Eczema and Acupuncture
Have you ever gotten acupuncture? Did you know it could be beneficial for those who suffer from eczema?
Before we get into that, first let’s learn what eczema is. We will also go over what acupuncture does and how it works. You will learn the 5 reasons why acupuncture may be helpful for fighting eczema.
What is Eczema
Eczema, a form of atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition. It’s noncontagious but leads to excessive itching and dry skin lesions. These skin lesions damage the skin barrier. A compromised barrier layer, leads to bleeding and infections. The exact cause of eczema is unknown despite the fact that it’s a common condition. Yet, the common belief is that genetic factors, family history, inflammatory conditions, stress and allergies play a role.
People with eczema are often looking for solutions to ease their pain and discomfort. Itchy and dry scaly patches of skin are the main characteristic of the condition. Eczema sufferers often use topical steroid ointments and creams or over the counter emollients to reduce symptoms. Yet these treatments are sometimes ineffective or cause unwanted side effects. Recurring flare-ups forces those with eczema to seek more natural treatments such as acupuncture.
Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a therapy within Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM. TCM believes optimal health is a balance between the body’s internal systems and the environment we live in. Displacement of the balance between energy (Qi), blood, yin and yang may result in diseases or health conditions. Acupuncture uses fine high-grade needles to stimulate certain points on the body. They call these specific points acupuncture points. Each point has its own distinct healing effect. Acupuncture has been in use for thousands of years within TCM. It’s used to treat many ailments including skin conditions like eczema. Acupuncture eczema points are usually on the arms, legs and torso.
How Acupuncture Can Help
No More Itching
1. Itching is one of the top annoyances for those who suffer from the non-contagious skin disorder. Acupuncture may reduce this. But How? Acupuncture reduces wind, dampness and heat. TCM associates wind, dampness and heat as common causes of the eczema itch. Also, studies show that acupuncture may reduce itchiness by changing the itch response located in the brain. Once itching reduces, the scratching stops and there will be less inflammation.
Acupuncture and Basophils
2. A small study discovered that acupuncture may also reduce the activation of Basophils. Basophils are a type of white blood cell. This white blood cell among other factors is responsible for the inflammatory responses of eczema.
Acupuncture Can Help with Overall Health
3. Eczema can cause stress, fatigue and you may lose overall sleep from chronic itching. But one of the major benefits of acupuncture is that no matter what you come in for, acupuncture will improve your overall wellness. Most patients leave feeling restored. Acupuncture can improve sleep and reduce stress. The role of stress is important in allergy-related skin disorders like eczema. Thus, acupuncture is a valuable form of treatment because it can reduce a patient’s level of stress.
Eczema, Acupuncture & Pregnant Women
4. Pregnant women with eczema can benefit from acupuncture. Eczema flare-ups can be worse when a woman becomes pregnant. Some pharmaceutical drugs used for the treatment of eczema aren’t recommended for pregnant women. As a result, pregnant women look for other solutions. Acupuncture can offer a safe and reliable treatment. Still, there are some acupuncture points that should not be used during pregnancy. It is important that your practitioner is aware of this.
Children & Acupuncture
5. It may be safe and effective for children. A small study showed that acupuncture in pediatric cases is beneficial. After being treated with acupuncture for 12 treatment sessions, skin lesions and itching were greatly reduced. No reoccurrence was reported up to 18 months post-treatment.
Herbs & Eczema
TCM also uses the Three Yellow Cleanser to treat about 60% of skin disorders, which include eczema. The name the “Three Yellow Cleanser” derives from the yellow hue from three of the four herbs. The formula, which has been in use for centuries, includes four cleansing herbs. These herbs have a “cold property” that clears the internal heat, stops itching and prevents oozing secretions which are popular with eczema.
The four herbs — Rhubarb, Sophora, Phellodendron and Skullcap have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral qualities.
Acupuncture is considered a safe treatment within TCM. But, aside from acupuncture and herbs. TCM also recommends changing your diet. People with skin disorders like eczema should avoid shrimp, fish and crab according to TCM. The TCM practice recommends eating leafy greens and fruits.