There are more than three million cases of significant acne in the United States each year. About 20% of the people who experience acne will also experience acne scars, which can take a toll on one’s self-esteem. Fortunately, there are procedures available that can minimize and even eliminate acne scars, and of these, microneedling is gaining the most traction. Here’s how microneedling can help your acne scars so you can look your very best.
What Is Microneedling?
Microneedling, also known in some parts of the world as derma rolling, has quickly become one of the most popular minimally-invasive skincare treatments in the United States. It involves using a specialized tool fitted with tiny needles ranging from 1.5 to 2 millimeters in length to puncture the skin, essentially causing trauma and triggering the body’s natural ability to repair itself. Following patients’ first treatment, their bodies set to work producing natural collagen, which can provide a host of benefits for most women.
What Does Microneedling Treat?
Because microneedling stimulates the production of collagen, it can be used to help a variety of common cosmetic issues. For example, men and women alike who are concerned about the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and who want something more natural than Botox treatments can turn to microneedling. They get noticeable results in one or two treatments; in fact, just two sessions can erase years from an individual’s face. In much the same way, microneedling can also be used to treat scars from injuries – and even significant acne scarring.
The Benefits of Microneedling vs. Laser Therapy
Until recently, the most common procedures for reducing the appearance of acne scars were intense pulsed light (IPL) and lasers like Fraxel. These essentially remove layers of skin to expose healthier, less-scarred layers of skin below, or they may target the lower layers of the skin and stimulate collagen production much like microneedling. However, laser treatments like these carry a high risk of hyperpigmentation in people with darker skin. Microneedling can provide the same (if not better) results without making hyperpigmentation worse. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that microneedling may even help reduce the appearance of existing hyperpigmentation.
Who Is a Candidate for Microneedling?
Microneedling is minimally invasive and carries with it very little risk, so just about anyone is a candidate for this procedure. Whereas age and skin color may enhance certain risks with other procedures, this is not the case when it comes to microneedling. If you have mild, moderate, or even severe acne scars and you are interested in reducing their appearance, schedule a consultation with your plastic surgeon today to learn more about the procedure.
What Can You Expect?
Before the surgeon begins the treatment, he or she will numb your skin with a topical anesthetic to keep you comfortable. Then, over the course of 15 to 30 minutes on average, he or she will utilize a tool containing tiny needles to puncture your skin in the problem areas. You may notice very slight bleeding, and some patients have redness and swelling for the first 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. Your skin will likely feel tight and dry in the following days, and this is all normal. To achieve the desired results, you can have repeat treatments every four to six weeks. Then, once you achieve those results, follow-ups every four to six months can help you maintain them.
Microneedling is one of the most popular procedures available to help treat the appearance of acne scars. Almost anyone is a candidate, even those who have darker skin or hyperpigmentation issues. Though the results can take some time to manifest, most patients notice a significant reduction in the appearance of scars in just one to two treatments.