation and 7-10 days before menstruation. Depending on how bad your acne is, you may be required to come in more than once a week until the acne is under control. Once your acne calms down, acupuncture once a month is usually adequate for maintaining a healthier and clearer skin.

 

Article by Physician Joyce Chee

 


 

More questions about acupuncture for acne? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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About the Author

Physician Joyce Chee Physician Joyce Chee is a registered TCM practitioner in PULSE. In 2014, she graduated with a First-Class Honours Bachelor’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and Nanyang Technological University Singapore.

Comments (2)

    • PULSE TCM

      Hi Nancy, acupuncture can only treat active acne and pigmented acne marks, not acne scars (ice picked, boxed, crater). It also helps with preventing post acne pigmentation. Hope this helps!

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