Researchers at the Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin, one of Europe’s largest university hospitals, have shown that acupuncture helps itching in eczema (atopic dermatitis), and may help patients reduce their use of steroid creams. A total of 121 patients, recruited through media advertising in Berlin, were randomised to receive acupuncture, osteopathy or no treatment as a control. All received standard routine care consisting of topical steroids and emollients. Acupuncture comprised eight treatments at one to two week intervals.
Although disease severity scores were similar across all three groups at the end of treatment, there were clinically relevant improvements in itching in the acupuncture group compared to the other groups. Steroid use was also reduced in both treatment groups, compared with the no-treatment control group.
(Acupuncture & osteopathic medicine for atopic dermatitis: a three-armed, randomized controlled explorative clinical trial. Clinical & Experimental Dermatology, 1 December 2022.)