Melasma is also known as chloasma or the ‘mask of pregnancy’. It’s a common, mainly facial, skin condition which results in brown or greyish patches of pigment developing. It usually appears on the forehead, chin, cheeks, upper lip, and nose. The British Skin Foundation covers the condition in more detail here
A 2016 study: “Randomized clinical trial of facial acupuncture with or without body acupuncture for treatment of melasma”, evaluated the efficacy of acupuncture treatments in treating facial melasma.
They divided women suffering from melasma into two groups 1. facial acupuncture and 2. facial/body acupuncture. The women had 2 sessions per week for 8 weeks.
Those in the facial acupuncture group were needled transversely from the rim toward the centre of their melasma pigmentation patches. The facial/body acupuncture group were also needed at 11 body acupuncture points; bilaterally at LI4, SP10, ST36, LV3, SP6, and REN 6,
95.2% and 90% in the facial/body and facial acupuncture groups respectively had decreased melasma areas. The mean reduction area was 2.6 sq cm for the former and 2.4 sq cm for the latter. Participants also had lighter pigmentation compared to their baselines – 66.7% in the facial/body acupuncture group and 80% in the facial acupuncture only group.
This study concluded that “Facial acupuncture, with or without body acupuncture, was shown to be effective in decreasing the size of melasma areas.”