Natural treatment options for Melasma

There is hope for clear skin

Many people suffer from melasma or dark patches on the skin. There are several effective treatments we offer at Starting Point Acupuncture, read below to learn how we can help!

Cosmetic acupuncture and healthy skin tips

Natural Treatment Options for Melasma


Melasma is a common skin problem affecting both women and men. Often occurring during pregnancy and referred to the “mask of pregnancy” due to increase in hormones.


It causes brown to gray patches on the face, nose, and chin. In addition, one of the most common causes is extended sun exposure. Melasma is not painful and does not cause any health risks but the patchy spots can last for decades. There are limited conventional treatment options available and people often seek alternative care for improving appearance of their skin.

What are some natural treatment options?

A recent study looked at the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of facial melasma. The study was done to see what the best protocol was for optimal effectiveness, just facial acupuncture or face and body acupuncture points. In this study women suffering from melasma were randomly assigned to facial-only group or facial and body points group. Each group was given 2 facial cosmetic acupuncture treatments per week for 8 weeks. During this time Melasma areas of darkness and pigmentation were assessed using advanced digital images and topography. The study found that 95.2% of participants in facial/body and 90% of the facial acupuncture group had decreased melasma areas compared to their baselines (p-value = 0.482). Therefore, facial acupuncture, with or without body acupuncture, was shown to be effective in decreasing the size of melasma areas.

Acupuncture vs. conventional treatment:

In a systematic review of dozens of randomized controlled trials on the efficacy of acupuncture on melasma. The review looked at how acupuncture compared to standard conventional treatments as well as the specific acupuncture techniques and protocols in effectiveness on treating melasma. Typical treatments include oral medications, vitamin C, vitamin A, topical 20% azelaic acid, and no treatment.

What the meta-analysis showed was that all types of acupuncture techniques were found to be safe and beneficial for women with melasma, also no adverse events were reported with acupuncture treatments. Of the studies examined, seven showed acupuncture groups had significantly better outcomes on melasma appearance than conventional treatments.

Top Natural Treatment Options for Melasma:

  1. Sun protection: Sun protection is the first line defense in protecting the skin, especially in people more susceptible. This includes wearing natural sunscreen, hats, and light long-sleeved clothing when out in the direct sun for long periods of time.
  2. Natural skin care regimen: Got to protect that skin barrier! This includes a daily cleansing, repairing, and renewing routine with products made without chemicals, parabens, or dyes. See Dr. Ellie’s recommended skin care line here.
  3. Combat skin stress: Topical and supplemental Vitamin C. These antioxidants help to reduce free radials, improve skin health, and combat harmful effects of sun exposure.
  4. LED Light Therapy: Has been shown to decrease dark skin spots, reduce redness, and increase natural collagen production. A great treatment for melasma and other facial skin concerns.
  5. Get Facial Cosmetic Acupuncture. There are several studies showing how facial acupuncture can help to not only reduce the dark patches on the skin found in melasma but improve skin tone, muscle strength, increase natural collagen, and improve facial elasticity.


If you’re ready to take a natural approach to facial rejuvenation, consider the many benefits of facial rejuvenation acupuncture instead of more invasive techniques or artificial solutions. Call Starting Point at (425) 686-4498 to schedule your Glowing Skin Consult today!

Schedule online here:

Book Appointment

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She is a pain specialist, seeing people who suffer from chronic pain, migraines, as well as digestive issues. Offering pain relief injections, acupuncture, facial rejuvenation, and nutrition consults. Most insurances accepted. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free on Amazon.


Call or Schedule Now! (425) 686-4498

Call or Schedule Now!

(425) 686-4498

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc

  • Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
    Bastyr University
  • Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
    Bastyr University
  • Master’s Degree in Chemistry
    Northern Arizona University
Dr. Heintze Acupuncturist and Naturopathic Doctor

Search Through The Doctor's Blog

Acupuncture Benefits For