Microneedling is today’s popular procedure done by dermatologists or skincare specialists to treat various skincare concerns such as scars and wrinkles. It may also work against acne scars, with positive results in clinical studies.
As acne can be frustrating enough, it can sometimes make us deal with unwanted scars left behind as remnants of pimples. Acne scars possibly develop from cystic acne or from picking at your skin. Comparable to other scar types, these acne scars can persist for months or even years. When all else fails in trying over-the-counter products and getting no positive results, considering microneedling to eliminate your acne scars might be the best way to go. Now, let’s learn about microneedling and how effective and safe this procedure is against acne scars.
What is Microneedling?
Microneedling is a well-known skin procedure that utilizes a handheld device to prick the skin using tiny needles, sterilized to prevent infections. Sounding counterproductive against scars, skin pricking isn’t contrary to popular belief. This action contributes to the stimulation of collagen production, which potentially helps new tissue grow and heal. Aside from battling acne scars and unwanted effects, microneedling can also be great for wrinkles, fine lines, and even enlarged pores. This procedure is becoming relatively more popular than other methods because of its safety, effectiveness, and cost. Microneedling is also commonly called through its alternate names: skin needling, collagen induction therapy or CIT, and percutaneous collagen induction or PCI.
Microneedling Against Acne Scares – How Does It Work?
In eliminating acne scars, microneedling works by penetrating the skin’s top layer using tiny needles, which also induces increased production of collagen, creating micro-wounds as it goes. Excessive collagen works as ‘fillers’ in smoothening out your skin around scars, helping improve our overall appearance, not only for our skin.
As it is deemed safe and effective among treatments, microneedling is designed for acne scars and other issues and conditions of the skin. This treatment touts to promise:
- Clear Results
- Limited to no side effects
- Speedy and seamless recovery time
Most clinical studies on microneedling have also positively cited this skin treatment as one of the great alternatives for larger, more invasive procedures such as laser resurfacing and chemical peels.
How Effective is Microneedling for Acne Scars?
As its name suggests, microneedling utilizes tiny and fine needles to prick your skin. While the skin-pricking process commences, our skin starts producing more collagen to heal these minor wounds created by the fine needles pricking the skin.
The ongoing theory states that new collagen formed through microneedling helps smoothen out the appearance of our skin. It also helps fill in unwanted wrinkles, fine lines, and scars. With that said, microneedling may be used for:
- acne scars
- burn scars
- hair loss
- large pores
- sagging skin
- stretch marks
- sun damage
- surgical scars
The American Academy of Dermatology stated that microneedling is a procedure that works best for depressed acne scars and not for the raised ones. This fact had something to do with the effects related to collagen induction. If we raised acne scars, we already have excess collagen in that area. Other studies have also indicated that these effects experienced from microneedling against acne scars are even better when these treatments get partnered with PRP or Vitamin C.
Compared to other minimally invasive treatments for skin correction like laser therapy, microneedling is considered very safe when used for darker skin tones. This proven fact is actual because this procedure doesn’t damage or remove the skin’s outer layer. In addition, microneedling is also deemed safe for thin and sensitive skin.
Preparing for Your Microneedling Procedure
Following these few steps can be helpful for your upcoming microneedling appointment. Take these tips beforehand to prepare you for this skin treatment:
- Limit, if not stop, all your alcohol intake. In the week leading up to your appointment, try to avoid anything that can delay your eventual healing.
- Twenty-four (24) hours before your scheduled appointment, do not get exposed to the sun exposure long or excessively.
- Clean your face and make it bare (meaning do not apply make-up) before going to the clinic.
Dermatologists will give you such details while you have your initial consultation leading up to your appointment. The microneedling procedure usually takes around 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the area being treated. Although you will feel discomfort, your dermatologist will start applying a numbing agent before proceeding with your treatment.
Possible Side Effects of Microneedling
Initially, minor side effects are pretty typical after undergoing the procedure of microneedling. Such after-effects may include but are not limited to:
However, these side effects listed or any other rare ones you might experience personally should clear up after a couple of days. If these instances persist, call your doctor or healthcare provider immediately.
- Avoid direct exposure to the sun and rigorous exercise after your treatment.
- Avoid exfoliants and alcohol-based products for the skin because they can worsen any side effects.
- Avoid picking at your skin for possible acne breakouts after microneedling because it can lead to further scarring.
- Tanning can also irritate your skin, making any case of inflammation worse.
- Drink plenty of water the day before, during the hours leading up, and after you’ve had your appointment since this step can also help reduce any chances of inflammation and bruising.
- Come to your microneedling appointment wearing no make-up or any creams and lotions.
Compared to other skin therapies that are a bit more invasive, microneedling is quick and efficient. Most of those who experience it choose to rest a day and then go back to work right away, depending on if they have side effects and how severe these after-effects are. Apply a lightweight powder if you want to hide any bruises or redness.
- Dermatologists may not recommend microneedling against your acne scars if you’re experiencing acne breakouts.
- Additionally, it’s also not recommended for those who have rosacea or eczema since the procedure can potentially worsen symptoms.
- Talk to your doctor if you get scared easily, as microneedling potentially creates additional scars on top of the ones already present because of acne.
- Lastly, it is not recommended to have microneedling if you’re pregnant or have recently had skin radiation.
Takeaways on Microneedling
Microneedling can help lessen the improvement of acne scars faster than you think. Some anti-aging creams and serums can only go so far in improving scars inflicted on your face. But these options may not eliminate them. In addition to that, effects from these alternatives will wear off once you stop using these products. Talk to your dermatologist to determine whether or not microneedling should be your next step. Before settling on this treatment, weigh all options available to you, then choose the safest and most affordable approach while also considering the results you want to achieve.
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