Acupuncture for Dermatological and Skin Health
Skin conditions are extremely common, affecting 1 in 3 people at any given time. That’s not a surprise, as the skin is the body’s largest organ. It’s also the most visible, which means skin conditions can cause emotional distress in some patients, in addition to pain and inflammation.
There are numerous treatment options available for dermatological conditions, and while they can be efficacious for many, side effects are common. Effectiveness varies considerably, too. For many people living with skin problems, incorporating alternative treatments may enhance results. Acupuncture is an emerging option in this regard and can be used for a variety of dermatological issues.
What Skin Conditions Can Acupuncture Help With?
Research into acupuncture and dermatological health is ongoing and more information is needed, but there are a handful of skin conditions that acupuncture already shows promise with, including:
There is also some evidence that acupuncture can promote better wound healing, potentially by stimulating tissues responsible for releasing beneficial compounds and by modulating inflammation. Another small study also looked into the effects of acupuncture on hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and found that treatment could also reduce frequency of excessive sweating better than Estazolam.
How Does Acupuncture Work to Improve Dermatological Health?
Acupuncture’s effects on the body are many and varied. It’s not exactly clear what the exact physiological mechanism is underlying acupuncture’s efficacy, but it’s clear that acupuncture does provide several benefits, including:
- Beneficially stimulating brain processing pathways – The primary mechanism behind acupuncture appears to be its effect on the nervous system. When acupuncture needles are inserted into the skin, local nerves are innervated and brain processes related to self-healing and regulation are activated. This results in a flood of neurotransmitters, endorphins and a cocktail of other beneficial chemicals that support better tissue health. Together, these biochemicals can reduce the impact of dermatological symptoms without the side effects common to drug therapy.
- Helping control hormone levels – Acupuncture has long been used to treat a huge variety of hormone-related conditions, including reproductive, thyroid, kidney, and pancreatic conditions. This same process is also helpful with skin health as some skin problems are related to imbalance hormones.
- Improving circulation to the skin – Acupuncture’s effects on the cardiovascular system have been thoroughly demonstrated, as treatment is shown to improve blood flow throughout the body. This is likely due to the release of nitric oxide, a known vasodilator that can relax blood vessels and improve vascular performance.
With better circulation, the body can better regulate inflammation and reduce its presence in skin conditions.
- Decreasing stress – Skin problems are often associated with stress, whether stress drives the condition, or the condition drives the stress. In both cases, acupuncture can help minimize the impact of stress on the body. Acupuncture stimulates the parasympathetic system, which is responsible for putting the body in a relaxed state.
Further, the treatment process itself can be relaxing, as patients are placed in a dim, quiet room and given an extended rest period. Even though acupuncture treatment only takes a short time, the mental break can be a major stress reliever.
Houston Acupuncture Can Help with Dermatological and Skin Health
Dermatological conditions are unique in the emotional distress they can cause, on top of significant pain and inflammation. While treatments are available, not every patient responds well to medication and its related side effects.
For those patients, acupuncture treatment offers hope. Acupuncture’s excellent safety profile and wide-ranging benefits can help with many dermatological problems, including eczema, psoriasis, acne, and shingles.