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Treatment of Acne Scars with Microneedling and Chemical Reconstruction of Scarred Skin Therapy (CROSS) Using Penol/Croton Oil Combination.

BACKGROUND: Microneedling has been shown to release growth factors, which improves the appearance of acne scars by itself and in combination with different therapy modalities. Combining microneedling with Chemical Reconstruction of Scarred Skin (CROSS) therapy using a 60% phenol and 0.2% croton oil combination results in a significant improvement of acne scarring.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the safety and efficacy of combination treatments using microneedling in combination with CROSS therapy that contains 60% phenol and 0.2% croton preparation in patients with Fitzpatrick skin types III to V.  Materials and Methods: Patients were treated over a 5-year period for atrophic acne scars using microneedling combined with CROSS. Most of the patients had combination atrophic scarring. High-quality before and after photographs were taken of the patients to assess the improvement in the scars.  Results: Most of the patients (89.5%) had Fitzpatrick skin types IV through V.  Analysis was done on a maximum of 3 microneedling sessions with 1 to 3 CROSS sessions. Photographic evaluation using the Global Aesthetic Improvement Scale showed an 18% grade-1 improvement and 81% grade-2 improvement. The Goodman and Baron Qualitative scar grading system showed a 62% grade-1 improvement and 38% grade-2 improvement.

CONCLUSION: Combination treatments work best for atrophic scars. This is the first published report of using microneedling with a 60% phenol/0.2% croton oil combination. It proved to be very effective and safe in treating atrophic acne scars in Fitzpatrick skin types III to V, with minimal side effects and a quick recovery. J Drugs Dermatol. 2024;23(6):418-422.     doi:10.36849/JDD.7657.

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