Medical evidence supports the potential for acupuncture to be significantly more effective in the treatment of dermatologic conditions such as dermatitis, pruritus, and urticaria than alternative treatment options, "placebo acupuncture," or no treatment, according to a review of the medical literature published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

The review article is available free on the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine website until August 14, 2015.

In "Acupuncture as a Treatment Modality in Dermatology: A Systematic Review," authors Chelsea Ma, MD, and Raja Sivamani, MD, MS, CAT, University of California, Davis, analyzed the findings from 24 studies in which acupuncture was used as a primary treatment method for a range of dermatologic disorders.

The data support statistically significant improvement in patient outcomes in several conditions, including when acupuncture was compared to placebo acupuncture, in which needles or pressure are applied but not at the specific sites associated with a therapeutic effect.