Acupuncture for Skin Care

By now, you’re probably familiar with various facial treatments, from Botox to microneedling- that promise to smooth wrinkles and address blemishes.  But have you heard of acupuncture for skin care? If you’re surprised, you’re not alone. Most people know about acupuncture for its use in treating various other health issues, such as migraines and pain - but cosmetic acupuncture is making waves as many feel it is a safer alternative to other mainstream facial treatments.  

What Is Facial Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an Ancient Chinese practice commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This ancient practice involves inserting tiny needles into the upper layers of the skin along meridian points that correspond to energy centers. Focusing on these centers helps clear any energy blocks, and restore the balance between energy, emotion, and environment, thus promoting health (1)  Along with acupuncture, acupressure is also beneficial for skin care, and involves applying pressure to the same meridian points.  

Facial acupuncture- an extension of the traditional practice- has many benefits for facial rejuvenation and addressing skin issues.  However, these benefits wouldn’t be possible if you didn’t balance them across the whole body.  

Woman receiving facial acupuncture treatment

How Treatment Works

Like acupuncture on the body, facial acupuncture includes the therapist placing tiny, painless needles (40 to 70) in various spots on the face that correspond to different organs in the body.  Similar to, but less intense than, microneedling- these small “microtraumas” in the skin activate the body’s natural defense system.  This response leads to extra nutrients and oxygen going to the skin on the face to repair it- resulting in fresher, clearer, and youthful skin. However, one important thing to note is that while acupuncture is a safer alternative to Botox and fillers, results are not as immediate.  While your body will respond as highlighted above, since much of what is happening is from the inside out, it will take some time to show. (2

Acupuncture for Skin Issues at Shakthi Health and Wellness

At Shakthi Health, we understand that internal health is just as important as external wellness, which means the appearance of your skin matters!  

In addition to acupuncture for health issues, such as fertility, arthritis, headaches/migraines, and allergies, Dr. Rao also offers cosmetic acupuncture. So, whether your goal is to smooth wrinkles or finally address rosacea once and for all, Dr. Rao will take the time to fully explore your concerns before formulating a plan that addresses both the root (cause) and the branch (symptoms).

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Frequently Asked Questions

Acupuncture for Skin Care FAQ's

How does acupuncture improve skin health?

Acupuncture can improve skin health by stimulating circulation, boosting collagen production, and reducing inflammation. It can also help to balance hormones, which can contribute to healthier skin.

What should I expect during an acupuncture skin care treatment?

During an acupuncture skin care treatment, the practitioner will first examine your skin and discuss any concerns you may have. Thin needles will then be inserted into specific points on your body, which may include your face, scalp, and ears. The needles will be left in place for several minutes, and you may feel a mild tingling or warmth.

Is acupuncture for skin care painful?

Acupuncture is generally not painful, although you may feel a slight pinch or tingling sensation when the needles are inserted. Most people find acupuncture to be relaxing and even enjoyable.

How many acupuncture treatments are needed for skin care?

The number of acupuncture treatments needed for skin care will vary depending on the individual and the condition being treated. Some people may see improvement after just one treatment, while others may need several sessions.

How long does an acupuncture skin care treatment take?

An acupuncture skin care treatment typically takes between 30 and 60 minutes.

Are there any risks or side effects associated with acupuncture for skin care?

Acupuncture is generally safe, although there is a small risk of infection or bleeding at the site of the needle insertion. Some people may also experience mild bruising, soreness, or fatigue after an acupuncture treatment.

What is an Integrative Medicine Approach?

Integrative medicine combines conventional medicine and alternative therapies to enhance a patient’s vitality, focusing on whole body wellness. An Integrative Medicine physician will address the root cause of your illness and not just treat the symptoms. By determining what the root is, you and your practitioner can devise a health plan to successfully treat the disease. At Shakthi, we take into account other factors in your life that may be preventing the root cause of your illness or disease from fully healing. We work closely with our patients to address their immediate health needs while developing a personalized wellness plan that encourages whole body wellness. You can learn more here.

What are the benefits of integrative medicine?

Integrative medicine’s biggest benefit is the fact it looks at the patient as a whole individual and addresses the root causes of illnesses by doing so. I went along with this though integrative medicine promotes a symbiotic and collaborative relationship between the doctor and the patient. This means that there is better communication. Another great benefit is that it utilizes every therapy possible to ensure that the patient gets the treatment that is perfect for them.


Where are you located?

We have two locations in Mount Airy and Elkridge Maryland.

Why is integrative medicine not covered by insurance?

Over the past decade or so, integrative medicine has been becoming more and more popular. Because of this popularity, there has been an increase in doctors that practice it. But even with all this popularity unfortunately insurance does not cover integrative health care. The lack of coverage from insurance companies is solely because integrative medicine often encompasses treatments that these health insurance companies degenerative treatments. Because these treatments like acupuncture, massage therapy, infrared sauna, and many others are all deemed alternative they are not covered.

What costs are involved? 

We offer two options:
• Yearly Membership
• A La Carte

How do I make an appointment?

You can expect your first visit with Dr. Rao and our team to be more comprehensive than anything you have ever experienced. Our practice is not a revolving door, we won't just visit with you for 5 minutes, hand you a prescription and send you on your way. You can expect the initial visit to last approximately 60 minutes. In that time, Dr. Rao will spend time with you, listen to your history, ask questions, hear your concerns. We put great emphasis on the listening and hearing part of the consult. It is vital in developing a strong doctor, patient relationship and is the only way we can help you get on the right path to healing. After your consult, we will order your testing. Depending on your specific needs a number of tests will be administered. Testing is tailored to each individual. Schedule Appointment Here.

What are five alternative medicines?

There are many different types of alternative medicines but many of them can fall under one of the five main alternative categories. These categories are homeopathy, eastern medicine, naturopathy, and Ayurveda. Within these five types so there are many variations and so choosing one that works for you all relies on what exactly you're looking to gain from choosing alternative medicines.

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What To Expect

Acupuncture Specialists

Meet Our Doctors 

Our team is composed of board certified medical doctors who are highly knowledgeable in the practice of holistic integrative therapies. Our Specialized Health Care model provides patients with in depth consults with each appointment without the restrictions of time limits and jumping through insurance hoops. 

Jyothi Rao


Dr. Jyothi Rao has been practicing medicine for over 20 years. She received her Doctorate of Medicine (MD) from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and completed her internship and residency at the prestigious New England Medical Center (Tufts) in Boston. Before opening Shakthi Health & Wellness Center, Dr. Rao practiced medicine in New York and Maryland.

Sudhir Rao


Dr. Sudhir Rao obtained his Medical Doctorate from St. George's University School of Medicine, and is the founder of Pain and Spine Specialists. Despite Dr. Rao's years of training focusing on traditional medicine, he developed a strong interest in Functional and Integrative Medicine to treat chronic illness with alternative methods after a personal experience with limitations in traditional medicine.

Facial acupuncture is more than just cosmetic

While the benefits of facial acupuncture are great for youthful, fresh skin, it turns out that acupuncture is also great for skin issues.   Since skin issues, such as acne, eczema, and discoloration are often due to a lack of blood circulation and dampness (a build-up of fluids), acupuncture is an excellent treatment option since increased blood and fluid circulation is just one way that acupuncture produces healthier skin. (3)   In addition to acne, eczema, and discoloration, acupuncture is also beneficial for conditions, such as hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and urticaria (hives).  

Dr. Rao uses acupuncture to treat the following conditions:

  • Photo damage from sun exposure
  • Inflammatory diseases, such as those highlighted above
  • Pigmentation disorders, such as melasma
  • Signs of aging 
  • Loss of skin elasticity 
  • Impetigo- a skin infection that produces red sores and usually affects the area around the nose and lips (4)

While the exact mechanism of how acupuncture works is still not entirely known, evidence shows that acupuncture is more effective in treating various skin issues when compared to placebos and non-treatment. (5)

To help you reach your skincare goals, Shakthi Health also offers other skin treatments, such as microneedling, LED therapy, peels, microdermabrasion, and mask therapy. And because what you put on your face matters- Dr. Rao has paired up with Toma- an all-natural skincare line that focuses on battling the effects of aging and addresses various skin conditions with sustainably-sourced ingredients. 

What to expect?

Before you get started, Dr. Rao will sit down with you to discuss your concerns and plan for treatment.  During the session, she will place tiny needles of varying lengths into different areas of your face, depending on your particular health needs.  While some people experience a dull sensation at the end of the needle, this should go away.  Acupuncture is a safe and low-risk treatment; however, some people will have bruising and minor bleeding following the session.  People who take blood thinners should tell the doctor beforehand.   

Acupuncture is an excellent treatment choice for a multitude of health concerns, and now it can also help you restore the youthful appearance of your skin.  If you’re interested in learning more about acupuncture for skin care and how it can help you- call us at 301-703-5067.

About Us

We believe in practicing medicine that focuses on whole body health. As integrative medicine doctors we focus our on root cause of your condition with comprehensive treatments that actually heal the body rather than just masking the symptoms of your illness. 

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Our Locations

Our patient care coordinators are available to answer questions Monday - Friday from 8:30 am - 5:00pm.

Mt Airy

2702 Back Acre Circle

Mt. Airy, MD 21771


6816 Deerpath Rd Elkridge, MD 21075

Get In Touch!

Main Phone

(301) 703-5067

Main Phone

(301) 703-5067



Fax #

(301) 703-8880

Fax #

(301) 703-8880

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