Microneedling: A Review and Practical Guide

Dermatol Surg. 2018 Mar;44(3):397-404. doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000001248.


Background: Microneedling is a relatively new treatment option in dermatology and has been touted for a broad range of applications including skin rejuvenation, acne scarring, rhytides, surgical scars, dyschromia, melasma, enlarged pores, and transdermal drug delivery. The significant increase in minimally invasive procedures that has been reported over the past several years suggest that microneedling may occupy a specific niche for patients who desire measurable clinical results from treatments with little to no recovery.

Objective: To review the published medical literature relating to microneedling in dermatology and provide a practical guide for its use in clinical practice.

Materials and methods: A thorough literature search of microneedling in dermatology using PubMed was conducted, and all references pertaining to skin scarring and rejuvenation were reviewed. Based on the information presented in these publications and the authors' clinical experience, a microneedling technique is outlined for clinical practice. Pretreatment recommendations, intraoperative technique and treatment end points, and postoperative considerations are outlined.

Results: Microneedling produces substantial clinical improvement of scars, striae, and rhytides with expedient recovery and limited side effects. Controlled dermal wounding and stimulation of the wound healing cascade enhances collagen production and is likely responsible for the clinical results obtained.

Conclusion: Microneedling is a safe, minimally invasive, and effective esthetic treatment for several different dermatologic conditions including acne and other scars, rhytides, and striae. Given its expedient post-treatment recovery, limited side effect profile, and significant clinical results, microneedling is a valuable alternative to more invasive procedures such as laser skin resurfacing and deep chemical peeling.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cosmetic Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Humans
  • Needles*
  • Rejuvenation / physiology
  • Skin Aging / physiology
  • Skin Diseases / physiopathology
  • Skin Diseases / surgery*
  • Wound Healing / physiology