Brooklyn Wants To Know: Does Acupuncture Treat Hives?

Hives, Be Gone! Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can treat hives.

Chronic hives, like other inflammatory skin conditions, can be very annoying, uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing when a flare up makes an appearance at an inopportune time. The conventional solution usually involves taking a medication (which may have other fun side effects) to temporarily clear the breakout. But is that really a solution?

If the problem keeps returning, nothing was solved.



In TCM, some of the ways disease patterns are classified are:

  • Internal or External

  • Heat or Cold

  • Excess or Deficiency

Internally, there are certain patterns that may show up on the skin such as blood deficiency, toxicity or stasis, a disharmony in the liver and kidney relationship, or a disharmony in other organs and meridians involved with elimination. Externally, factors like dampness, dryness, wind and heat can invade the body and also cause skin disorders. One of the main reasons patients suffer with chronic hives, aka urticaria, is that toxic heat is trying to find a way out of the body through the skin.

The TCM patterns involved can get way more complicated than this! We are going to spare you from us dropping the giant ancient textbook of knowledge on you right now, but if you’re interested and want to nerd out about it, send us a note!

Your TCM practitioner will ascertain where the heat is coming from and create a plan using acupuncture, herbs and diet changes to treat hives and clear the heat from it’s root. The entire treatment usually takes about three to six months depending on the severity of the problem. However, skin conditions usually reduce in frequency and severity within 4-6 weeks.

Does Acupuncture treat other skin conditions?

Yes! Acupuncture and TCM can address many skin conditions and also can be used cosmetically. You can learn more about our dermatology specialty here. 

  • Eczema

  • Acne

  • Insect Dermatitis

  • Contact Dermatitis

  • Rashes

  • Psoriasis

What are some tips that can help me now?

You may not be able to control or change the factors that are contributing to your skin issue until you know what they are. We recommend being properly assessed by a trained TCM practitioner. BUT, you can control what you eat!

A low histamine diet combined with Chinese medicine treatment can be very helpful. Check out the blog  The Low Histamine Chef for a list of low histamine foods and super delicious recipes. Eating foods with cooling properties like these may help as well.

Apple, banana, pear, cantaloupe, watermelon, citrus, lettuce, radish, cucumber, celery, button mushrooms, asparagus, Swiss chard, spinach, summer squash, Chinese cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet corn, zucchini and millet.

For a great anti-inflammatory grocery guide that is also gluten free, dairy free and soy free , check out our friend Amie's list on The Healthy Apple.



Does Acupuncture treat hives for children?

YES! Plus, we love helping littles! Check out our specialty page for pediatrics.

Ready To Stop the itching, burning and stinging?