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Rosacea: Here’s How Acupuncture Can Help Treat It

The primary feature of rosacea, as the name suggests, is flushing. This inflammatory condition is transient at first, triggered occasionally by alcohol, spicy food or the “heat” of emotional stress.

Over time, if untreated, it can become permanent, without any ebb and flow.

TCM understands rosacea as the result of an energetic imbalance in the body.

According to Chinese medicine, healthy bodies circulate blood and energy (called qi) freely; illness is the result of blood or qi blockages or stagnations.

In TCM, rosacea is considered to be the result of energy stagnation called a ‘heat condition.’ In this model, stagnant heat is trapped in the lung system (the system that controls the health of the skin) or the stomach and spleen systems, and this heat rises to the face to cause inflammation.

As mentioned, the early phase is characterised by transient flushing and blushing. There may also be some digestive complaints such as acid reflux, excessive appetite, bad breath and constipation. TCM considers this stage a manifestation of stomach heat, as the stomach meridian vertically traverses the cheeks.

At this point, the rosacea can be treated fairly quickly.

When rosacea becomes persistent, the redness is permanent and unchanging, and is often accompanied by red bumps and possibly coarse skin. Congested capillaries may be visible at the surface.

Occasionally sufferers skip directly to this stage of the condition, sometimes without any preceding history of flushing, and for no apparent reason. From the point of view of TCM, the persistent phase of rosacea is much more a problem of stagnation of blood flow in the channels of the face — a problem of poor circulation.

We commonly tend to think of poor circulation as being a cold condition, intuitively.

However, this stage of rosacea is a very good illustration of heat causing congestion of the blood vessels and “thickening” of blood, so that it can no longer flow properly.

In fact, it is interesting that women with this condition tend to also have gynecological symptoms of blood stagnation such as clotted blood and painful periods. These often clear up as the rosacea treatment is administered.

An acupuncture treatment begins with a thorough examination and detailed consultation in order to pinpoint the imbalance at the root of the outbreak, and then customize a treatment plan to address the problem. Treatment also include herbs and suggested lifestyle changes.

Acupuncture needling disperses heat and qi stagnation and rebalances the body’s acidity levels. These treatments may also help the patient manage any stress which may have contributed to the condition.

Along with needling, herbs help to rebalance the body’s systems.

Lifestyle changes may also be recommended: avoiding hot and spicy foods, eliminating wheat and dairy from the diet, introducing vitamins A, B, C, D, E and zinc supplements, and consuming more fibre and water.

Avoiding common rosacea triggers such as long-time exposure to heat, adverse synthetic chemicals and alcohol is also recommended.

Have you been struggling with the effects of rosacea and had little success the conventional way?

Our team of qualified and experienced practitioners are here to help you on your path to good health. Why not get in touch today!

Written by

Dr Jing Jing Yu
Dr Jing Jing Yu is a registered Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine Herbalist…..Dr Yu is a 3rd generation Chinese Medicine Doctor in her family. Since a young age, she has grasped much of the theories, diagnostics and has incorporated them into a way of life for herself….

4 thoughts on “Rosacea: Here’s How Acupuncture Can Help Treat It”

  1. Hi
    I’ve had rosacea fir 18 years. I never experience red cheeks and nose, only pimples which were under control. I had brain surgery in November to remove a tumor. I initially thought I was cured as my face seemed clear. I was on heavy duty steroids. In January my face flushed and I’ve had pretty severe redness since. I recently started acupuncture. She said it’s the liver. I’ve read it could be lungs. I’m getting very discouraged as it seems to be a little better one day and worse the next. I have a lot of nose tension. I eat a clean organic diet, don’t drink alcohol. She wanted to try needles in my face the last time, said it could increase nose redness. I was afraid to try that. She is also giving me a herbal formula, Jia Wei Xiao Yao San. I would appreciate any input. Thank you.

    1. Hi Elizabeth! Thank you for sharing a bit about your health journey, I’m sorry to hear that it has been discouraging. If you’re interested in receiving insights from our skilled practitioners, or would like a second opinion, please feel free to give us a call on 1300 432 639 or email us at and one of our friendly staff members will be able to better direct you to some answers 🙂

  2. Hi!
    I’ve struggled rosacea and acne since I hit puberty and I’m now I’m my late 20s and hasn’t gone. Away. I’ve tried everything.

    I’ve recently talked to a few TCM nutritionists and I’m getting mixed reviews. They’ve told me I have many cold symptoms in my liver and that I should avoid cold foods at all costs. However when it comes to rosacea, I’m told that I should avoid warm foods since I have excessive heat in my face. I started eating a lot of different seaweeds and chlorella and then my acne exploded and got even worse.

    Really could use any help! Thank you!

    1. Hi Maria! I am so sorry to hear about your ongoing dermatological struggles. Our amazing practitioners here at the clinic are able to treat rosacea and have seen great results. For your condition, I would recommend our senior practitioner, Dr. Jacqueline Heng, here at our clinic. If you are interested in learning more, or if you would like to book for an initial consultation, please feel free to give us a call on 1300 432 639 or email us at Alternatively, one of our friendly Front Desk Assistants can get in touch with you if you would like to provide your mobile number ????

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