Background: Ah shi point acupuncture involves inserting needles at painful or pathological sites.
Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of ah shi point and general acupuncture point treatment of acne vulgaris.
Methods: 36 subjects were recruited and randomised in a double-blind (patient-blind and observer-blind) controlled trial to receive acupuncture either at general acupuncture points only, or at both general acupuncture points and ah shi points 12 times over 6 weeks. The subjects were evaluated using the following outcome measurements: an inflammatory lesion count, a quality-of-life scale (Skindex-29) and a subjective symptom score.
Results: After 12 treatment sessions, there was a significant reduction in the inflammatory acne lesion counts, the Skindex-29 scores and the subjective symptom scores from baseline in both groups, but no significant difference between groups.
Conclusions: Acupuncture treatment of moderate acne vulgaris was associated with reduction of inflammatory lesions and improvement of the quality of life.