Micro-medical skin-needling is a technique by which multiple puncture wounds are made in the skin penetrating in to the papillary and reticular dermis in order to stimulate new skin cells, angiogenesis and collagen. The Indications for micro-medical skin-needling are: acne scars, traumatic scars, wrinkles, fine lines, aged and sun damaged skin, pigmentation, dilated pores, sebum over production and striae (stretch marks).
Acne is one of the commonest reasons for dermatologic consultations in India. The aftermath of acne, i.e. scars, pose a significant therapeutic dilemma and can be doubly challenging in type IV to VI skin types due to the accompanying hyperpigmentation (darker areas of skin) that occurs in many cases.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is documented to occur and observed more commonly in pigmented skins and the treatment of atrophic acne scars and skin rejuvenation treatments are always a challenge in dark skin (type IV, V and VI) as many of the procedures used often induce inflammation, disruption to the basal cell layer and increased sensitivity to UV light, all of which further increase the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Micro-medical skin needling when conducted with the correct technique and sterile single-use medical devices is a procedure that can create multiple columns of physical stimulation in the dermis whilst leaving the epidermis intact helping enhance the safety and recovery profile of the treatment.
At the recent FACE conference on London I reviewed the medical device, the procedure, mechanism of action and anticipated results. A course of treatments are normally conducted at least 6 weeks apart and this can provide a good opportunity to carry out combination treatments.
I have combined micro-medical skin-needling with 35% Glycolic Acid peels and presented a study in 30 patients with atrophic box and rolling acne scars, the patients were of skin types III, IV and V, aged 20-35 years.
Method: Thirty patients of skin types IV, V and VI, aged 20-35 years, with atrophic box and rolling acne scars received 5 micro-medical skin-needling treatments, using the Dermaroller™ MF8 sterile single-use medical device, conducted 6 weeks apart. In addition five 35% glycolic acid peels were conducted between these procedures also 6 weeks apart.
Results: Good to excellent improvements were seen in the box and rolling acne scars. Patients experienced minimal downtime and no adverse effects were noted in any of the patients.
Conclusions: Micro-medical skin-needling using glycolic acid peels as an adjuvant for the treatment of box and rolling acne scars is an effective in-office/in-clinic procedure with an excellent safety profile that provides minimal risks of prolonged erythema (redness), scarring or post inflammatory hyperpigmentation or delayed hypopigmentation (light skin areas) even in Indian skin types.
I also conducted a brief micro-medical skin-needling demonstration to show the main techniques.