The skin is the body's largest organ and acts as a barrier to the external environment. Many skin conditions are related to the body's immune and digestive systems.
Common, persistent skin conditions requiring medical treatment include eczema and dermatitis, psoriasis and acne. Acute skin conditions include shingles (herpes zoster), itching and hives (urticaria).
The following insights are obtained from systematic reviews and analysis of clinical trials investigating the efficacy of Acupuncture for Skin Conditions.
Acupuncture might be an effective treatment capable of reducing itch intensity, and may be more effective than conventional medicine at reducing EASI and improving global symptoms for patients with AE. Acupuncture is a safe treatment for patients with AE, but the available data are too few to suggest that acupuncture alone is effective at improving quality of life and recurrence rate. More high-quality trials with larger sample sizes are needed to confirm the effects of acupuncture on AE.
The effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for patients with atopic eczema: a systematic review and meta-analysis Jiao R, Yang Z, Wang Y, Zhou J, Zeng Y, Liu Z.
A systematic review published in 2015 found that acupuncture improves outcomes in several dermatological diseases. We performed a systematic review of studies that have been done since then to present updated evidence.
Results showed that acupuncture improves clinical outcomes in uremic pruritus, atopic dermatitis, urticaria, and itch. Acupuncture does not significantly reduce postoperative itch in patients undergoing cesarean section under spinal anesthesia.
While there are some promising studies that support the use of acupuncture for skin diseases, additional large-scale, randomized, sham-controlled trials need to be performed to present consistent high-level evidence of acupuncture's role in dermatology.
Acupuncture in Dermatology: An Update to a Systematic Review Jonwei Hwang and Peter A. Lio
There was no statistical difference in the efficacy of acupuncture compared to pharmacotherapies for acne vulgaris; however acupuncture interventions reported less adverse effects. Poor methodological quality of trial design and lack of consistent reporting of outcome measures from some trials were found in this review; therefore results should be interpreted with caution. Future trials should include rigorous methodological design and reporting should follow standard reporting conventions such as CONSORT and STRICTA. Quality of life measures and further understanding of the mechanisms of acupuncture on acne should also be considered for future studies.
Acupuncture for Acne Vulgaris: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Mansu SSY, Liang H, Parker S, Coyle ME, Wang K, Zhang AL, Guo X, Lu C, Xue CCL
The SCORing Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD), VAS (Pruritus), VAS (Insomnia), Patient Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM), Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), and Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI) were significantly improved in the real acupuncture groups.
Acupuncture improves symptoms in patients with mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis: A randomized, sham-controlled preliminary trial Smith CA, Armour M, Lee MS, Wang LQ, Hay PJ
A total of 13â€‰RCTs with 1,060 participants were included. The methodological quality of included studies was not rigorous. Acupoint stimulation, compared with nonacupoint stimulation, had a significant treatment for psoriasis. However, the most common adverse events were thirst and dry mouth. Subgroup analysis was further done to confirm that the short-term treatment effect was superior to that of the long-term effect in treating psoriasis. Network meta-analysis identified acupressure or acupoint catgut embedding, compared with medication, and had a significant effect for improving psoriasis. It was noted that acupressure was the most effective treatment.
Acupuncture-related techniques for psoriasis: a systematic review with pairwise and network meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials. Yeh, M. L., Ko, S. H., Wang, M. H., Chi, C. C., & Chung, Y. C.
There is at least some level I evidence to support the use of acupuncture and acupressure, stress-reducing techniques such as hypnosis, massage, and biofeedback, balneotherapy, herbal preparations (with many important caveats), certain botanical oils, oral evening primrose oil, vitamin D supplementation, and topical vitamin B12. Many other therapies either have sufficient data to suggest that they are ineffective, or simply do not have enough evidence to formulate a verdict.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Atopic Dermatitis: An Evidence-Based Review Vieira BL, Lim NR, Lohman ME, Lio PA.
Twenty-four studies met inclusion criteria. Among these, 16 were randomized controlled trials, 6 were prospective observational studies, and 2 were case reports. Acupuncture was used to treat atopic dermatitis, urticaria, pruritus, acne, chloasma, neurodermatitis, dermatitis herpetiformis, hyperhidrosis, human papillomavirus wart, breast inflammation, and facial elasticity. In 17 of 24 studies, acupuncture showed statistically significant improvements in outcome measurements compared with placebo acupuncture, alternative treatment options, and no intervention.
Acupuncture as a treatment modality in dermatology: a systematic review Ma, C., & Sivamani, R. K.
Browse our collection of scientific clinical research on Acupuncture for Skin Conditions. It includes recent and reputable papers published by peer-reviewed journals within the last 10 years.
2020, Jan 1
Acupuncture is effective in reducing itch intensity and may be more beneficial than conventional medicine at reducing eczema symptoms. This study assessed the effectiveness and showed positive results from randomised controlled trials.
Jiao R, Yang Z, Wang Y, Zhou J, Zeng Y, Liu Z. Full Article
2020, Jan 21
Acupuncture is an important Traditional Chinese Medicine modality based on the fundamental theory that disease is caused by disruptions in the body's qi. Understanding the use of acupuncture in dermatology is important due to the rising prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine use. This showed that acupuncture improves clinical outcomes in uremic pruritus, atopic dermatitis, urticaria, and itch.
Jonwei Hwang and Peter A. Lio Full Article
2018, Mar 12
While caution should be exercised due to quality of the included studies, acupuncture and auricular acupressure were not statistically different to guideline recommended treatments but were with fewer side effects and may be a treatment option. Future trials should address the methodological weaknesses and meet standard reporting requirements stipulated in STRICTA.
Mansu SSY, Liang H, Parker S, Coyle ME, Wang K, Zhang AL, Guo X, Lu C, Xue CCL Full Article
2018, Mar 4
This randomised controlled trial showed positive effects of acupuncture with improvement of sleep quality, prevention of itching and general quality of life for atopic dermatitis patient.
Smith CA, Armour M, Lee MS, Wang LQ, Hay PJ Full Article
2017, Dec 1
This randomized controlled trials showed positive effects of acupuncture for treating psoriasis. Further acu-pressure points were encouraged to relieve inflammation on localised area.
Yeh, M. L., Ko, S. H., Wang, M. H., Chi, C. C., & Chung, Y. C. Full Article
Careful review of the literature reveals several promising therapies in this domain; such findings may help direct further research that is necessary to bolster clinical recommendations for alternative or complementary treatments of AD.
Vieira BL, Lim NR, Lohman ME, Lio PA. Full Article
The study indicated that acupuncture had statistically significant in treatment of dermatitis, chloasma, pruritus, urticaria, hyperhidrosis, and facial elasticity. Acupuncture was also more effective compared to other alternative therapies.
Ma, C., & Sivamani, R. K. Full Article
Although well-conducted clinical research can help members of the public to make better-informed decisions about their healthcare, we do not make any claims that any particular treatment may be efficacious for any individual person.
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