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Acupuncture and Herbal Remedies Are Superior Remedies to Drugs When It Comes To Treating Eczema

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There are over 16 million people in the United States suffering from a skin condition known as eczema. This disease is marked by patches of red, scaly and dry skin that is often accompanied by severe itching. Conventional Western remedies for eczema that include corticosteroids usually only address the itchiness and inflammation associated with this condition. While effective in subduing these two symptoms, corticosteroids come with major side effects that include weight increase, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems, glaucoma, and cataracts. People looking for a safe and more natural alternative than conventional treatment may be able to find some answers in acupuncture treatment.

A study done in Germany was done to see how acupuncture can help people suffering from eczema. About 30 individuals all with eczema induced by allergy to pollen and dust mites participated in the study. All the subjects underwent three different test conditions. Point-specific acupuncture was the first treatment given. It involved needling specific points that were meant to relieve the itching. These points were the Hsuehai and Quchi acupuncture points. “Placebo-point” treatment was the next treatment given. It used the acupuncture points that were not specifically meant to address the itchy skin. The final test condition was no treatment after the subjects were exposed to the allergen.

The results of the test were impressive. All the subjects were observed to have lesser degrees of itchiness after getting the point-specific acupuncture compared to placebo acupuncture and the no treatment therapies. Moreover, some interesting reports revealed that after being exposed to the allergen a second time, the subjects showed less severe flare-ups after being given point-specific acupuncture. These observations showed that with just one treatment of point-specific acupuncture, a sustained improvement of the symptoms of eczema can be achieved. The researchers concluded that needling the correct acupuncture points can help bring about a vast improvement in type I hypersensitivity itch in people suffering from atopic eczema.

A similar study this time done in Palestine observed how acupuncture combined with herbal therapy can be effective in treating atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema. The study had 20 participants ranging in the ages of 14 and 49. They were treated with a combined modality of acupuncture and herbs for three months three times each day. The subjects were evaluated after the 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th week. At the end of the 12th week (the end of the study), the subjects had a 45% improvement of their itching. Besides that, they also showed a quality of life improvement of around 39%. Based on these findings, the Palestinian study concluded that a combination of Chinese herbal therapy and acupuncture can produce benefits when it comes to the treatment of atopic dermatitis.

These conclusions verified that both acupuncture and herbal medicine do indeed work in the treatment of the symptoms of eczema. This means that there is a much safer and effective treatment for this condition than prescription drugs. The above mentioned scientific studies can help a sufferer make an informed decision regarding the type of treatment he/she can turn to when it comes to the treatment of his/her eczema.

 

Kine Fischler is a licensed acupuncture physician and the clinical director of Willow Tree Wellness Clinic in Portland, OR.

Written by Valerie

November 11th, 2014 at 4:22 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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