Using Microneedling to Treat Melasma

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Microneedling is a popular and versatile skin treatment generally used for its collagen-inducing benefits. Whether solo or combined with other therapies, it can tackle a wide range of skin complaints from acne to scarring. New research has now also explored using microneedling to treat melasma. 

As melasma is notoriously challenging to manage, new therapeutic options would be well received. 

In the past, microneedling has predominantly been studied as an adjunct to topical skin treatments for melasma. As the joint Canadian and American team behind this latest research advises, these previous findings have been “promising but variable”.

“Useful adjuvant therapy”

A systematic review and meta-analysis was carried out to pinpoint just how efficacious microneedling was when used with topical melasma medications. Radiofrequency microneedling data was excluded from this study.

The review comprised 12 studies which involved 459 patients across 7 different countries. The following topical melasma treatments were used during these studies:

– tranexamic acid

– vitamin C

– platelet-rich plasma (PRP)

– non-hydroquinone-based depigmentation serums

– hydroquinone-based depigmenting agents.

Microneedling was found to be well tolerated and no serious adverse events were reported.

Findings stated that topical therapy with microneedling “improved melasma severity with a large effect (standardized mean difference >0.8) beyond 8 weeks, with best results seen at 12 weeks. Compared to topical therapy alone, topical therapy with microneedling resulted in an additional improvement in melasma severity with a moderate effect at 8 weeks and a large effect at 12-16 weeks.”

Therefore, it was concluded that microneedling is “a useful adjuvant therapy” when treating melasma topically.

Microneedling training

Harley Academy Aesthetic Medicine Training Courses Injectables Microneedling Cosmetic Dermatology online learning

Microneedling training forms part of the Harley Academy Cosmetic Dermatology Course. It’s a popular and versatile skin treatment which has many applications and can be effectively combined with other topical therapies to great effect – as suggested in this review.

Adding microneedling to your aesthetics practice can help you to provide a more rounded, “skin-first” offering, if you are looking to do more than injectables. 

It doesn’t require a huge outlay, in terms of devices and the cost can usually be recovered after a few treatments. So, if you want to expand your treatment menu, this is a great way to take a small step into devices.

There is minimal downtime associated with microneedling. Many patients can go back to work straight after, or certainly the next day, making it especially popular. 

Additionally, microneedling is suitable for a broad range of patients and can be particularly beneficial for those looking to treat common skin complaints. These include enlarged pores, lax skin and acne scarring – many of which aesthetics practitioners will come across regularly.

Our Cosmetic Dermatology Course doesn’t just cover how to use a microneedling device. It also explains how best to combine treatments to provide optimal skin results to your patients. 

To find out more about our Cosmetic Dermatology courses, click here to book a call with Deneal Basi, head of student recruitment. He’ll be able to talk you through exactly what the course covers and how you can get started.

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