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April 2009

Ulcers Related to Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Case Series and Review of the Literature

Arch Dermatol. 2009;145(4):490-492. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2009.16

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which is considered a “safe” alternative to Western medicine, has gained popularity in the West. Acupuncture, a form of TCM, involves the insertion of needles into the body. While acupuncture is often regarded as a minimally invasive technique with minimal serious adverse effects,1 substantial adverse effects can occur leading to devastating consequences. Our literature review of PubMed articles published between 1970 and 2008 identified acupuncture-related cutaneous adverse events (Figure 1).1-4

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