Acupuncture for Hyperpigmentation

by Tania Whittaker

Acupuncture for Hyperpigmentation

Many of us suffer from hyperpigmentation due to sun exposure, inflammation, and the hormonal changes that make our complexions darken in certain areas. I wanted a more even-toned skin, so off I went to Dr Huang because I’d read that acupuncture for hyperpigmentation could help.

Now, I know that having thin needles inserted into your face may not be everyone’s idea of a beauty treatment, but I certainly wasn’t going to go for a deep chemical peel that was going to leave me looking like a boiled lobster. I had looked into chemical peels and was advised that 6 treatments were recommended to sort out my hyperpigmentation. Not happening. I’ve had acupuncture before so I know it’s not painful.

So here I was, sitting opposite Dr Huang, who was checking out the sun damage on my skin. Yes, I know, I shouldn’t have been sunbathing so much. There was what seemed like general chit-chat, but I realized it was her subtle way of checking on how much exercise I was getting, which wasn’t much, and asking about my work. I’m a graphic designer, so I sit in front of a computer most of the day. What Dr Huang was establishing was whether my blood circulation was good because in cases of poor circulation, improving blood flow can help by delivering essential nutrients and increased levels of oxygen to the skin. In turn promoting cell turnover and reducing hyperpigmentation..

Dr Huang warned me that acupuncture for hyperpigmentation was not a stand-alone therapy  She did suggest micro-needling, which could be performed in her clinic and would encourage the production of new skin cells. She explained that hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy or menopause, can cause your body to overproduce melanin resulting in hyperpigmentation, as the melanin tends to clump in certain areas.

The acupuncture treatment she suggested would not just be on my face but on various meridians of the body to help regulate hormone levels and reduce inflammation. I’ve had acupuncture before so I know it’s not painful – it just kind of tickles. She suggested some changes in food choices, which I could see making sense. I work long hours to meet crazy deadlines, so I grab fast food items to keep me going.

She was adamant about sun protection  – a wide-brimmed hat, not a cap, and encouraged me to get more exercise. Okay, so lifestyle changes too! Then Dr Huang mentioned that reducing stress levels could also indirectly help with hyperpigmentation.

Dr Huang checked my skin type. I am quite fair, hence the sun damage (bad news), but then she mentioned fairer skins do respond better to treatment (good news) than darker skins, which have significantly more melanin and require a careful approach to ensure the skin isn’t irritated. She mentioned micro-needling had positive results on darker skins. I was ready to get started!