42-year-old Victoria had been to see me in the past for various problems. One day she came again with a skin rash. Her forehead and chest were covered with red spots and felt itchy, and the rash would get worse if she scratched. The GP said it was urticaria (hives) and prescribed antihistamine, but unfortunately the medication didn't work and the problem went on for two months. 

Urticaria happens when a wide range of reasons including allergy or infection cause high levels of histamine and other chemical messengers to be released in the skin. Although in some cases the rash can get better within a few days, there are some long-term ones which may require stronger medications like steroid tablets.

According to my experience, among skin conditions, urticaria is an easier one to treat by acupuncture. I suggested Victoria stop having alcohol, spicy food and cut down meat as these are not good for skin condition in the theory of Chinese medicine. Then I selected a few points in her head, back and legs for the acupuncture treatment. When she came back the following week, the rash on her chest disappeared, and her forehead looked lightly pink but there was no obvious rash. A few days after the second session of acupuncture I met her on the street. She looked so excited and told me the rash had completely gone.