J Cosmet Med 2018; 2(2): 76-84  https://doi.org/10.25056/JCM.2018.2.2.76
Acupuncture for cosmetic use: a systematic review of prospective studies
Byung-Cheul Shin, KMD, PhD1,2, Kyeong-Tae Lim, KMD2
1Division of Clinical Medicine, School of Korean Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan, Rep. of Korea, 2Department of Korean Rehabilitation Medicine, Pusan National University Korean Medicine Hospital, Yangsan, Rep. of Korea
Received: October 11, 2018; Accepted: November 26, 2018; Published online: December 31, 2018.
© Korean Society of Korean Cosmetic Surgery. All rights reserved.

cc This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: Despite the use of cosmetic acupuncture in clinical fields, there is little evidence regarding its effects and safety for cosmetic use.
Objective: Objectives of this article are to review the literature and systematically evaluate the effects and current use of acupuncture for cosmetic purposes.
Methods: We searched 15 English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean databases by using relevant keywords. All prospective studies on acupuncture for cosmetic use were considered; we conducted literature analyses to determine the current status of cosmetic acupuncture use and extracted data related to its effects.
Results: Two randomized controlled trials and 5 single-armed prospective trials with 216 participants (150 from randomized controlled trials, 66 from single-armed studies) were included. All 7 studies reported positive results for at least one of the following: total effective rate (n=2), squares and counts of wrinkles (n=1), facial blood circulation (n=1), facial size reduction and improvement of skin condition (n=1), anti-aging by a patient-oriented self-assessment of facial elasticity scale (n=1), and water and oil content of facial skin (n=1). Four studies reported itching, dry desquamation, bruising, bleeding, pain, and swelling as adverse events. Six of 7 trials reported statistical flaws, and specific information regarding acupuncture rationale (42.9%), other components of treatment (57.1%), and practitioner background (0%) were rarely reported. However, details regarding patient indications for treatment, treatment regimen, and control interventions were consistently reported (100%) in the Standards for Reporting Interventions in Clinical Trials of Acupuncture (STRICTA) reporting guideline.
Conclusion: This systematic review suggests that a few trials regarding acupuncture for cosmetic use have incorporated rigorous designs. Although the studies reported generally positive results with tolerable safety, the methodology of the trials should be updated in a rigorous manner, including the use of randomized, sham-controlled studies with standardized interventions, in order to provide sufficient evidence regarding the effects of cosmetic acupuncture.
Keywords: acupuncture, cosmetic use, miso facial acupuncture, prospective study, systematic review
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