A small study carried out in Thailand suggests that facial acupuncture, with or without body acupuncture, may be effective in decreasing the size of melasma (hyperpigmented skin) patches. Forty-one women with melasma were randomly assigned to either facial acupuncture, or facial and body acupuncture. Each group received two acupuncture sessions per week for eight weeks. Participants who were assigned to facial acupuncture only were needled transversely from the rim toward the centre of their melasma lesions. Those in the facial/body acupuncture group were also needled at 11 body points; bilateral Hegu L.I.-4, Xuchai SP-10, Zusanli ST-36, Taichong LIV-3, Sanyinjiao SP-6 and Qihai REN-6. The results showed that 95.2% of participants in the facial/body acupuncture group and 90% of those receiving facial acupuncture only showed decreased melasma areas. The mean reduction in area was 2.6 square centimetres for facial/body acupuncture and 2.4 square centimetres with facial acupuncture. Lighter melasma pigmentation was observed in 66.7% of participants who had facial/body acupuncture, compared with 80.0% of participants in the facial acupuncture group.
Randomized clinical trial of facial acupuncture with or without body acupuncture for treatment of melasma. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2016 Feb;22:1-7.