Study indicates microneedling can help melasma

22 Dec 2021

A recent literature review has suggested that microneedling with topical therapy is safe and effective for the treatment of melasma.

The review was discussed at the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery virtual meeting on November 19-21, 2021. 

Researchers had conducted a combined systemic review and meta-analysis of 12 eligible studies, which included 459 patients from seven countries.

Topical therapies used included topical tranexamic acid, vitamin C, platelet-rich plasma, non-hydroquinone-based depigmentation serums and agents. The study showed that combining microneedling with topical medications saw a moderately positive effect at week eight (standardised mean difference at 0.45, 95% CI, 0.04-0.86) and a large effect at week 12 (difference of 1.04, 95% CI, 0.6-1.48). It had a similar efficacy to fractional CO2 laser and intradermal microinjections with topical therapies. 

Marcus Tan, dermatology resident at the University of Ottawa, said, “Our review found that microneedling alone, without any topical treatments, results in a 23% to 29% improvement in melasma. Adding topical treatments in general to microneedling resulted in greater improvements in melasma severity.”


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