Acne

Acne (acne vulgaris) is a skin condition characterised by blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, greasy skin, and possibly scarring.

Acne mostly affects the areas of the skin with a high concentration of oil glands including the face, upper chest, and back. Acne is often brought on by hormonal changes during adolescence, during the menstrual cycle or in pregnancy. Adolescent acne often disappears when a person is in their mid-twenties. About 4% of adults over 40 suffer from acne. It is known to run in families.

Keeping your skin clean will help but does not stop new spots forming. Avoid squeezing the spots to reduce scarring.

Conventional treatments include topical over the counter medicines and antibiotics. Prolonged use of antibiotics may lead to antibiotic resistance.
Severe acne may result in anxiety, reduced self-esteem and depression. If your acne is affecting your quality of life see your GP.

Acupuncture for Acne

A World Health Organization review and analysis of controlled acupuncture clinical trials listed acne vulgaris as one of the “conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed”. Acupuncture may help treat acne by:

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Regulating immune cell responses
  • Increasing local circulation and reducing swelling

Acupuncture has also been shown to stimulate the body’s parasympathetic nervous system and thus reduce stress. Acupuncture affects the brain’s mood chemistry and may be helpful in treating depression associated with severe skin conditions.

See also:

Treating Acne
“It is important to consider physical, emotional and environmental factors when treating skin problems like acne. We are looking to identify and treat the root cause of your acne and not just treat the symptoms. Each of your acupuncture treatments is tailored to help address your individual imbalances and health needs.

In Chinese Medical terminology, acne is due to an internal imbalance which results in accumulation of damp heat which affects the function of your internal organs and presents as damp, hot spots on the skin as your body tries to eliminate it. Any environmental factors which add damp or heat to the body, such as excessive dairy or sugary foods (damp) or spicy foods (heat) are likely to compound the problem. Stress and cigarette smoking also heat up the body, making acne worse. So making lifestyle changes can really help”.

Judy Bowen-Jones Lic Ac BSc Hons Ac MBAcC
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For more information see the British Acupuncture Council Research Fact Sheet below.

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