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How long will it take for treatment of keloids with acupuncture?

Q:  How long will it take for treatment of keloids with acupuncture? I have keloids on my chest. 

A:  There isn't a great deal of information about the time scales for trying to help keloid scar tissue on the body, and more to the point there isn't a great deal of formal research which would enable us to make a specific claim that acupuncture works. Most of us have treated people with keloid scarring, and there are many anecdotal reports of considerable help and improvement. There are equally as many reports of trying to help and having no effect at all, as this expert has found on a number of occasions. There are also cases where the scarring remains but the blockages which they can create in the flow of energy, or qi as we call it, are helped considerably by the use of acupuncture treatment. We find this particularly in the case of horizontal scarring after a C-section or hysterectomy, and in the rarer cases of heart surgery or emergency surgery leaving large vertical scars in the midline.

There are occasionally short studies published about specific individual cases, and one such is

 http://aim.bmj.com/content/29/1/2.full

with some interesting photographs for what is deemed to be a good outcome. There are a number of others, but these are probably the exception rather than the rule.

The bottom line, though, is that a great deal depends both on the nature of the scarring (why it is there, how long it has been there, whether it has changes at all) and also the underlying reasons for it. If these are post-operative scars, for example, the condition which required surgery may itself be fairly serious and need to be factored in to any estimates of whether acupuncture might be able to help.

The only advice which we can give is to visit a BAcC member local to you for a brief assessment based on a sight of the scarring and the causes of it of whether they think that acupuncture treatment might be beneficial.

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