Background: In China, acupuncture has been used as a form of medical therapy for more than 2500 years. It is a part of traditional medical practice and is used to treat the entire spectrum of human and veterinary disease. Although dermatologic disease has received much less attention in worldwide acupuncture research than pain and musculoskeletal conditions, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting acupuncture’s usefulness in this area.
Objective: The aim of this article was to review the evidence in the literature regarding the usefulness of acupuncture in managing dermatologic illness.
Results: Trials and case reports of patients using acupuncture have been published in the areas of atopic dermatitis and urticaria, herpes zoster, psoriasis, acne, melasma, and hyperhidrosis, as well as in promoting wound healing. Itch modulation by acupuncture has been the focus of recent research as itch is a predominant symptom in allergic skin diseases and leads to serious impairment of quality of life.
Conclusions: Although more research is needed, acupuncture’s use in cutaneous medicine is promising in the area of itch modulation, in treating atopic dermatitis and herpes zoster pain, and in promoting wound healing.