Got skin problems? Try acupuncture.
A systematic review published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine has found that acupuncture can improve outcome measures in the treatment of such dermatological conditions as dermatitis, cholasma, pruritus, urticaria, hyperhidrosis, and facial elasticity.
“The use of acupuncture is broad and our findings show that acupuncture is growing within dermatology and in need of continued efforts for high-quality research,” study co-author Dr. Raja Sivamani told Medical Daily.
Traditional Chinese Medicine theorizes that there are over 2,000 points on the human body that connect with 20 pathways. During a treatment session, acupuncture practitioners insert 20 FDA-approved, metallic needles into specific points on the body, and leave them there for about 15 to 30 minutes.
The World Health Organization endorses acupuncture for two dozen different conditions, and according to researchers from the University of California Davis, it can help dermatological conditions, too.
Researchers included a total of 24 different studies, 16 of which were randomized controlled trials, six of which were prospective observational studies, and two of which were case reports. Over these studies, acupuncture was used to treat conditions such as facial elasticity, breast inflammation, human papillomavirus, hyperhidrosis, herpetiformis, dermatitis, neurodermatitis, chloasma, acne, pruritus, urticaria, and atopic dermatitis.
In 17 of the 24 studies, statistically significant improvements were shown in comparison to placebo acupuncture, alternative treatments, and no intervention. The study’s findings support acupuncture as an alternative therapy when treating dermatological disorders.
However, there is more work to be done in examining the value of acupuncture’s effects. The study’s authors note that future studies on acupuncture should be double-blinded and have standardized control intervention.
“We are planning to collaborate with specialists in acupuncture to conduct studies that would evaluate their effect in chronic inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne,” Sivamani told Medical Daily.