Acupuncture for eczema
Eczema is also known as atopic dermatitis. It's more commonly seen in children although adults can still suffer from it.
Eczema is an inflammatory condition of the skin characterised by redness, dryness and itchy skin (type I hypersensitivity itch). People with eczema tend to have asthma and suffer from pet allergies.
Causes of eczema
There are many causes of eczema, including:
- Poor diet, which can cause a lack of blood (anaemia)
- Emotional stress, which can cause dampness and heat
- Hard water, which dries the skin out
- Genetics (inherited health straits)
- Exposure to environmental factors such as wind heat or chemical reactions
Treatment for eczema
Typical treatment for eczema involves the use of steroid cream applied to the affected area.
Research studies have shown that the stimulation of acupuncture points is anti-inflammatory and relieves the symptoms of eczema by reducing itch.
However, acupuncture is sometimes not strong enough to help any more than this. For the majority of skin problems, the best form of alternative medicine is oriental medicine, especially Chinese herbal medicine.
Chinese herbal medicine became famous back in the 1980's by its ability to treat skin conditions such as severe eczema. Chinese herbs are better able to clear out the heat and nourish the blood to allow skin regrowth than acupuncture alone. Treatment can still take months.
Improving diet and lifestyle habits can help to quicken recovery. For example, eating less gluten, diary and having more iron rich foods, which help to boost blood levels, which nourish the skin. People with eczema shouldn't smoke or drink excessive amounts of alcohol as these things will just make it worse.
Download my eczema factsheet.
Pfab, F., Huss-Marp, J., Gatti, A., Fuqin, J., Athanasiadis, G.I., Irnich, D., Raap, U., Schober, W., Behrendt, H., Ring, J. and Darsow, U. (2010), 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, 65: 903-910. doi:10.1111/j.1398-9995.2009.02284.x.
Florian Pfab, Georgios I. Athanasiadis, Johannes Huss-Marp, Jiang Fuqin, Beate Heuser, Liliana Cifuentes, Knut Brockow, Wolfgang Schober, Alexander Konstantinow, Dominik Irnich, Heidrun Behrendt, Johannes Ring, and Markus Ollert.The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.Apr 2011.309-314. http://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2009.0684.
Bjørn, Helge; Kaada, Birger. Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Research, Volume 12, Number 2, 1987, pp. 101-112(12). Cognizant Communication Corporation. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/036012987816358904.
Chelsea Ma and Raja K. Sivamani.The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.Sep 2015.520-529. http://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2014.0274.