Acupuncture Treatment of Rosacea

Acupuncture point LI 4
Acupuncture Point LI 4 helps to drain heat

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that causes facial redness. Many people develop blood vessels as well as  red bumps. Because rosacea is on the face it is often very challenging and embarrassing for patients.

Acupuncture is effective for treating rosacea.  I will often use both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for helping people with rosacea.

The Causes of Rosacea

In acupuncture we think about health as balance. Imbalances lead to illnesses.  Rosacea is an imbalance in the hot and cold in the body. This is why rosacea can flare in the sun and heat or from spicy foods and wine.

Stress and emotional upset can also cause rosacea. Acupuncture understands the mind and body are connected. Stress for long periods of time or strong emotions can also lead to heat causing a flare in rosacea.

Many people with rosacea also have digestive problems. Rosacea has been shown to be connected with Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). Acupuncturists have long recognized the connection between digestive issues and rosacea.  Improving digestion is often a component of a holistic treatment.

Acupuncture Treatment of Rosacea

Acupuncturists consider the whole person for the treatment of rosacea. The medical history will include details of the onset of the condition, symptoms of digestion, feelings of hot and cold, triggers, and other factors.

The appearance of the skin is an important factor in identifying the imbalance. The two most common imbalances underlying rosacea are heat of the lung and stomach as well as blood stagnation. Rosacea that causes redness on the cheeks and nose, comes and goes, and worsens with heat is from stomach and lung heat. Rosacea that has been stubborn for a long period of time with the development of visible blood vessels is from blood stagnation. Larger puss filled bumps reflect stronger levels of heat.

Personalized Treatment for Rosacea

Each patient will get a personalized treatment.  Acupuncture points are chosen based upon specific symptoms of each person. Some of the acupuncture points will be on the face close on the rosacea. Facial acupuncture is thought to help in changing the microcirculation of the face leading to improvement in rosacea.  Acupuncture points on the arms, legs, and abdomen on channels which go to the face help. This approach will further increase circulation to break the stagnation and drain the heat.

Herbal medicine is also commonly used to treat rosacea. The herbs are combined specifically to address the imbalance of heat and stagnation. They are given as a strong tea along with topical creams and washes.

Cupping on the back is a powerful way to reduce inflammation and heat.

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.
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