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by Women's Health Updated 10/2021

They can also be tricky to treat without major interventions like potent drugs and cosmetic procedures. With this in mind, if you suffer from a skin condition, you’ll be happy to know that, according to recent research, acupuncture can offer relief.

Researchers have looked at the effects of acupuncture as the primary form of treatment for skin conditions including skin inflammation, itching, hives, facial pigmentation, excessive sweating, and reduced facial elasticity. They reviewed 24 studies that compared acupuncture with methods including no treatment, “placebo acupuncture” (needles or pressure are applied but not at the sites associated with a therapeutic effect), and alternative treatment options.

In the majority of these studies (17 of 24), acupuncture appeared much more effective as a treatment for skin complications than the other methods used. As a result, acupuncture appears to be a viable alternative treatment options for a range of skin disorders.

Acupuncture has become increasingly popular as a therapy for a variety of health conditions, from physical pain to emotional distress. Current users of the traditional Chinese practice will be happy to know that there’s evidence in its favor as treatment for skin disorders. If you haven’t tried acupuncture and suffer from a skin condition, you may want to talk with your doctor about this alternative treatment option.

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Experts don’t currently understand exactly how acupuncture works in patients with skin problems. It may have something to do with effects on inflammation and immune response. But, even without a clear explanation, if you suffer from a bothersome skin disorder, you’ll welcome the relief.


  1. Ma C, Sivamani RK. Acupuncture as a Treatment Modality in Dermatology: A Systematic Review. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine [early online publication]. June 26, 2015.