Many people express that a phobia of needles deters them from acupuncture treatment. Here is an important visual perspective to help in making sense of this concern as it pertains to acupuncture needles.
Used for acupuncture, needles are almost exclusively constructed of stainless steel. Fine gauge, pre-sterilized acupuncture needles are inserted beneath the skin which remove obstruction in the meridians and muscle layer. They are silicon coated to create an extremely smooth surface of blade and completed with an ethylene oxide gas sterilization (which can keep individually packaged needles sterile for approximately 5 years). Gauge (thickness) and length vary considerably depending upon factors, from patient comfort to desired effects/results of treatment, to anatomical terrain, etc. Disposable acupuncture needles are intended for single use and disposed of in biohazardous waste containers, then handled accordingly.