Background: Although ablative techniques are the standard of care for the treatment of fine lines and wrinkles, microneedling offers a minimally invasive alternative. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of microneedling on facial and neck fine lines and wrinkles. Methods: Thirty-five subjects between 44 and 65 years old with Fitzpatrick skin types I to IV received 4 monthly microneedling treatments over the face and neck. Subjects returned 1 and 3 months posttreatment. At every visit, high-resolution ultrasonography and optical coherence tomography were performed, and transepidermal water loss and skin elasticity were measured. Microbiopsies (0.33 mm) were collected pretreatment, before the fourth treatment and 3 months posttreatment. Results: Thirty-two subjects (30 females, 2 males) completed all 7 visits. Facial dermal and epidermal density increased 101.86% and 19.28%, respectively, from baseline at 3 months posttreatment. Facial elasticity increased 28.2% from baseline at 3 months posttreatment. Facial attenuation coefficient increased 15.65% and 17.33% at 1 and 3 months posttreatment, respectively. At study completion, blood flow at a depth of 300 μm decreased 25.8% in the face and 42.3% in the neck. Relative collagen type III and elastin gene expression was statistically higher 3 months posttreatment. However, total elastin protein levels were unchanged from baseline values. Dermal muscle formation was observed in 58% of biopsies extracted 3 months posttreatment compared with 15.3% at baseline. Conclusions: The results illustrate the effects of microneedling treatments. Noninvasive measurements and biopsy data showed changes in skin architecture and collagen/elastin gene expression, suggesting skin rejuvenation, with new extracellular matrix production and muscle formation.
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