Needlestick injuries associated with microneedling investigated

A series of needlestick injuries associated with needle microdermabrasion, or microneedling, are being investigated by PHE (Public Health England). Microneedling is a cosmetic procedure that, in recent years, has become widely available in beauty salons and cosmetic surgery premises throughout the UK. 

Use of microneedling systems can result in bleeding and generation of serous fluid at the site where the device is applied. As such, there is a risk of transmission of blood borne viruses (hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, and HIV) to staff members should needlestick injuries occur, or to clients through cross contamination. 

 Between March and May 2016, three staff members working in beauty salons in the North West of England experienced needlestick injuries while providing needle microdermabrasion. All exposed individuals were using the same needle microdermabrasion device. Needlestick injuries occurred during the process of disassembling the device after use on clients. All three exposed individuals subsequently tested negative for blood borne viruses. 

 As part of the investigation, PHE is working with Environmental Health Officers, and the device manufacturer, to recommend design modifications to reduce the risk of needlestick injury and cross-contamination, and to support development of improved training and infection control guidance for providers offering needle microdermabrasion.