Acupuncture helps Itching in Eczema

Acupuncture helps itching in eczema. 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.)

Acupuncture for Psoriasis

Acupuncture for psoriasis. American authors have surveyed complementary treatments including acupuncture for psoriasis. They studied 44 randomised controlled trials, 13 uncontrolled trials and 3 meta-analyses. One meta-analysis of 13 randomised controlled trials examined the association of acupuncture with improvement in psoriasis, and showed significant improvement with acupuncture compared with placebo.

Other helpful approaches were fish oil, curcumin, dietary modification, meditation and Chinese herbs.

(Complementary & Alternative Medicine Therapies for Psoriasis: A Systematic Review. Journal of the American Medical Association Dermatology, November 2018.)

Acupuncture Treatment for Warts

A team in Israel studying treatment for warts has found that acupuncture may be able to clear persistent examples by initiating an anti-inflammatory immune response. They recruited 18 patients, aged 20 to 70, with persistent HPV-related warts, and gave them four, weekly sessions of either true or sham acupuncture. Clinical success was defined as total clearance of all warts with no recurrence during a three month follow-up period.

In the treatment group, the clinical success rate was 37%, whereas in the control group, it was zero. Measurement of cytokine levels in participants’ blood suggested that acupuncture may cause a shift towards a Th1-cell-mediated immune response, or an anti-inflammatory effect against the micro-environment induced by the warts.

The authors say that as acupuncture did not involve a direct assault on the lesions, as is usually the case with other treatments, it can be combined with other, more-conventional methods. These results, although moderate, should be sufficient to justify further research. The study found a correlation between lesion regression following acupuncture treatment and immune characteristics, suggesting a mechanism for acupuncture’s effect.

(Immune Modulation & Treatment Of Human Papilloma Virus-Related Warts with Energetics of Living Systems Acupuncture. Medical Acupuncture, 1 June 2017.)

Acupuncture more effective than Antihistamine for Itching

Acupuncture for itching: allergy testing of the skin of the forearm.

American and German researchers have shown acupuncture to be more effective than the antihistamine cetirizine, in reducing experimentally-induced itching in atopic dermatitis.

In a randomised controlled crossover trial involving twenty patients, true acupuncture given at the same time the allergen was applied to the skin of the forearm, resulted in a lower itch intensity than all other interventions. When acupuncture was given preventatively, it was slightly less effective although as effective as cetirizine. Both were significantly more effective than their placebo counterparts and a no-intervention control. Additionally, the area of skin redness after preventative acupuncture, was significantly smaller than that following placebo acupuncture.

(Acupuncture compared with Oral Antihistamine for Type I Hypersensitivity Itch and Skin Response in Adults with Atopic Dermatitis – A Patient and Examiner-Blinded Randomised Placebo-Controlled Crossover Trial. Allergy – European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, April 2012.)

Acupuncture helps Acne

Acupuncture can help with acne. Researchers in Korea have shown that acupuncture treatment of acne vulgaris, can reduce the number of inflammatory lesions and improve patients’ quality of life.

Thirty-six participants with moderate acne, were randomised to receive acupuncture twice weekly for six weeks, either at general acupuncture points only, or at both general points and tender points. After six weeks, both groups exhibited similar and significant improvements from baseline in inflammatory lesion counts, quality of life scores, and subjective symptom scores.

(Efficacy of Ah Shi Point Acupuncture on Acne Vulgaris. Acupuncture in Medicine. Sept 2010.)