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Microneedling for Acne Scars: What You Need to Know

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A woman receiving a microneedling treatment for acne scars from a licensed aesthetician.

Struggling with acne scars can be a frustrating and disheartening experience. While these scars are perfectly normal, if reducing the look of them could make you feel more confident in your own skin, you have options! 

Microneedling has become an increasingly popular treatment for acne scars in recent years, and for good reason. This minimally invasive treatment can help you get smoother, even-looking skin with a reduction in the appearance of acne scars. It uses tiny needles to create controlled micro-injuries on the skin, which can stimulate the body’s natural healing response and promote the production of collagen and elastin.

If you’re considering microneedling, you probably have some questions about how it works and what you can expect from your treatment. We’re here to help guide you through the process. 

Can Microneedling Really Get Rid of Acne Scars?

It’s true—numerous studies have shown that microneedling can be an effective treatment for reducing the appearance of acne scars. So, how exactly does it work?

When microneedling is performed, the micro-injuries created on the skin’s surface trigger the body’s natural healing response, which includes the production of 2 proteins that are essential for healthy, youthful-looking skin: collagen and elastin. As the skin heals, this collagen and elastin production can help reduce the appearance of acne scars, improving the skin’s tone and texture. 

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can also be used in microneedling for acne scarring to promote healing and rejuvenate the skin. 

What Types of Scarring Can Microneedling Treat?

Microneedling tends to work better for depressed or indented acne scars rather than raised scars. This is because the collagen produced can help fill in these indented scars over time. If you have raised acne scars, other treatments, like laser therapy or chemical peels, may be more effective.

Atrophic scars, which are a common type of acne scar caused by a loss of collagen in the skin, can often be improved with microneedling. This is a type of indented scar that can be filled in with collagen production.

Hypertrophic scars and keloid scars, on the other hand, involve an overgrowth of collagen in the skin. Since microneedling can help to stimulate collagen production, it may not be the best treatment option for these types of scars. 

Microneedling can also be effective for treating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), which is not a true scar but refers to dark spots left behind after acne or other inflammatory skin conditions. Since microneedling can improve skin texture and tone, this may help reduce the appearance of PIH.

How Long Does Microneedling Take to Work on Acne Scars?

While some patients may see results within a few days of their initial treatment, others may require multiple sessions to see visible improvement in the appearance of their acne scars. 

Because collagen production takes time, it’s common for patients to continue seeing improvement in their skin for up to 6 months after their initial session. In general, most people require between 3–6 microneedling sessions spaced 4–6 weeks apart to see noticeable improvement.

When you visit us for a consultation, we can develop a customized treatment plan based on your specific goals, and then we can monitor your progress over time to make adjustments as needed. 

An infographic explaining how microneedling for acne scars works including triggering the body's healing response to trigger collagen production.

The Recovery Process for Microneedling

After a microneedling treatment, you may experience some redness and irritation immediately following the procedure. However, most patients report feeling comfortable enough to resume their daily activities on the same day.

Recovery after microneedling is typically minimal, and though you may experience some mild peeling or flaking, it should subside within a few days. It’s important to avoid using too many products on your skin for the first several days after treatment.

What Not to Do After Microneedling

While your skin heals, it’s important to take special care to protect it from further damage. Your technician will likely give you specific aftercare instructions, but in general, it’s best to:

  • Avoid alcohol-based products and exfoliants
  • Use proper sun protection (as your skin will be very sensitive)
  • Avoid activities that may cause excessive sweating
  • Avoid swimming or other activities that could risk an infection

Be sure to adhere to your provider’s specific guidance for more detailed instructions based on your specific skin and treatment.

How Long Do the Results of Microneedling Last?

Each person’s experience can vary. While the initial round of treatments may produce visible improvement that lasts between 3–5 months, results can be extended with regular maintenance treatments spaced several weeks apart. With consistent treatment and proper skin care, microneedling can significantly reduce the appearance of acne scars.

How long the results from microneedling last can vary depending on a variety of factors, including your skin type, age, and lifestyle choices. For example, those who smoke or spend a lot of time in the sun may experience more rapid collagen breakdown, which can make the results of microneedling shorter-lived. 

For positive results, follow your aftercare instructions carefully and talk to your provider for tips on how to keep your skin looking smooth and clear.

Other Benefits of Microneedling

Microneedling has several benefits beyond treating acne scars. The treatment can also help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, even out skin tone, and promote hair growth.

  • Fine lines & wrinkles: Since microneedling stimulates collagen production, this can also help smooth out signs of aging.
  • Skin tone: Collagen production can help improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation and other skin discolouration and leave you with a more even complexion.
  • Hair growth: By stimulating blood flow to the scalp, microneedling can encourage healthy hair growth and improve the overall health of your hair. Several studies have shown that combining microneedling with PRP can improve hair density and thickness. 
A close up of a woman's face with a circle on the right side magnifying the appearance of acne scars.

Fall in Love with Your Skin Again

While microneedling can be an effective treatment for acne scars, it’s not just about the physical results. When you feel good about your skin, it can have a positive impact on every aspect of your life. Our team’s approach to beauty and wellness focuses on helping you feel good from the inside out. 

Whether you’re seeking microneedling for acne scars or other aesthetic treatments, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Schedule a consultation at Iconic Beauty Aesthetics to learn more about our treatments and see what’s right for your skin.

Written by Sarah Noble

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