Microneedling surpasses chemical peels for acne scar treatment in darker skin types

August 28, 2022
Microneedling surpasses chemical peels for acne scar treatment

Modern acne treatments include chemical peels and microneedling treatments to target scarring, which may sometimes run deeper than visible skin. While these treatments are both effective, a study from Rutgers University in New Jersey, the US, highlighted that microneedling was significantly better than chemical peels when it came to lightening scars – or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) – in patients with darker skin.

Microneedling is a cosmetic procedure where tiny, sterilised needles are pierced into the skin to stimulate collagen production and reduce scarring. Chemical peels involve applying a solution to the skin that aids sloughing off of the top layers of skin, including dead skin.

Babar Rao, a professor of dermatology and pathology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers University, and fellow researchers identified 60 patients with acne scars and dark skin – according to the Fitzpatrick Skin Phototype, which depends on the melanin content in skin.

The patients were randomly assigned to treatment with either 35% glycolic acid chemical peels or microneedling, both administered every two weeks for 12 weeks.

Thereafter, treatment produced an improvement of two points or more on the Goodman and Baron Scarring Grading System in 73% of patients who underwent microneedling versus 33% of patients who received chemical peels

“Based on the results of this study, patients whose darker skin precludes the use of stronger chemical peels, which can permanently discolour darker skin, should treat acne scars with microneedling,” Prof. Rao observed.

“For patients with lighter skin who can use stronger peels without risk of discoloration, chemical peels might still be the best option for some.”


Category: Education, Features

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