Results from a German pilot study show that acupuncture reduces itch intensity in patients with atopic eczema and that this correlates with reduced activation of basophils (histamine-secreting white blood cells). Ten patients with atopic eczema were randomised to acupuncture or no treatment. Mean itch intensity on a visual analog scale was rated significantly lower in the acupuncture group on day 15 (after 5 acupuncture treatments) and day 33 (after 10 acupuncture treatments). Compared with the control group, basophils from the acupuncture group showed significantly less in vitro activation following allergen stimulation, at all time points. (Effect of Acupuncture on Allergen-Induced Basophil Activation in Patients with Atopic Eczema:A Pilot Trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Apr;17(4):309-14.J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Apr;17(4):309-14).