Microneedling is over a century old, and this method of collagen induction therapy can be used for a variety of skin conditions ranging from laxity to hyperpigmentation to acne scarring—and even vitiligo. Microneedling is one of the most popular treatments at VIDA, both as a standalone treatment and as an add-on to other procedures. If you’re struggling with one or more of the 3,000 unique skin conditions, including vitiligo, microneedling might be the treatment you need to see real results naturally.

Vitiligo is less common than acne and brown spots, estimated to affect just one percent of people. However, on a global scale, that equates to up to 65 million (or 1 – 2 million in the United States). It is an acquired disease that is typically only noticeable on those with darker complexions. Vitiligo presents as patchy “white” skin due to a decrease in melanocytes. Vitiligo can begin at any age, but most commonly starts when a person is in their twenties. Researchers wanted to see how microneedling might kick-start cytokine and growth factor production for potential re-pigmentation. The full article can be found in the 2022 Sohag Medical Journal from the Sohag University Department of Medicine.

Microneedling for Re-pigmentation

Researchers were interested in microneedling because of its collagen induction capabilities and because it is so minimally invasive. It is a quick treatment that requires no downtime and uses numerous tiny needles to create micro-injuries in the skin. This triggers the body’s healing response, and while collagen induction is important for healing, there is also cytokine production happening during this process. Researchers reviewed various studies related to microneedling to treat vitiligo, which affects both men and women of every race.

Vitiligo comes in two forms: segmental and non-segmental. In the latter case, there are numerous sub-variants. Some pathogenic causes include genetic “flaws,” autoimmunity, nervous system imbalances, and metabolic issues. The researchers considered many types of microneedling delivery systems, as well as microneedling paired with other treatments (such as radiofrequency). Although the term “microneedling” might sound like there is just one approach, there are actually many different types of microneedling technologies. There is even so-called microneedling devices for home use, but experts strongly warn consumers away from such devices. They are not medical-grade, and when intentionally “traumatizing” the skin, it can cause permanent damage. Instead, microneedling should only be undertaken in a medical facility.

Research Findings

The researchers found that “Microneedling is generally a safe minimally invasive modality of treating vitiligo.” They also found that pairing this treatment with other medications commonly used to treat vitiligo “may represent a new treatment option for patients with vitiligo.” Just like in many cases, combination therapy was shown to offer the best results while offering a shorter therapy duration. Of course, more studies are needed in order to establish both a consensus and best practices for using microneedling to treat vitiligo. However, if you have vitiligo, this doesn’t mean you have to wait. The potential side effects of microneedling (when performed by a medical professional) are slim to none and typically include very short-term symptoms, such as redness.

Microneedling can also be combined with pampering treatments such as facials, and make for a fantastic precursor to any topical because it allows topicals to better reach deeper skin layers. Pairing microneedling with DiamondGlow or an in-office facial is a fantastic approach for many people (whether it is part of a vitiligo treatment or not). Almost everyone is a good candidate for microneedling, though those with open wounds will need to wait until after healing to be treated in those particular areas.

If you are suffering with vitiligo, acne scarring, hyperpigmentation, skin laxity, lines, wrinkles, or generally poor skin tone and texture, microneedling can help. Also, bear in mind that microneedling does not cause hyperpigmentation or skin darkening on skin not affected by vitiligo. Cytokine healing is part of our body’s natural healing process, but when skin trauma is controlled (such as with microneedling), unwanted hyperpigmentation does not occur. To find out more about microneedling and other options for treating a myriad of skin conditions, contact VIDA today. Call the office to schedule your consultation or appointment, or simply complete the online form for the fastest response.