Acupuncture has been shown to be effective at improving skin and reducing acne. Read more below on how we can help reduce acne breakouts and improve overall skin health with natural medicine!
Natural treatment options for acne
Acne is a common inflammatory condition of the skin, affecting 70-90% of the population. Acne can appear any where on the body but most commonly on face, scalp, and neck. Acne can lead to red papules and cysts that vary in size and appearance. Acne can wax and wane with hormone changes, be associated with certain diets, stress, and lifestyle factors. Many people resort to over the counter treatments for relief.
Conventional vs. alternative treatment options available
There are many standard treatment options but some look for more natural ways to prevent and treat acne, even looking for ways to reduce appearance of acne scars. These natural treatment often include natural facial product regimen, dietary modifications, LED light therapy, cupping, and even acupuncture can be effective. Facial and body cupping when paired with other modalities like acupuncture has shown to help skin conditions like acne and even facial paralysis. Cupping has been shown to help prevent acne breakouts.
More on LED light therapy for acne treatment
Treatment for certain skin blemishes and acne breakouts is showing promise with the addition of LED light therapy as an effective conjunctive option. LED light therapy has been shown to improve skin breakouts by killing bacteria that causes acne and reduce follicular obstruction. The literature is showing that blue-red light therapy lead to a reduction in non-inflammatory lesions compared to topical treatment with 5% benzoyl peroxide. As this therapy is become more widely used, more studies are currently being done.
No common adverse side effects such as pain, swelling, peeling reported with other laser therapies have been reported from patients experiencing LED therapy. LED therapy is a US (FDA)-approved cosmetic procedure and is recognized to increase ATP production, reduce oxidative stress, and increase collagen synthesis, and increase blood flow.
Other studies are showing the efficacy of a combination of red and blue light in treating mild to moderate inflammatory skin lesions.
What does the research say?
Acupuncture and even ear “auricular” points were shown to be effective at improving skin and reducing acne breakouts. In addition, acupuncture was found to have fewer side effects than conventional approaches and maybe an option for those wanting an alternative treatment to pharmaceuticals.
In the trials that showed a ≥50% improvement in symptoms, auricular acupressure was as effective as antibiotics and acupuncture was as effective as topical and oral retinoids.
The typical treatment duration for acupuncture is 20 to 30 minutes for each treatment and treatment frequency may vary from one to five times per week depending on the local clinical practice environment. Ideally, studies are showing that treatment frequency matters at least 2x week or more for better clinical outcomes compared to less needle retention time and once-per-week treatment.
Ultimately, the treatment plan will be determined based on your unique case and under review of your provider.
If you’re ready to take a natural approach to treating acne, call Starting Point at (425) 686-4498 to schedule your Glowing Skin Consult today!
Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She specializes in chronic and complex cases and commonly treats neuropathy, fibromyalgia, migraines, autoimmune, and infertility cases. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free and Keep Calm and Zen Out available on Amazon.
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc
- Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
- Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
- Master’s Degree in Chemistry
Northern Arizona University
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