Microneedling well suited for patients with skin of color

By: Denise Fulton, Frontline Medicial News

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF – Microneedling shows promise for treating melasma and acne scarring in patients with skin of color, Dr. Janiene Luke said at PDA 2016.

A newer technique, microneedling employs small needles that puncture the skin, creating rapidly healing punctures and stimulating a wound-healing response, resulting in collagen and elastin production, said Dr. Luke, associate professor of dermatology at Loma Linda (Calif.) University. Because microneedling does not target a specific chromophore in the skin or use thermal energy, it will not cause postinflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Dr. Luke discussed a prospective randomized study conducted in India that looked at microneedling followed by application of topical tranexamic acid versus tranexamic acid microinjections in 60 patients with melasma who had Fitzpatrick Skin Types (FST) IV-V. Thirty patients were randomized to each of the two treatment groups.

After 3 treatments, patients in the microneedling groups saw a 44% improvement in Melasma Area Severity Index (MASI) scores, compared with a 36% improvement in those receiving microinjections (J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2013 Jul;6(3):139-43).

Dr. Luke pointed out that all dermatologists will need to know more about how to treat patients with skin of color since the U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2044, more than half of the U.S. population will be made up of people with skin of color.

“Since patients with skin of color will likely seek out dermatologic care more and more in the future, it is important to understand the conditions they commonly present with and have knowledge about practical ways in which to approach treatment as well as awareness of new and emerging research,” she said.

Dr. Luke reported that she had no relevant conflicts of interest to disclose.