Microneedling: A Comprehensive Review

Dermatol Surg. 2017 Mar;43(3):321-339. doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000000924.


Background: Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure that uses fine needles to puncture the epidermis. The microwounds created stimulate the release of growth factors and induce collagen production. The epidermis remains relatively intact, therefore helping to limit adverse events. The indications for microneedling therapy have grown significantly, and it is becoming a more widely used treatment in dermatology.

Objective: A comprehensive review of microneedling in human subjects and its applications in dermatology.

Methods and materials: A search was performed using PubMed/MEDLINE and Science Direct databases. Search terms included "microneedling," "needling," and "percutaneous collagen induction." All available studies involving human subjects were included in the discussion, with priority given to prospective, randomized trials.

Results: Studies demonstrate microneedling efficacy and safety for the treatment of scars, acne, melasma, photodamage, skin rejuvenation, hyperhidrosis and alopecia and for facilitation of transdermal drug delivery. While permanent adverse events are uncommon, transient erythema and postinflammatory hyperpigmentation are more commonly reported.

Conclusion: Microneedling appears to be an overall effective and safe therapeutic option for numerous dermatologic conditions. Larger and more randomized controlled trials are needed to provide greater data on the use of microneedling for different dermatologic conditions in different skin types.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / therapy
  • Cicatrix / therapy
  • Cosmetic Techniques / adverse effects
  • Cosmetic Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Hyperhidrosis / therapy
  • Melanosis / therapy
  • Needles*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Rejuvenation*