If you’re looking for an effective treatment for hypertrophic acne scars, microneedling may be a good option. This procedure involves using a device with tiny needles to make small punctures in the skin. While the side effects of microneedling can be minor, it’s essential to understand the costs and potential effectiveness before you decide if this treatment is proper for you.
What is Microneedling for Acne Scars?
Microneedling is an aesthetic procedure involving tiny needles puncturing the skin to create minor injuries that encourage excess collagen stimulation. Common names include Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT), Percutaneous Collagen Induction (PCI), and skin needling. Collagen formation helps fill in depressed areas of the skin caused by scarring, making it look smoother and more even-toned. It can also help reduce discoloration from acne scars and improve texture.
How Does It Work?
The way microneedling works is simple: When tiny needles penetrate your skin, they damage existing collagen fibers and stimulate new ones to form in their place. In addition, this trauma prompts your body to release growth factors that further increase cell regeneration and new collagen production. People prone to keloid scarring may not be a good candidate for this treatment. As a result of these processes combined, your skin will start to look healthier and smoother over time with each treatment session.
Types of Microneedling Treatments Available
One type of microneedling commonly used for treating acne scars is derma rolling through derma roller. This treatment involves moving a handheld device covered with tiny needles over your face to create micro-injuries in your skin that stimulate new collagen production and healing.
Another type of microneedling treatment is fractional laser resurfacing for skin rejuvenation, which uses lasers instead of needles to create microinjuries in your skin that promote healing and collagen production. Both these treatments are effective ways to reduce the appearance of acne scars with minimal downtime or risk of side effects.
Causes of Depressed Acne Scars
A combination of factors causes acne scarring. The first factor is inflammation in the skin due to excess sebum production and clogged pores. This leads to increased irritation, which can cause a breakout or an existing pimple to become more inflamed. When the cystic acne blemish heals, it can leave behind a scar formation on the skin’s surface. This scar tissue results from collagen being destroyed during the healing process, resulting in an indentation in the skin where the pimple once was. Sometimes, the overproduction of collagen can lead to keloid scarring.
The other factor contributing to acne scarring is picking at or popping acne breakouts before the skin heals correctly. When you pop a spot, you can spread bacteria and infection, leading to further inflammation and potentially leaving behind deeper scars than if you had just left it alone.
How Do I Prepare for a Microneedling Session?
Consult Your Dermatologist or Esthetician
While microneedling is generally safe, it’s best to consult your dermatologist or esthetician before treatment. This will ensure that you are an ideal candidate and allow you to discuss any questions or concerns about the procedure. Additionally, your doctor can help you determine which type of microneedling device will most benefit your particular needs.
Discontinue Certain Medications and Supplements
Certain medications and supplements can increase the risk of bruising and bleeding during a microneedling session, so it’s important to stop taking them at least two weeks prior. These include blood thinners such as aspirin, ibuprofen, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E supplements, St. John’s Wort, ginkgo Biloba and others. Check with your doctor before discontinuing any medication or supplement routine.
For microneedling to be effective, your skin must be in optimal condition before treatment. Exfoliating using gentle products such as glycolic acid or lactic acid cleansers can help remove dead skin cells from your skin’s surface and ensure that all enlarged pores are open in preparation for treatment.
Is Microneedling Permanent for Acne Scars?
Although microneedling isn’t a permanent solution for acne scars—it usually requires multiple treatments over several months—it does offer long-lasting results that can last up to two years if appropriately maintained with follow-up treatments every 6-12 months or so.
Additionally, it can help improve texture irregularities and tone discoloration caused by old acne scars without any downtime or side effects associated with other invasive treatments like laser resurfacing or chemical peels.
How Much Does Microneedling Cost?
The cost of microneedling will vary depending on the area being treated and the number of treatments needed to achieve desired results. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from $200-$600 per treatment session. The cost may also depend on where you live – prices tend to be higher in larger cities. Although dermatologists perform microneedling, it isn’t covered by insurance since it is considered aesthetic treatment, not medically necessary.
How Effective Is Microneedling as an Acne Scarring Treatment?
Microneedling has been proven to be effective at reducing the appearance of severe acne scarring. Studies suggest that it can improve skin texture, reduce pore size, and fade hyperpigmentation associated with active acne scarring. However, results vary from person to person, and multiple treatments may be necessary to achieve optimal results.
Are There Any Side Effects Associated With Microneedling?
As with any medical procedure, there are potential side effects associated with microneedling. These include redness and swelling around the treated area(s), bruising at the site of needle insertion, temporary lightening or darkening of skin tone in the treated area(s), and infection if proper sanitation procedures are not followed during treatment sessions.
Additionally, some people may experience an allergic reaction or irritation from certain topical products used before or after their session(s). Therefore, discussing potential risks or possible side effects with your doctor before treatment is essential.
What Should I Expect After Microneedling?
Immediately following your treatment, you may experience some redness and swelling around the treated area. This is normal and should subside within a few hours.
Your skin may also be sensitive for a few days after the procedure, so it’s essential to take extra care of your skin during this time. Avoid touching or rubbing the treatment area, and wear sunscreen if you plan on being outside for an extended period.
Post-Treatment Care Tips
Once the initial redness has subsided, your next steps will involve caring for your skin on an ongoing basis to ensure optimal results from your microneedling treatment. Here are some tips for post-treatment care:
• Cleanse twice daily – Use a gentle cleanser that won’t remove too much moisture from your skin. Cleansing twice daily can help keep bacteria away while providing light hydration without clogging pores.
• Wear sunscreen – Sunscreen is essential when protecting your newly treated skin from excessive sun exposure and premature skin aging caused by UV exposure. Look for a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher that is appropriate for sensitive skin types like yours.
• Keep up with regular treatments – To achieve long-lasting results with microneedling or skin needling, it’s important to get common treatments every 3-4 months depending on how quickly your body regenerates cells and produces collagen (which depends on factors like age). Talk with your healthcare provider about how often you should schedule treatments moving forward.
How Many Microneedling Sessions Are Required for Acne Scars?
The number of microneedling treatment sessions required to treat skin from acne scars depends on various factors, such as skin type and severity of scarring. Generally speaking, most people require between 4 and 6 sessions spaced 4-6 weeks apart to see noticeable results. However, some individuals may need more or fewer treatments depending on their needs.
How Microneedling Works for Acne Scars?
Microneedling is a safe and effective way to reduce the appearance of acne scars and other types of scarring, including chickenpox and surgical scars. During this procedure, tiny needles create microinjuries in your skin. This triggers your body’s natural healing response and increases collagen production, which helps fill in the indentations left by acne scarring.
What Are the Treatment Options for Acne Scars?
Laser resurfacing is a popular alternative treatment for reducing the appearance of acne scars. Laser resurfacing uses an ablative laser to remove the top layers of skin tissue and stimulate collagen production in the deeper layers of skin, resulting in a smoother and more even skin tone.
It is important to note that laser treatment can cause side effects such as redness, swelling, and irritation. In addition, it is not recommended for people with darker skin tones as it may cause discoloration or hyperpigmentation.
Chemical peels are another option for treating acne scars. A chemical peel uses a chemical solution to exfoliate the skin and remove damaged layers of skin. This stimulates collagen production in the lower layers of the skin and encourages new cell growth and regeneration.
Chemical peels come in various strengths depending on your individual needs and should be applied by a qualified professional. In addition, chemical peels can cause side effects such as redness and irritation, so it is important to follow all instructions before use.
Dermal fillers can also treat acne scars by filling in depressed facial areas caused by scarring. Dermal fillers are injected directly into the areas where scarring occurs and act as a cushion between scarred and healthy tissue, resulting in smoother-looking skin with fewer visible scars.
Dermal fillers are often temporary solutions, lasting around 6-9 months before needing reapplication, so this should be considered when deciding if dermal fillers are suitable for you.
Subcision is one last treatment option for reducing the appearance of acne scars that involves cutting away fibrous bands which pull down on surrounding tissue, causing depressions or “boxcar” type indentations on the face or body due to scarring from prior breakouts or injury from surgery, etc.
During subcision, a needlelike device is inserted under the skin’s surface, which cuts away these bands, resulting in fewer visible depressions due to scarring over time with repeated use or multiple sessions, depending on the severity and desired outcome(s). Side effects include bruising, swelling, redness, tenderness at injection sites, etc., so you must consult your doctor before undergoing any subcision procedure(s).
Home Treatment Modalities for Acne Scars
Topical Numbing Cream and Ointments
Several types of over-the-counter acne scar treatments are available in cream or ointment form, including retinol creams and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) creams. These creams work by exfoliating the top layer of skin to reveal smoother, clearer skin underneath. However, it’s important to remember that these treatments may not work for everyone; if your scarring is severe, you may need more intensive treatments such as laser therapy or microneedling.
If you prefer natural solutions, there are several at-home remedies you can try to reduce the appearance of your acne scars. For example, aloe vera gel has been known to help heal wounds and reduce inflammation; apply it directly onto your scarring twice daily. Additionally, lemon juice contains citric acid, which helps lighten discoloration caused by hyperpigmentation; mix lemon juice and water and apply directly onto your scarring with a cotton swab or pad twice daily until desired results have been achieved.
Acne scars can significantly impact one’s self-esteem and confidence, but with the right treatments and home remedies, these blemishes can be minimized. Microneedling for acne scars is one of the most popular options, as it offers a gentle alternative to laser resurfacing and chemical peels.
In addition to Microneedling, there are other treatments, such as dermal fillers and subcision, which can also be used to reduce the appearance of acne scars. Lastly, topical ointments, creams, and natural remedies can be used in conjunction with Microneedling or on their own to minimize the appearance of acne scars further.
Regardless of your choice, it’s important to be mindful of the side effects and consult a doctor if necessary. By utilizing Microneedling or other treatments and remedies, you can achieve smoother, clearer skin in no time!
Frequently Asked Questions
How many microneedling sessions does it take to get rid of acne scars?
Most patients require 4 to 6 treatment appointments for full scar reduction. However, between your first appointment and desired results, you will notice an improvement in the texture of scars typically within 6-8 weeks after 1st visit.
How long does it take acne scars to fade after microneedling?
Microneedling is a great way to reduce the depth of your acne scars. It can take up to 9 months, though, so be patient.
Is microneedling worth it for acne scars?
Microneedling is a great way to improve the appearance of your acne scars. A clinical study has shown that people who have experienced success with this treatment often say it’s helped reduce their discomfort from old or formed scarring and even out skin tone in some cases.
Do acne scars come back after microneedling?
Microneedling treatments are a great way to treat acne scars and minimize their appearance in later years. Not only will they never come back, but you may notice that your skin is smoother after this.