Acne is one of the commonest causes of facial skin rash especially in adolescents, although it can also occur on the shoulder, chest, and back and can affect older age groups. It affects both males and females equally. Individuals with moderate to severe form of acne tend to suffer from low self-esteem and may experience social isolation.

It’s a form of skin disease that results from disorder of sebaceous gland and hair follicle. The sebaceous gland is one of the skin apparatus that produces an oily secretion called “sebum” that helps to lubricate the skin and makes it waterproof. The hair follicle is the structure in the skin that produces hair. The sebaceous gland is usually located closely to the hair follicle and the secretion of the gland comes to the surface via the hair follicle. . It is characterized by skin rashes of various forms and the severe ones may lead to scar formation.

There different types of acne based on causes or appearance, however, all of them result from interaction of many factors. These include: excess secretion of sebum, increase in sex hormone (androgen) at the time of puberty, occlusion of the site of empty of the sebum (this may be cosmetic related), colonization of the sebaceous gland by bacteria, and genetic factors.

Treatment of acne involves regular washing with soap and water to remove excess sebum, use of antibiotic cream, or antibiotic tablets and other locally active preparations. Other methods of management are to avoid diets that worsen the acne, and physical therapy.

Series of studies have been conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture and other acupoint stimulation methods on the resolution of different types of acne. A review of many of such studies revealed that acupuncture and other acupoint stimulation techniques significantly improve acne.

Combination of acupuncture with pharmaceutical therapy further increases the number of cured patients. About 3,453 participants were subjected to acupoint stimulation; however, no serious adverse event was recorded in any of the participants.

From the study, one can conclude that the use of acupuncture and other acupoint stimulation methods either alone or in combination with medications, will significantly improve acne. It will also boost the patient’s self-confidence.



Hui-juan Cao, Guo-yan Yang, Yu-yi Wang, and Jian-ping Liu. Acupoint Stimulation for Acne: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. Med Acupunct. 2013 Jun; 25(3): 173–194. doi:  10.1089/acu.2012.0906