Wounding with a microneedling device corrects the inappropriate ultraviolet B radiation response in geriatric skin

  • Jeffrey B. TraversEmail author
  • Michael G. Kemp
  • Nathan M. Weir
  • Elizabeth Cates
  • Abdulrahman M. Alkawar
  • Avinash S. Mahajan
  • Dan F. Spandau
Hot Clinical Study


Non-melanoma skin cancer primarily affects geriatric patients as evidenced by the fact that only 20% of these cancers are diagnosed in patients under the age of 60 years. Of importance, geriatric skin responds to procarcinogenic ultraviolet B radiation (UVB) in a manner that permits the establishment of tumor cells. Recent studies have indicated that wounding of geriatric skin with fractionated resurfacing lasers and dermabrasion upregulates fibroblast production of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and normalizes the procarcinogenic acute UVB response consisting of basal keratinocytes proliferating while still harboring unrepaired DNA damage. The present studies tested the ability of wounding with a commercially available microneedling device to upregulate IGF-1 levels and normalize the geriatric UVB response. Geriatric volunteers were treated with a microneedling device on buttock skin and 3 months later the IGF-1 levels and UVB responses tested in wounded vs control skin. Wounding via microneedling upregulated IGF-1 and resulted in lower levels of basal keratinocytes proliferating with unrepaired DNA damage. The ability of microneedling to protect against the formation of UVB-damaged proliferating keratinocytes indicates the potential of this wounding modality to reduce aging-associated non-melanoma skin cancer.


Wounding Insulin-like growth factor-1 Ultraviolet B radiation 



We acknowledge the assistance of the Wright State Physicians Pharmacology Translational Unit for assistance in these studies. This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (R01 HL062996 to JBT; R01 AG048946 to JBT and DFS), VA Merit Award (1101CX000809 to JBT).

Author contributions

JBT, MGK, NMW, EC, AMA, ASM, and DFS all performed the research. JBT, DFS, and EC designed the research study. JBT wrote the paper.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest with the data or ideas presented in this manuscript.


  1. 1.
    Kraemer KH (1997) Sunlight and skin cancer: another link revealed. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 94:11–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Thompson SC, Marks R (1993) Reduction of solar keratoses by regular sunscreen use. N Engl J Med 329:1147–1151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lewis DA, Travers JB, Somani AK, Spandau DF (2010) The IGF-1/IGF-1R signaling axis in the skin: a new role for the dermis in aging-associated skin cancer. Oncogene 29:1475–1485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Spandau DF, Lewis DA, Somani AK, Travers JB (2012) Fractionated laser resurfacing corrects the inappropriate UVB response in geriatric skin. J Invest Dermatol 132:1591–1596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kemp MG, Spandau DF, Travers JB (2017) Impact of age and insulin-like growth factor-1 on DNA damage responses in UV-irradiated human skin. Molecules 22(3):E356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Fisher GJ, Varani J, Voorhees JJ (2008) Looking older: fibroblast collapse and therapeutic implications. Arch Dermatol 144:666–672CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cole MA, Quan T, Voorhees JJ, Fisher GJ (2018) Extracellular matrix regulation of fibroblast function: redefining our perspective on skin aging. J Cell Comm Signal 12:35–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mine S et al (2008) Aging alters functionally human dermal papillary fibroblasts but not reticular fibroblasts: a view of skin morphogenesis and aging. PLoS ONE 3(e4066):1–13Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and ToxicologyBoonshoft School of Medicine At Wright State UniversityDaytonUSA
  2. 2.Department of DermatologyBoonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State UniversityDaytonUSA
  3. 3.Dayton V.A. Medical CenterDaytonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Dermatology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and The Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric ResearchIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA

Personalised recommendations