Treating surgical scars with microneedling early during the maturation and remodelling phase appears to lead to better aesthetic outcomes than later microneedling.
These findings come from a paper published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
“Microneedling, also known as minimally invasive percutaneous collagen induction, has demonstrated impressive improvements in chronic acne scars,” the authors write. “However, no evidence exists for treating postsurgical scars during active wound healing.”
To investigate the value and safety of using microneedling in acute postsurgical scars, the researchers recruited 25 surgical patients and administered three microneedling treatments after surgery.
The research team assessed the scars using the Vancouver Scar Scale, Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale, and Global Aesthetic Improvement Scale after each of the three treatments and at a final two-month follow-up.
All the patients had improvements in their scar scores at the final follow-up compared to initial measurements (p<0.001). There was no statistically significant difference in outcomes seen when the researchers broke the findings down by patient age, location of scars or Fitzpatrick skin phototype.
Interestingly, the authors did observe a statistically significant difference in Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale improvements between patients who began treatment early (6 to 7 weeks postoperatively) and those who began treatment late (13 to 16 weeks postoperatively) (p<0.04).
“While more research is needed to fully evaluate this finding, it certainly represents a significant paradigm shift in scar management,” the authors conclude. “Patients and surgeons interested in maximizing scar management may elect for early intervention with microneedling prior to the development of undesirable scars as a matter of preventative care.”