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Micro-needling and cupping therapy ‘can increase certain desired effects on your skin’

Micro-needling and cupping therapy may aid skin rejuvenation, according to a new study.

“Cupping therapy can be added to microneedling therapy and used to increase certain desired effects on skin,” lead author Burak Pasinlioglu of Kecioren Research and Training Hospital in Turkey has said.

“This combination might provide an easy and effective method to improve skin quality in plastic surgery practice.”

To conduct the study, researchers looked at a single session of micro-needling on the skin of anesthetised rats.


One group of animals received micro-needling, while another received micro-needling and a short cupping therapy session after.

Another group of animals went through three sessions of treatment with micro-needling by itself or with cupping therapy.

What did the study reveal?

The rats were left for a month to heal from the treatment and were then analysed for any cellular-level skin changes.

The study was conducted on rats. Pic: iStock

The results showed improvement in the thickness of the skin on the animals.

Researchers found that the outer layer of the skin increased from about 24 micrometres with one session of micro-needling alone to 42 micrometres with micro-needling and cupping.

There was no change in skin thickness with additional sessions.

Microneedling also showed increases in the ratio between type 1 to type 3 collagen in the skin.

The rise in type 1 collagen is associated with younger skin, and the rate of type 1 and 3 collagen were not significantly affected by adding cupping to micro-needling.

The findings also suggest that a combination of both micro-needling and cupping might be useful for facial rejuvenation treatments.

Authors of the study concluded: “The added benefit of negative pressure with micro-needling may prove to be an easy and practical method with synergistic effects.”

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What is the difference between cupping and micro-needling?

“Many studies have demonstrated that micro-needling has significant benefits for skin regeneration and scar healing,” Dr. Pasinlioğlu and coauthors have said.

Microneedling is a non-surgical treatment that is often used to promote skin regeneration.

During the procedure, thin needles are placed to make tiny holes in the top layer of the skin, which then stimulates the skin’s healing process.

Cupping is a slightly older method that involves special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction.

People choose to do this treatment as a form of relaxation, to help reduce pain, blood flow and more.


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