In the United States, there are about 15 million people suffering from eczema. This is a condition that’s marked by skin patches that appear reddish, scaly, and dry accompanied by extreme itching. The itchiness and inflammation can be relieved by several various types of conventional medical treatments although corticosteroids are the drugs most commonly used. However, this type of medication can lead to weight gain, osteoporosis, hypertension, and some other serious side effects. Folks who opt for a safer and more natural healing alternative may find acupuncture treatment to be quite useful, safe, and effective for their condition.
Thirty people suffering from eczema were involved in a German study that immediately treated them after being exposed to allergens such as pollen and dust mites. These allergens exacerbated their condition leading to flare-ups. The study was designed to provide alleviation from the itch. All patients underwent three different test conditions of which “point-specific” acupuncture was the first. This treatment focused on certain acupuncture points of the body to help quell the itchy skin. The points used were Hsuehai and Quchi acupoints. “Placebo-point” acupuncture was the treatment that was next in line for the participants. It involved using points that were not meant to treat the itchy skin. No treatment was the last test condition following the allergen exposure.
When comparing the three test conditions, the researchers noticed that after receiving point-specific acupuncture as opposed to the no treatment at all or placebo acupuncture all thirty subjects showed lower levels of itchiness. Moreover, some fascinating reports showed that after point-specific acupuncture the subjects were exposed once more to the allergen, their flare-ups were not as severe as before. This result suggests that with just one point-specific acupuncture treatment, sustained improvement can be achieved. The study showed that acupuncture at the appropriate acupoints leads to a marked decrease in type I hypersensitivity itch in atopic eczema patients.
Another study similar to the above-mentioned German study, this time done in Palestine, observed the efficacy of herbal medicine plus acupuncture in atopic dermatitis treatment. The most common form of eczema is atopic dermatitis. Twenty patients with ages ranging from 13 – 48 all suffering from atopic dermatitis were treated with acupuncture and herbs for twelve weeks, three times a day. The subjects were examined during the third, sixth, ninth, and twelfth week of the study. They reported a 45 percent improvement in their itch. They also experienced a 39 percent improvement in their quality of life. Based on these results, the study concluded that a treatment combining Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture can indeed provide a positive effect on patients with atopic dermatitis.
Those outcomes indicate a direct association between acupuncture and herbal treatments and a lessening of itch in eczema sufferers. The results also showed that there is a better alternative to potentially adverse prescription drugs for people suffering from the condition. Eczema sufferers are then able to make an informed decision about the kind of healthcare that’s best suited for them when they have scientific results to support the use of natural treatments such as acupuncture.
Christina Prieto, AP
1617 Hillcrest St
Orlando, FL 32803