In a systematic review, acupuncture was found to improve outcome measures in the treatment of dermatitis, cholasma, pruritus, urticaria, hyperhidrosis, and facial elasticity. Findings from the study are published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Researchers from the University of California Davis searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register for clinical trials, controlled studies, case reports, comparative studies, and systematic reviews. The team set out to analyze the evidence on the use of acupuncture as primary treatment for dermatologic conditions.

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A total of 24 studies were included, of which 16 were randomized controlled rials, six were prospective observational studies, and two were case reports. Acupuncture was used to treat conditions such as atopic dermatitis, urticaria, pruritus, acne, chloasma, neurodermatitis, dermatitis herpetiformis, hyperhidrosis, human papillomavirus (HPV) wart, breast inflammation, and facial elasticity. Statistically significant improvements in outcome measures were seen in 17 of 24 studies when compared to placebo acupuncture, alternative treatments, and no intervention.

The findings support acupuncture as an alternative therapy in treating dermatological disorders. Study authors added that future studies should be double-blinded and have a standardized control intervention.

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