Urticaria – Basics

Hives occur when the body reacts to an allergen, stress, infection or other triggers by releasing a chemical that causes the skin to swell, itch and produce red bumps. Generally, hives go away on their own, however, some individuals suffer from chronic hive outbreaks, or chronic urticaria.

Chinese Medicine diagnosis patterns

Urticaria usually results from constitutional insufficiency, pathogenic wind, or pathogenic heat. When an individual sweats, exogenous wind can invade the body to cause pathogenic reaction skin and blood. Pathogenic heat can accumulate in the spleen and stomach when improper diet leads to fa failure of transformative and descending functions.

The common patterns include exterior wind invading blood, heat accumulating in stomach and spleen, or blood deficiency and wind dryness.

Current research

A research done by Hu (2014) comparing acupuncture plus bloodletting and anti-histamine. 162 cases were randomly assigned into two groups. The treatment group received acupuncture including Quchi (LI 11), Neiguan (PC 6), Xuehai (SP 10) and Sanyinjiao (SP 6) w and bloodletting therapy on Feishu (BL13) and Geshu (BL17). Control group was treated with loratadine. here was no statistically significant difference between two groups after treatment (P > 0.05). There was no obvious adverse effect in the acupuncture bloodletting group, so The acupuncture bloodletting is an effective method for chronic urticarial (1).

Yao 2015 (SR of 6 RCTs)(232): Acupuncture might be effective and safe for relieving symptoms of chronic urticaria; low-level evidence (2)

  1. Huo HM. Efficacy observation on acupuncture combined with bloodletting for chronic urticarial. Zhongguo Zhen jiu= Chinese acupuncture & moxibustion. 2014 Jan;34(1):41.
  2. Yao Q, Li S, Liu X, Qin Z, Liu Z. The Effectiveness and Safety of Acupuncture for Patients with Chronic Urticaria: A Systematic Review. Biomed Res Int. 2016;2016:5191729.