What is Microneedling?
Microneedling, initially introduced for skin rejuvenation, has recently emerged as a promising treatment for vitiligo, a condition characterized by the loss of skin pigmentation. A systematic review by Roohaninasab et al. (2022) delves into the efficacy and safety of microneedling techniques in vitiligo treatment, offering new insights into its role in enhancing melanin production and skin repigmentation.
Understanding Vitiligo and Microneedling
Vitiligo is marked by the appearance of depigmented spots on the skin, hair, and mucous membranes, often leading to significant psychological and emotional distress. The condition is attributed to the absence or malfunction of melanocytes, the cells responsible for melanin production. Microneedling, a technique that involves creating micro-injuries in the skin, has been found to stimulate melanocyte and keratinocyte migration, thereby enhancing the repigmentation of vitiligo areas.
The Review’s Findings
The review by Roohaninasab et al. (2022) analyzed 14 articles, encompassing various studies on microneedling therapy for vitiligo. These studies demonstrated improvement in lesions following microneedling treatment. Notably, the combination of microneedling with topical agents like tacrolimus, 5-FU, calcipotriol, betamethasone, and NB-UVB, either with or without PDT, showed more efficacy than microneedling alone.
Mechanism of Action
Microneedling operates on the principle of neovascularization and neocollagenesis triggered by micro-injuries. This process causes micro-inflammation in the epidermal layer, which is crucial for enhancing melanocyte migration and stimulating repigmentation in vitiligo-affected areas. Additionally, microneedling improves the penetration of topical agents into the skin, thereby increasing their efficacy.
Clinical Efficacy and Patient Satisfaction
The review found that microneedling, both as monotherapy and in combination with other treatments, was effective in treating vitiligo. Patients treated with microneedling and topical tacrolimus or calcipotriol plus betamethasone reported high satisfaction rates. The combination therapies generally yielded better results, with excellent to good repigmentation observed in various studies.
Safety and Adverse Events
Microneedling was reported to be a safe technique with minimal adverse events. The most common post-procedure effects included pain, erythema, and hyperpigmentation. However, no severe adverse events related to the treatment were noted, underscoring its safety profile.
Microneedling presents a safe and efficient adjuvant treatment for vitiligo, capable of enhancing melanin production and aiding in skin repigmentation. The review by Roohaninasab et al. (2022) highlights its potential as a valuable addition to the current therapeutic modalities for vitiligo, offering hope for those affected by this challenging skin condition.
- Roohaninasab, M., Gandomkar, K., & Goodarzi, A. (2022). Microneedling in vitiligo: A systematic review. Surgical Cosmetic Dermatology, 14. [DOI:10.5935/scd1984-8773.20221400123](http://www.surgicalcosmetic.org.br/details/968/en-US/microneedling-in-vitiligo–a-systematic-review).