Acupuncture can be considered bona fide therapies for eczema

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Eczema is marked by skin covered with red, scaly and dry patches that are usually accompanied by intense pruritus (itching). So many medical treatments are available for eczema designed to alleviate itchiness and inflammation although the most commonly used ones are corticosteroids. These drugs however, can have certain significant side effects like weight gain, osteoporosis, hypertension, gastrointestinal effects, glaucoma and cataracts. Many people opting for natural alternative in lieu of corticosteroids can find substantial benefits when choosing acupuncture therapy.

The efficacy of acupuncture therapy for eczema was investigated in a German study involving 30 subjects with eczema who were immediately treated after they have been exposed to allergens like pollen and dust mites. These allergens amplified the condition and caused flare-ups. The study’s objective was to bring about relief from the itching. All the 30 subjects underwent three different test conditions. Point-specific acupuncture was the first condition they went through. This treatment utilized aspects targeted to treat itchy skin. The acupuncture points treated were the Xuehai and Quchi points. Placebo treatment was the second treatment condition the subjects were given. This treatment chose acupuncture points that were not really designed to resolve itchy skin. The last test condition entailed no therapy after exposure to allergen.

After experiencing all three conditions, the subjects compared their three treatments. All of them manifested lower degrees of itchiness after being given point-specific acupuncture compared to placebo acupuncture and the zero treatment. Moreover, certain interesting reports revealed that when these subjects were exposed to the allergen a second time after being given point-specific acupuncture, they saw their flare-ups even becoming less severe. The study concluded that a sustained improvement can be experienced with just a single point-specific acupuncture therapy. The people who conducted the study stated that acupuncture given at the appropriate points can bring about a substantial reduction in type I hypersensitivity itch in people suffering from atopic eczema.

Another study similar to the one done in Germany, this time performed in Palestine, investigated the efficacy of herbal medicine and acupuncture for treating atopic dermatitis. This disease is the most common form of eczema. The study used 20 subjects whose ages ranged from 13 to 48. They were treated with acupuncture combined with herbs for 12 weeks thrice a day. The subjects were evaluated after 3, 6, 9 and 12 weeks. After the 12 week study, the patients manifested a lessening of their itch by 45%. Besides that, they saw a 39% improvement of their quality of life. The study concluded then that the combination of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture do truly have a beneficial effect on people suffering from atopic dermatitis.
These studies reveal that there is a strong connection between acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy and the lessening of itch in people with eczema. The conclusions show that there is a secondary option to prescription medications laden with ingredients that cause very harmful side effects. With these scientific studies, acupuncture and herbal medicine can then be considered bona fide therapies for eczema that are natural and very safe to use. These studies provide sufferers of eczema more choices that are safer and effective for the resolution of their eczema compared to drugs.

 Key words:  Eczema

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