In recent years, microneedling has been increasingly used to treat a number of dermatologic conditions, including scars. Although initial studies demonstrated improvement of (mostly) atrophic scars with microneedling, the number of patients evaluated was relatively small, and the devices and treatment protocols used and posttreatment follow-up varied widely. Through this prospective observational study, the results of microneedling on 20 patients with a variety of scars are described.
One hundred twenty consecutive patients (skin phototypes I through VI) with facial and nonfacial scars from a variety of etiologic sources (acne, trauma, surgery) were treated using a mechanical microneedling device. No additional treatments (topical or intralesional) were applied. Two assessors blinded to treatment protocol rated clinical improvement of scars 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after treatment on a five-point scale. Side effects were monitored and tabulated.
Patients received one to six consecutive monthly microneedling treatments. All scars improved at least 50 percent after an average of 2.5 treatments. Over 80 percent of patients had 50 to 75 percent improvement, and 65 percent of patients demonstrated over 75 percent improvement. No significant clinical differences were observed in treatment responses of facial scars versus nonfacial scars nor between responses of atrophic acne scars and traumatic or surgical scars.
This study supports the use of microneedling for various facial and nonfacial scars across a broad range of skin phototypes with minimal risk of adverse effects. Further studies will help to establish standardized protocols to optimize treatment outcomes for different scar types.
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