Pigmentation, in this case, refers to the colour of a person's skin. Hyperpigmentation is where the skin appears darker than normal (too much melanin), and hypopigmentation is where the skin appears lighter than normal (lacking in melanin). Both skin conditions can be treated by microneedling.
Microneedling for Hyperpigmentation
Because microneedling causes skin cell regeneration, there is reason to believe that it can help with hyperpigmentation. This is mostly backed up by personal testimony, as the majority of clinical research combines microneedling with other treatments such as skin whitening chemicals. We could not find any clinical research which uses only microneedling as a treatment for hyperpigmentation.
One such paper which combined microneedling with secondary therapies was successful in treating melasma (melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation). The success of combining the treatments was greater than simply using the secondary therapy on its own, which shows the positive effect that microneedling had. You may view this research paper by clicking here.
Microneedling for Hypopigmentation
The basic idea behind microneedling for hypopigmentation is that needling the skin triggers melanocytes production, whilst also enabling the migration of melanocytes from the surrounding skin into the hypo-pigmented area.
Unfortunately, as with hyperpigmentation, there is limited clinical research into the effects of microneedling on hypopigmented skin. However, there are a few studies which focus on microneedling alongside secondary therapies. Take for instance the following quote from one paper:
"Level 2 evidence suggests that needling and autologous spray keratinocyte treatment of mature hypopigmented scars can result in statistically significant improvements in both patient and observer POSAS ratings as well as significant change in objective pigmentation scores at 12-month follow-up." - CLICK HERE FOR SOURCE.
Can Microneedling Cause Pigmentation Issues?
If you microneedle too often or too vigorously then your skin may become overly inflamed and irritated and this may actually cause hyperpigmentation. So, you should be gentle, use a needle length which is suitable (less than 1mm when treating pigmentation issues), and do not microneedle your hyperpigmented or hypopigmented skin more than once every two weeks.