CSU is the most common type of long-lasting hives. It’s known by itchy outbreaks, red bumps, or swelling that sticks around for more than six weeks without a clear reason. Over 90% of those who have CSU really need fast medical help to stop the itching. So easing the itch is a big deal when treating CSU.
Effects of Acupuncture
Experts at Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine took 330 people with CSU and split them into three groups. One group got real acupuncture for four weeks, another got fake acupuncture, and the last group just waited (they were the control group). The researchers kept an eye on them for another four weeks after treatment was done to see if the acupuncture made their symptoms any better. They used something called the Weekly Urticaria Activity Score (UAS7) to measure changes. Turns out, folks getting real acupuncture had better UAS7 scores than those who didn’t—either in the sham group or waiting around. Yet, since the difference wasn’t huge enough to hit what doctors call minimal clinical difference (MCID), it’s tough to say how much it really matters. More side effects happened in the acupuncture group but they were small-time and didn’t last long.
In an editorial that went with this study, Mike Cummings from the British Medical Acupuncture Society pointed out the results are kinda cool because they look at using needles for something other than pain relief. Even though we can’t say just how big of a deal these results are, he thinks health pros shouldn’t write off jabs with needles too quick—they could help even when things get serious medically speaking. Cummings hints that acupuncture isn’t as popular as it could be because big business isn’t behind it like it is with other ways docs might fix you up.