This review summarizes current evidence for acupuncture treatment of allergies. Several randomized controlled trials have demonstrated a specific effect of acupuncture for allergic rhinitis; while a few studies have shown positive effects for atopic dermatitis, asthma and itch. Specifically for allergic rhinitis and asthma, acupuncture may be cost-effective in terms of money spent per quality-of-life gained. Acupuncture plays an increasingly important role as an evidence-based therapy for allergy relief and can be recommended as adjunct therapy for allergic rhinitis. Future randomized controlled trials need to further explore acupuncture efficacy for the treatment of itch, atopic dermatitis and asthma. More experimental research is also needed to investigate mechanisms of action underlying acupuncture for allergy relief.
Keywords: acupuncture; allergic rhinitis; allergy; asthma; atopic dermatitis.