Microneedling for Androgenetic Alopecia: Needle Depth Matters

Microneedling with a depth of 0.6 mm in combination with minoxidil was more effective than the 1.2 mm depth or minoxidil alone.

For androgenetic alopecia, minoxidil plus microneedling at a depth of 0.6 mm offered the best outcomes.
For androgenetic alopecia, minoxidil plus microneedling at a depth of 0.6 mm offered the best outcomes.

Microneedling-assisted drug delivery is becoming an increasingly popular treatment for androgenetic alopecia (AGA), but does the depth of microneedling affect outcomes? This was the question researchers with the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Isfahan, Iran, sought to answer with their study “Microneedling in androgenetic alopecia; comparing two different depths of microneedles” (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, April 2021).

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The researchers treated 60 patients (18-45 years old) with moderate and severe AGA using minoxidil 5% lotion and biweekly microneedling with a depth of 1.2 mm (group A), minoxidil 5% lotion and biweekly microneedling with a depth of 0.6 mm (group B) or minoxidil 5% lotion alone (group C, control) for 12 weeks. The assessed outcomes included change in hair count and hair thickness from baseline as well as patient- and investigator-assessment of hair growth.

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After 12 weeks, there was a significant increase in hair count and hair thickness observed in all three groups. The mean rise in hair count and hair thickness was significantly greater in group B compared with control group. The investigator's evaluation found significantly greater hair growth in group A and group B compared with the control group.

The authors concluded that “Microneedling with a depth of 0.6 mm in combination with minoxidil is more effective than minoxidil monotherapy in patients with AGA in terms of hair count and hair thickness. This depth of penetration tended to be more beneficial than depth of 1.2 mm.”

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