Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"Does acupuncture hurt?"

ZocdocAnswersDoes acupuncture hurt?


I have really bad skin and want to get acupuncture for my acne but I am scared of needles and scared of the pain?


Acupuncture is a popular complementary medicine practice that may be helpful in treating some medical conditions. Many patients find it to be helpful in addition to other medications that their doctors prescribe. I encourage you to speak with your primary care doctor about acupuncture, to see if he or she can recommend anyone with a good reputation and reasonable prices in your area. The acupuncturist will clean off the areas of skin where he or she will place very thin needles. The needles are not necessarily placed in the areas that are affected by acne or by whatever ailment is being treated; different acupuncturists have different methods. When the needle is inserted, you may feel some discomfort like a slight tugging on the skin, or you may have a sharp pain caused by the needle accidentally hitting a small nerve. If that happens, be sure to tell the acupuncturist, so that he or she can adjust the needle. You should not be in pain while the needles are in place. Generally you will keep them in place for at least 20-30 minutes while you relax. Again, please discuss with your primary care doctor for more information on whether acupuncture is right for you.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.