Itch (pruritis) is a common manifestation of eczema (atopic dermatitis), hives (urticaria), acne, psoriasis, lichen sclerosus, fungal infection (tinea), lichen planus, and other skin conditions.
A systematic review and meta-analysis (1) concluded acupuncture successfully reduces the intensity of itch. Researchers have identified potential explanations for this positive effect:
- The kappa opioid receptor is active throughout the central nervous system. When activated by electroacupuncture, it has a distinct anti-itch effect.
- Acupuncture is associated with a reduction in putamen response, indicating acupuncture modulates the area of the brain responsible for motivation and habitual behavior.
Betsy Gordon Acupuncture in NE Portland, Oregon specializes in, holistic TCM dermatology and the treatment of digestive, autoimmune, and allergic conditions. Additionally, she dedicates a large portion of her practice to the treatment of stress, pain and injury, and reproductive health conditions. If you have questions about how acupuncture and holistic TCM dermatology can help you, schedule a free consultation, online or by calling (971) 341-9546.
- Chi Yu, Pei Zhang, Zheng-Tao Lv, Jing-Jing Li, Hong-Ping Li, Cai-Hua Wu, Fang Gao, Xiao-Cui Yuan, Jing Zhang, Wei He, Xiang-Hong Jing, Man Li, “Efficacy of Acupuncture in Itch: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Randomized Controlled Trials”, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2015, Article ID 208690, 5 pages, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/208690