Acupuncture can be a helpful complementary treatment for several skin conditions. While acupuncture alone does not provide a miracle cure for skin problems when combined with lifestyle changes some people find it can be very effective.
Which Skin Conditions Can Be Treated with Acupuncture?
Traditionally, acupuncture has been used to treat a number of skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, acne, pruritus (itch) and urticaria (hives).
The most common skin disorders treated by acupuncture are eczema and psoriasis, which are both a form of dermatitis. This is a general term used to describe any inflammation of the skin.
Eczema presents in six different forms:
Discoid or Nummular Dermatitis
Static Dermatitis (Oedema)
There are seven types of psoriasis:
Annular Pustular Psoriasis
Seborrheic-like Psoriasis (different from the Eczema condition of Seborrheic Dermatitis)
There are also two advanced stages of psoriasis, which can develop from any of the seven types:
Whatever type of skin condition you’re suffering from, there’s a good chance that acupuncture may be helpful. It’s best to have a personalised consultation before booking treatment to discuss how acupuncture and lifestyle changes could complement your existing treatment plan.
How Does Acupuncture Treat Eczema and Other Skin Conditions?
There’s currently no medical cure for eczema – creams and medications only treat the side effects of the condition as they occur. Some medical treatments such as corticosteroid creams may have negative health effects and stop being effective over time.
For this reason, many sufferers turn to alternative treatments and complementary therapies including acupuncture, in an attempt to find a solution where Western medicine has failed.
Acupuncture is thought to improve eczema and similar skin disorders in several different ways:
It decreases inflammation in the body
It improves blood flow and circulation
It enhances the natural immune responses in the body
It reduces itching
It improves overall health
It promotes relaxation (eczema is often made worse by stress).
There have not been enough scientific studies into acupuncture to discover exactly how it works, but several studies have had encouraging results about its effectiveness.
Acupuncture is a safe and non-invasive therapy that can be tried with little risk of side effects. Some of the reasons that you might want to consider acupuncture to treat your skin condition include:
Acupuncture is a holistic therapy, meaning it treats the body as a whole. Rashes and skin conditions can sometimes be warning signs that the body is not in balance. Acupuncture aims to treat the problem behind the skin condition, not just the visible symptoms on the skin.
Acupuncture stimulates the body’s own immune response to reduce inflammation. As many skin conditions are inflammatory, acupuncture helps the body to heal itself.
Acupuncture is less invasive than surgery and other medical treatments and has few side-effects
Acupuncture is readily available to most people with few contraindications (reasons that treatment would not be suitable).
How is Acupuncture Used to Treat Skin Conditions?
If you’re looking for an effective treatment for your skin condition and want to give acupuncture a try, the first step is to have a consultation with a trained acupuncture therapist.
Your acupuncturist will take a full medical history and ask you about your lifestyle before beginning a course of treatment, which is also likely to include recommendations for other lifestyle changes such as diet.
The acupuncture session itself involves inserting very fine sterile needles under the skin. This may not necessarily be in the areas where your skin condition is worse, as acupuncture works on the principle that energy channels called meridians connect different parts of the body and blockages in these channels are what the therapist will target.
You will normally be recommended to have several acupuncture sessions over a period of time alongside lifestyle changes for the best results.
If you’d like to find out more about acupuncture for skin conditions or book a consultation, call Performance Plus massage today to speak to trained acupuncturist, Liz Langton.