Acupuncturist Questions Acupuncturist

Can you get an infection from acupuncture?

I am a 31 year old male. I wonder if you can get an infection from acupuncture?

24 Answers

very unlikely. If your practitioner was not practicing clean needle technique and did not sanitize the clinic properly maybe. I encourage you to reach out to the person you got a treatment from and let them know what happened
Most likely not, since the needles are all sterile and disposed of directly after use.
No, if a practitioner does clean needle technique.
In the U.S. acupuncturists have to use sterile disposable needles by law. But any time the skin is pierced there is always a possibility of infection.
I’ve never seen that since I’ve been practicing acupuncture for over 20 years.

Everything is not 100%. If the place before insertion of the needle is not sanitized, it might get an infection.
Infection from acupuncture is quite rare. The needles used are all single use and sterile and the skin is normally swabbed with alcohol prior to needle insertion. After treatment, the needle "hole" is not open to the naked eye, although this "hole" is present for about 10 minutes. To get an infection from acupuncture, you would need either an unclean/not sterile needle, dirty skin, a compromised treatment room or dirty practitioner hands. All of this is mitigated using clean needle technique, which is a required course and skill to be a licensed Acupuncturist. This is a reason to see only licensed professionals, as non-licensed acupuncturists may not be aware of CNT.
An infection from acupuncture? The only circumstances I could ever imagine, God forbid, for this to take place is if the practitioner didn’t pass/practice proper regulatory standards such as clinic cleanliness, needle disposal, fresh and sealed needle package usage, etc. In the proper circumstances, there should never be any concern of infections arising from acupuncture usage.
Acupuncturists follow strict clean needles technique regulations and they have to be certified to provide a care that is safe and protect the patient. By law, acupuncturists have to use disposable needles for each patient and each treatment. An infection can be caused by a bacteria or poor hygiene or if a patient is in poor health. Despite those conditions, it is extremely rare in acupuncture.

Alexandre Hillairet, DAOM.
Good afternoon,

In California, by law, acupuncturists can only use disposable needles, and proper disinfecting procedures are required. It is just like you go to any MD doctor to receive an injection; same procedure required. The chance of getting infection from acupuncture therapy is just exactly the same as when you receive an injection from MD's office - extremely low.

Yes. Properly selected homeopathic remedies will clean his lungs and recover lung tissues.

It’s possible but highly unlikely
Anytime you puncture the skin there is a remote chance of that. Fully trained acupuncturists use Unversal Precautions and Clean Needle Technique just like your doctor or nurse to minimize this risk.
That is very, very VERY unlikely. We are trained and trained and trained in clean needle technique, and have to pass a separate course on it, AND it is included in our national board exam. We rarely will draw blood, so the chances of infection are exceptionally low.

No, the needles are strictly sterilized and used for one time.
Your acupuncturist should be using clean needle technique, and the needles are single use sterilized needles. It’s highly unlikely to get an infection from acupuncture.
Yes, you can get an infection if the practitioner didn't clean the PT's skin or didn't use clean needles.
If the practitioner does not practice clean needle techniques, then yes. When you see an acupuncturist, they should wash their hands before handling needles, swab the points they will be using with alcohol, and a clean needle must be used with each insertion. (There are some techniques where the needle doesn't penetrate the skin, in these instances it is okay to "re-use" a needle.) Once a needle has been used, it should be disposed in a biohazard container. So long as your practitioner is following this protocol, the risk of infection is extremely low.
If clean needle techniques are not followed appropriately, there is a risk of infection.
Yes, it is possible to get an infection from anything that breaks the skin - including acupuncture. With a trained, licensed acupuncturist, it's fairly rare. In fact, I've never heard of an acupuncturist causing an infection secondary to needling. We utilize single use, factory sterilized, disposable needles - these are used one time, on one patient and then discarded in an approved sharps container. In addition to this, every licensed acupuncturist is required to obtain a clean needle certificate prior to receiving their board certification and state practice license. This certification covers things like proper needle technique and needle site preparation required to avoid infection. In short, yes, it's possible, but if you're seeing a board certified and state licensed acupuncturist, it's extremely unlikely.