Acupuncture for Various Dermatologic Conditions
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine have many uses when it comes to our health. New research is exploring its use with various dermatologic conditions.
A meta-analysis compiled studies that looked at acupuncture treatment for atopic dermatitis, urticarial, pruritus, acne, chloasma, neurodermatitis, dermatitis herpetiformis, hyperhidrosis, human papilloma virus wart, breast inflammation, and facial elasticity. Out of 24 studies, 17 showed significant improvement in these conditions with the use of acupuncture. Furthermore, there was a statistically significant difference when acupuncture was compared to sham acupuncture, further proving the value in the meridian theory upon which acupuncture is based.
Research as to possible mechanism of effects of acupuncture has consistently shown that the autonomic nervous system, and the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis are involved via peripheral sensory receptor activation. Areas in the central nervous system that are involved stress and nociception seem to be modulated with acupuncture treatments. Brain activation imaging results also show that there is a difference between pain from needle pricks and acupuncture.
Although this meta-analysis presents positive findings, there is still more research to be done to look at mechanism of action, as well as to compare acupuncture with consistent control groups.