It is estimated that as many as 15 million people in the United States suffer from eczema. This pesky skin problem usually looks like dry, scaly red skin patches accompanied by intense itching. Conventional Western medical treatment can include corticosteroids, which have some serious side effects like organ damage. Excessive use of topical corticosteroids can also produce an array of serious skin problems (American Family Physician, Jul 1993).
Recently a group of German researchers might have an answer to provide relief to the itching caused by eczema.
The study had thirty people with eczema that were treated with acupuncture right after being exposed to an allergen such as dust mites or pollen. All subjects reported lower levels of itchiness. And when they got a second exposure to the allergen, their flare-ups were less severe.
The researchers concluded: “Acupuncture at the correct points showed a significant reduction in type I hypersensitivity itch in patients with atopic eczema.”
Another study performed in Israel two years ago looked at the effectiveness of both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in the treatment of atopic dermatitis (the most common form of eczema). In this study 20 patients between the ages of 13 and 48 were given a combined treatment of acupuncture and Chinese herbs three times daily for 12 weeks. All subjects were assessed at weeks 3, 6, 9 and 12. At the end of the 12 weeks, the patients’ assessment of itching improved by 45 percent and quality of life improved by 39 percent. In the Israli study the researchers concluded, “The results of this study suggest that the combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have a beneficial effect on patients with atopic dermatitis.”
If you or a loved one suffers from eczema and live in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area be sure to click on this link to sign up for our newsletter to learn more Minneapolis Eczema Treatment . Or call Ann or Jackie now at 612-866-4000 for more information about how you can end eczema itching and suffering.
Pfab F, Huss-Marp J, Gatti A, et al. Influence of acupuncture on type I hypersensitivity itch and the wheal and flare response in adults with atopic eczema – a blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. Allergy. [Epub ahead of print]
Salameh F, Perla D, Solomon M, et al. The effectiveness of combined Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture in the treatment of atopic dermatitis. J Altern Complement Med. 2008 Oct;14(8):1043-8.
Zeitschrift fur Hautkrankheiten, Apr 1988