The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Ah shi acupuncture to treat acne

    Researchers at East-West Neo Medical Center, in Seoul, Korea, treated people with moderately severe acne vulgaris.

    First, the details.

    • 36 people were randomly assigned to a treatment group for 12 sessions over 6 weeks.
      • Acupuncture at general acupuncture points only
      • Acupuncture at general acupuncture points + ah shi points
        • Ah shi point acupuncture involves inserting needles at painful or pathological sites.
    • Inflammatory lesion count, a dermatology-specific quality-of-life scale (Skindex-29), and a subjective symptom score were used to evaluate the response to treatment.
    • Neither the patients nor researchers knew the treatment given — double blind.

    And, the results.

    • After 12 treatment sessions, both groups showed a significant reduction in inflammatory acne lesion counts, the Skindex-29 scores, and the subjective symptom scores from baseline in both groups.
    • But there was no significant difference between groups.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Acupuncture treatment of moderate acne vulgaris was associated with [a] reduction of inflammatory lesions and improvement of the quality of life.”

    The study was designed to compare 2 treatments. By the end of the study, there was no difference between those treatments.

    Accordingly, there’s no way to determine that the changes reported occurred due to acupuncture or by chance. People who suffer from acne know there are bad days and not so bad days.

    The medical literature contains several studies of different forms of acupuncture or moxibustion to treat several types of acne. I found only 1 other study (of moxibustion) that compared treatment to placebo and found treatment significantly more effective.

    9/5/10 20:47 JR

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