Microneedling is a popular procedure in the skin care world because it can be used to fix a range of skin problems. The procedure can be used to address wrinkles, fine lines, loose skin, age spots, dull skin, and much more. Lets answer the question, does microneedling improve acne scars?
Understanding acne scars
Acne scars usually turn up after an attack of acne that affects the deep layers of the skin. The scars form when the body tries to recover from the damage to the skin. In response to the injury, the skin produces high concentrations of a fibrous protein known as collagen. This over production of collagen leads to the formation of scars, as the collagen is formed in an abnormal pattern. There are various types of acne scars, but they are generally categorized as raised or deeply pitted.
What is microneedling?
Microneedling, or collagen induction therapy (CIT), is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure in which very tiny needles are used to create microscopic punctures in the skin for the purpose of rejuvenation.
Microneedling is an outpatient procedure that takes about 30 minutes to complete, but this may vary depending on the size of the area being treated. There is generally no downtime after microneedling, but there may be some mild swelling that takes about 48 hours to resolve.
Does microneedling improve acne scars?
Yes, microneedling can improve acne scars. There have been several published studies that have confirmed that microneedling can reduce the appearance of post-acne scars, particularly boxcar and rolling scars.
How microneedling improves acne scars
The skin is cleaned at the start of treatment, and a topical numbing cream applied to minimize any discomfort. The hand-held microneedling device is rolled across the skin and the needles pierce the top layers, creating micro-wounds. This controlled injury activates the skin’s natural healing process which increases cell turnover and breaks up the scar tissue.
Microneedling also stimulates collagen production. Collagen is an important framework beneath the skin that keeps it strong and plump. The additional collagen fills in and smooths the texture of the skin.
The controlled injury of the microneedling device results in a flat collagen network that makes the skin smoother and tighter over the following months. This will improve the texture of the skin, and reduce the appearance of acne scars.
It typically requires a series of 4-6 treatments to see the desired improvement. The number of sessions needed will vary depending on the severity of the scarring. Treatments are usually spaced about 1 month apart to give the skin enough time to recover.
Microneedling is safe for all skin types including sensitive skin. It is an excellent treatment option for individuals with darker skin tone that may be more sensitive to laser therapy.
Microneedling and PRP for acne scars
Microneedling is sometimes combined with platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy, to achieve even better results in clearing acne scars. PRP is derived from the patient’s own blood and contains growth factors that help to heal injuries to the skin to accelerate the recovery process after microneedling.
PRP therapy involves drawing the patient’s own blood and then processing it in a centrifuge, to separate the plasma from the red blood cells. The PRP is applied to the skin immediately after the microneedling session, and is inserted via the micro channels created during the microneedling procedure. These pathways allow the PRP to penetrate down to the deep layers of the skin.
Combining PRP with microneedling is a great way to maximize the results of acne scar treatment.