Acupuncture may have several benefits for psoriasis, such as reducing skin plaques and being cost-effective. However, more research is needed.

Acupuncture is a holistic treatment that involves trained practitioners inserting fine needles into your skin. This is done to stimulate specific points and reactions within your body.

Research suggests that acupuncture may be a beneficial alternative treatment for psoriasis.

Keep reading to learn more about the connection between acupuncture and psoriasis.

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine-based approach.

A 2021 review found that acupuncture may have several benefits for psoriasis, such as:

  • reducing the thickness, itchiness, and scales of skin plaques
  • having fewer side effects than traditional psoriasis treatments like corticosteroids
  • being a more affordable treatment option

More research is needed to fully support the benefits of acupuncture as a treatment for psoriasis. However, some research on the topic includes the following:

  • A 2021 study noted in their literature review that acupuncture might help boost the immune system and increase circulation in the affected area. This could reduce inflammation, increase nutrient absorption, and improve skin repair.
  • A 2019 review found that acupuncture may help reduce stress and anxiety, which are both psoriasis triggers.
  • A 2017 review found that acupuncture-adjacent treatments like acupressure could complement traditional therapies for psoriasis.
  • A 2016 review claimed that acupuncture treatment for psoriasis could be effective with minimal side effects.

Speak with a healthcare professional about acupuncture if you have psoriasis. They may recommend it as a complementary therapy to your current medication plan.

Anecdotal evidence and some research suggest that acupuncture is an effective treatment with little side effects.

However, some mild, short-term side effects may be possible. These may include:

  • mild soreness during and after an acupuncture treatment
  • pain, bruising, or bleeding at the needle entry site
  • feeling faint, dizzy, or drowsy

In rare cases, a punctured lung is possible if the needles are pushed too deeply into the area above them. Get immediate medical help if you experience severe pain, have difficulty breathing, or cough up blood.

Acupuncture needs to be practiced in a clean environment with sterile needles. Nonsterilized needles can result in infections. A 2015 review suggests that most acupuncture side effects are due to a lack of proper technique.

The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine lists board-certified acupuncture providers.

Other considerations

Before getting acupuncture, speak with a healthcare professional if some of the following affects you:

  • Health conditions: Acupuncture may increase your chance of bleeding or bruising if you’re living with a bleeding disorder.
  • Medications: Acupuncture may increase your chance of bleeding if you’re taking certain medications, such as blood thinners.
  • Pacemakers: Treatment with electric currents to the acupuncture needles may interfere with pacemakers.

Regular treatment for acupuncture is also required to help get psoriasis flare-ups into remission. This may be time-consuming and expensive, especially if your insurance doesn’t cover it or you don’t have insurance.

Acupuncture is a type of therapy that involves placing thin needles into specific points to stimulate various nerves and muscles.

There are approximately 361 acupuncture points. When stimulated, these may help boost circulation and endorphins.

Acupuncture needles are sterile and as thin as a strand of hair.

An acupuncturist will insert them into your skin at different depths, depending on the technique they’re using. Once inserted, they’ll remain in your skin for up to 30 minutes.

You may feel a deep heaviness or numbness, which means treatment is working.

For psoriasis, an acupuncturist may surround the skin plaques with needles to bring more chi (energy) to the area and balance your immune system. This is called “surrounding the dragon.”

In other cases, they’ll place the needles at different points depending on where the lesions are.

Acupuncture may complement other psoriasis treatments and potentially help them work more effectively. Research found that acupuncture helped improve psoriasis plaques between 8–12 weeks.

It’s important to note that treatment may take a few sessions to work. It’s recommended the get a treatment course.

That said, more long-term studies are needed to measure the efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of psoriasis.

Can acupuncture be used to treat psoriasis?

Several studies suggest that acupuncture may complement other therapies in the treatment of psoriasis. However, more research is needed to fully support its benefits.

What acupressure point for psoriasis?

The acupressure points for psoriasis will depend on where your psoriasis plaques are located. For example, if you have scalp psoriasis, the acupuncturist may treat the Ying Xiang (near the nose) and Su Liao (tip of the nose) points.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin condition that may cause dry, scaly, and itchy plaques to form.

Some studies suggest that acupuncture may be a beneficial treatment. However, more research is needed to fully support its role in treating psoriasis.

Speak with a healthcare professional about whether acupuncture is right for you. They could provide a psoriasis treatment plan based on your current health condition.