Monica Li, M.D., clinical instructor in Department of Dermatology and Skin Science at University of British Columbia, led a session on advances in microneedling today at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in New Orleans.
Microneedling has been discussed at previous meetings of the American Academy of Dermatology, but this is the first time there has been educatoinal session devoted to the topic, says Monica Li, a clinical instructor in the Department of Dermatology and Skin Science at the University of British Columbia.
Microneedling is an alternative to lasers and other treatments for scars, skin laxity and striae, or stetch marks, Li explains. The treatment involves a controlled wound injury to the skin that releases growth factors and the production of collagen and elastin. It is not new; Li says microneedling has been in use as treatment since the 1960s and 70s. However, the technology has improved, and Li and others are conducting studies that have yielded evidence demonstrating its safety and efficacy for a variety fo skin types.
Prices vary, but microneedling tends to be betweeen 30% to 50% less expensive than laser treatments, according to Li. It may also be a good choice for people with darker skin because the heat of laser treatments can activate melanocytes and lead to an unwanted darkening of skin around an area that has been treated.
Li says topical lidocaine is used before the treatment to patients experience a vibratory sensation, not pain.
Other speakers at the education session led by Li include Tina S. Alster, M.D., Omar Ibrahimi, M.D., Rungsima Wantiphakdeedecha, M.D., and Robyn D. Siperstein, M.D.