Is Microneedling Effective for Acne Scars?

by | 26 Aug 2019

Acne scars can seem like double punishment — first you had to deal with frustrating acne breakouts, and then acne scars as an unwanted reminder. However, acne scars do not have to be permanent, and a very effective treatment known as microneedling or collagen induction therapy might just be the answer you’ve been looking for.

How does microneedling with dermarollers get rid of acne scars? Dermarollers have fine needles that prick your skin. Dermarolling works by creating microscopic wounds which induce collagen and elastin production. Compared to conventional treatments, dermarolling is fast, less expensive and has minimal side effects. More so, you will see visible results in just a few weekly or monthly treatments.

How Does Microneedling Work?

Dermarolling or microneedling increases the production of collagen & elastin by causing trauma to the skin.

Collagen is an essential protein that helps keep the skin looking youthful, smooth, firm, and elastic.

Free radicals, inflammation and stress cause ageing and the decline of collagen in the skin, contributing to wrinkles and other signs of ageing.

Loss of collagen in the skin is also caused by injuries, such as acne scarring, stretch marks, or other scars.

It is important to note that dermarolling is not a quick fix, as the skin needs time to heal and renew. It normally takes 30 days to notice a difference and up to 9 months to see the full results of your dermaroller treatment depending on the condition treated.

There are Two Main Types of Acne Scars

Hypertrophic or Keloid Scarring:

These scars are caused when the body produces too much collagen as acne wounds heal, resulting in a mass of raised tissue on the skin’s surface. Microneedling is normally not recommended for this type of scarring.

Atrophic or Depressed Scarring:

These scars develop when there is a loss of tissue. There are four common types of atrophic scarring:

  1. Ice Pick Scars – deep, narrow, pitted scars.
  2. Boxcar Scars – wider depressions with sharply defined edges.
  3. Rolling Acne Scars – broad depressions with a sloping edge.
  4. Hyperpigmentation – dark marks or discoloration after acne heals.

Microneedling is very effective for atrophic acne scars as it helps to rebuild and smooth out the skin with newly formed collagen.

DermaRoller Needle Lengths for Acne Scars

When it comes to treating acne scars with a dermaroller, choosing an accurate needle length is crucial to getting great results.  For light acne scars you’ll want a 1mm dermaroller (performed every 2 weeks)moderate acne scars a 1.5mm (performed every 4 weeks), and for severe acne scars a 2mm dermaroller (performed every 6 weeks).

How Long Does Skin Renewal Take?

Using a dermaroller too often, will not give you better results. Why? Because the skin needs time to heal. Depending on your age, your skin cells renew every 24 to 80 days. The skin needs time to recover from each dermarolling session to heal and build collagen. The skin renews and build new collagen for about 40 days after dermarolling. Take this into consideration when deciding on how often to use your dermaroller.

How Many Treatments are Needed for Acne Scars?

Dermarolling or microneedling for acne scarring will need at least three treatments. In most cases, six treatments yield the best results. Treatments are ideally three to four weeks apart.

Is Microneedling with DermaRollers Painful?

Whether or not a dermaroller treatment is painful is completely dependent on the length of the needles. Dermaroller needles range from 0.2mm to 3mm. The 0.2mm and 0.3mm’s needles are short so don’t pierce the skin deep enough to hurt, but they also don’t give great results as they cannot stimulate collagen in the skin. The 0.5mm dermaroller is on the pain threshold as some find it tolerable and others painful. Numbing cream is definitely advised for needle lengths 1.0mm and above. Longer needle lengths might also draw pinprick blood spots, but nothing to be frightened off. It shows that you have used the correct rolling pressure.