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   Stop Eczema Itch With Acupuncture
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  An estimated 15 million people in the United States suffer from eczema, which

usually looks like dry, scaly red skin patches accompanied by intense itching.

Standard treatment to reduce inflammation and itchiness can include

corticosteroids, which have some serious side effects, including cataracts,

glaucoma, gastrointestinal effects, hypertension, osteoporosis and weight gain.


  Now, a group of German researchers from the Technical University of Munich

may have and answer to provide relief from the itching. Thirty people with

eczema were treated right after being exposed to an allergen such as dust mites

or pollen. All patients went through three different test conditions.


  The first treatment condition was “point-specific” acupuncture targeted at

areas specifically designed to treat itchy skin(Quchi and Xuehai points). The

second treatment condition was “placebo-point” acupuncture treatment where

the points selected were not those specifically used to treat itchy skin. The third
test condition was no treatment of any sort following allergen exposure.


  It turned out that the subjects all reported lower levels of itchiness after

receiving the point-specific acupuncture compared to either placebo acupuncture
or no treatment. Even more interesting, when subjects then got a second

exposure to the allergen after the point-specific acupuncture treatment, their

future flare-ups were less severe.


  Lead researcher Dr. Florian Pfab concluded: “Acupuncture at the correct points

showed a significant reduction in type 1 hypersensitivity itch in patients with

atopic eczema.”


  Another similar study was done in Israel two years ago, looking at the

effectiveness of herbal medicine and acupuncture combined in the treatment of

atopic dermatitis, which is the most common form of eczema. In that study, 20

patients between the ages of 13 and 48 were given a combined treatment of

herbs and acupuncture three times daily for 12 weeks.

  All subjects were assessed at weeks 3, 6, 9 and 12 for improvement of

symptoms and quality of life. At the end of the 12 weeks, patient assessment of

itch improved by 45 percent and quality of life improved by 39 percent.


  In that second 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.”


  It would appear from the results of both of these studies that acupuncture

applied to points specifically designed for treating itchy skin may alleviate the

symptoms of eczema, as well as reduce the severity of further flare-ups. This

should serve as welcome relief for those people who suffer from this painful


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