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Can acupuncture cause a rash?

Q:  Would acupuncture cause a rash in a totally different part of the body where the acupuncture was done?

A:  Generally speaking we would say that the answer is 'no.' The most common cause of a rash is some form of reaction to the treatment itself and in a few cases an allergic reaction to the needles or other modalities used. This is almost always where the needles have been inserted, and in almost all cases will be a short lived reaction.

 That is not to say that a rash elsewhere is not possible. This 'expert' has seen a number of cases where the release of heat in the body has meant a rash appearing along the line of a channel or meridian, the lines of energy recognised in Chinese medicine. What is again almost always the case is that if this is a reaction to treatment then it will be a transient reaction lasting for perhaps 24-48 hours and then subsiding.

 If you have a rash which has developed away from the needle site and which has lasted for more than a week, then there is very little reason to suspect that it has arisen from the treatment. There are very few recorded cases worldwide of infections from treatment, and in most cases, with nearly four million treatments being offered in the UK each year, it is simply a coincidence that a problem develops after a treatment.

 If it is a bothersome or worrying rash which is raised and red/inflamed then it may well be worth booking an appointment with your doctor just so that he or she can assess what is going on.

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