Comparison of the Effects of Skin Microneedling with Cupping Therapy and Microneedling Alone: An Experimental Study

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2023 Jun 1;151(6):1233-1241. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000010134. Epub 2023 Jan 2.

Abstract

Background: Microneedling promotes percutaneous collagen induction; cupping therapy creates negative pressure and leads to increased blood flow in the applied area. The addition of cupping therapy to microneedling is thought to contribute positively to microneedling's effects. This study was carried out to investigate the histologic effects of adding cupping therapy to microneedling.

Methods: Thirty Wistar rats were divided into five groups, with six rats in each group. One control group and four experimental groups were formed, which are defined as follows: the control group; the single-session microneedling applied to the dorsal trunk group; the 15-minute cupping therapy added to the single-session microneedling group; the microneedling applied over a total of three sessions at 3-week intervals group; and the microneedling with cupping therapy applied over a total of three sessions at 3-week intervals group. Each animal was euthanized at the end of the fourth week following the last treatment, and skin samples were evaluated histologically with hematoxylin and eosin stain and type I and III collagen antibody immunostaining.

Results: The addition of cupping therapy to microneedling increased the thickness of the epidermis and dermis. A significant increase in type I collagen immunostaining and the type-I-to-type III collagen ratio was seen only in the single-session microneedling applied to the dorsal trunk group. Cupping therapy did not generate a significant difference in type I collagen immunostaining. No treatment was found to produce a significant increase in type III collagen immunostaining.

Conclusion: Cupping therapy can be added to microneedling therapy and used to increase certain desired effects on skin.

Clinical relevance statement: Microneedling is an easy and effective method to improve skin quality in clinical practice.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Collagen / therapeutic use
  • Collagen Type I*
  • Collagen Type III
  • Cupping Therapy*
  • Needles
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar

Substances

  • Collagen Type I
  • Collagen Type III
  • Collagen