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Microneedling: Where do we stand now? A systematic review of the literature

      Summary

      Background

      Patients who suffer from scars or wrinkles have several therapeutic options to improve the appearance of their skin. The available treatment modalities that provide desirable results are often overtly invasive and entail a risk of undesirable adverse effects. Microneedling has recently emerged as a non-ablative alternative for treating patients who are concerned with the aesthetic changes that result from injury, disease or ageing.

      Objective

      This review aims to evaluate the current evidence in the literature on microneedling.

      Methods

      A systematic literature review was performed by searching the electronic databases PubMed and Google Scholar. The reviewed articles were analysed and compared on study design, treatment protocol, outcome parameters, efficacy measurement and results to evaluate the strength of the current evidence.

      Results

      Microneedling was investigated in experimental settings for its effects on atrophic acne scars, skin rejuvenation, hypertrophic scars, keloids, striae distensae, androgenetic alopecia, melasma and acne vulgaris. Several clinical trials used randomisation and single-blindation to strengthen the validity of the study outcome. Microneedling showed noteworthy results when used on its own and when combined with topical products or radiofrequency. When compared with other treatments, it showed similar results but was preferred due to minimal side effects and shorter downtime.

      Conclusion

      This systematic review positions microneedling as a safe and effective therapeutic option for the treatment of scars and wrinkles. The current literature does show some methodological shortcomings, and further research is required to truly establish microneedling as an evidence-based therapeutic option for treating scars, wrinkles and other skin conditions.

      Keywords

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