Working with acupuncture and herbal medicine, as I do, gives me the opportunity to treat patients with a wide variety of symptoms. One issue we treat repeatedly at our practice is skin conditions. Although this is something many people don’t at first associate with acupuncture, over the years we have had a very high success rate. Even difficult cases tend to respond to consistent treatment with acupuncture and herbal medicine.
As acupuncturists we frequently have to deal with skepticism when we report results such as this, so it was with delight that I read new research presented at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).
Researchers from the prestigious Mount Sinai Hospital in New York reviewed 14 patients with persistent atopic dermatitis (eczema) who had received a course of traditional Chinese medicine. The treatment consisted of a Chinese Herbal Tea, a bath additive, creams and acupuncture, all of which are used in our practice.
The researchers used two measures to assess the effectiveness of the treatment:
- The SCORAD index – this measures the severity of the dermatitis.
- The Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) – this is used to calculate the impairment to quality of life.
Patients were assessed after 3 months of treatment, and in all but one patient, SCORAD measures decreased between 60 to 90%, and DLQI scores showed a 50% improvement in.
In addition, patients reported reduced use of steroids, antibiotics and antihistamines.
The bottom line? Most skin conditions respond well to a combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine, without the need for potentially harmful medications – something we have known for years!