Skin Disorder

Benefits Of Acupuncture Include Effective Treatment
Of Common Skin Conditions

By Susan Scutti

“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,” Dr. Raja Sivamani, an assistant professor in the department of dermatology at UC Davis, told Medical Daily.    <Read full article>


Acupuncture and Chinese medicine has been treating skin conditions for over 3000 years and is a natural and effective treatment for many skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, perioral dermatitis, and others.

Chinese medicine works to bring balance to the natural function of the body. Once balance is achieved, the body can heal itself. The power of Chinese medicine therapy for skin conditions lies in assessing each individual’s symptoms to determine the imbalance that lies at the root of the condition. The herbal therapy is tailored specifically to correct the imbalance. For example, if heat is the predominate imbalance then cooling herbs which reduce heat would be used. But if dampness is the predominant imbalance, herbs which dry the damp would be chosen.

How does acupuncture work for skin disorder therapy?

The specific mechanisms by which acupuncture works are not fully understood, but there have been several theories advanced.
It is believed that acupuncture might work by the stimulation of Raphe’s nuclei, which increases serotonin production. This, turn, sets off a series of reactions which culminates in the increase of glucocorticoids that modulate inflammation and other aspects of the body’s immune response.
Since many skin conditions are at least in part inflammatory, acupuncture may have a positive effect through reduction of inflammation.

What skin conditions is acupuncture used to treat?

Acupuncture has been used to treat an extensive list of skin conditions, including:

  • The symptom, itch
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Urticaria
  • Acne
  • Postherpetic neuralgia

What are the benefits and drawbacks of acupuncture in the treatment of skin diseases?

The benefits of acupuncture as a dermatology treatment include:

  • May provide non-pharmacological relief for pain or itch
  • Less invasive than surgery or other common treatments
  • Holistic treatment approach, which is often used in combination with Chinese herbs and dietary and other lifestyle changes or cupping and moxibustion
  • Increasingly available/accessible treatment

The drawbacks of acupuncture as a treatment include:

  • Lack of good quality evidence for efficacy
  • Vasovagal symptoms (dizziness, etc.)
  • Insertion site infection (this is considered rare, as needles are sterile and the use of disposable needles has become the norm)
  • Contraindications for patients with bleeding disorders

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