In a study of Canadian acne patients, 87% reported having scarring and 90% reported having pigmentation changes due to their blemishes. Luckily if you’re one of the victims of acne scars, you may not have to deal with it forever. Microneedling for acne scarring can give you smooth skin.
Read on to learn about how this procedure works.
Acne scars occur when acne blemishes become inflamed. When the acne pore swells, the walls of the pore break down. The skin attempts to repair these issues by creating new collagen fibers.
These skin scars form in two different ways. When tissue loss occurs, it can leave behind an indentation on the skin surface known as a depressed scar. If your skin produces too much collagen, you’ll get a raised scar.
Experts have also grouped the two categories of acne scars further. They have named these categories based on their shapes.
Boxcar scars appear as wide, box-like shapes that have sharply defined edges. They usually form on areas of thick skin such as the jaw and lower cheeks.
Ice-pick scars look as though the victim has been pricked with icepicks. They’re small holes that point down into the skin. You can find them most often on the cheeks.
Rolling scars make the skin look like waves. They have sloping edges and tend to vary in their depths.
Size is the main difference between keloid and hypertrophic scars. Hypertrophic scars remain roughly the same sizes as the original blemishes and keloid scars become bigger. You can find both types of scars on the back, chest, jawline, and shoulders.
Microneedling can treat more than acne scars alone. The process can also treat post-inflammatory erythema (PIE) and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Some people may assume that PIE and PIH are acne scars, but this isn’t the case.
Post-inflammatory erythema (PIE) appears as red or pink patches on the skin. PIE usually appears after acne with inflamed papules and/or pustules.
Hyperpigmentation refers to darker patches of skin that appear after excess melanin production. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation mostly occurs after acne appears on the skin. These patches can affect a wide variety of skin tones, but it affects darker skin tones more often.
Microneedling involves a technician puncturing your skin with tiny needles. He or she will usually do this with a specific device with fixed needles. A 12-pin cartridge is often the most commonly used device.
This device will create micro-injuries. They should tell your skin to create new collagen and bring nutrients to the area in the process of healing those injuries. The process can make lines, wrinkles, stretch marks, and acne scars appear less visible.
Your technician should apply a numbing cream before the procedure. You’ll end up feeling little to no pain as a result. In fact, oftentimes clients doze off.
The results of microneedling are permanent once healed. Your body continues improving and the final results can take up to 6 months. The effectiveness of microneedling can vary from individual to individual and based on the conditions. Some see a great difference after one session, but generally, it requires multiple sessions.
You should avoid getting a microneedling treatment if you are pregnant or recently on a prescription for acne treatment. Make sure to consult your technician and make certain that microneedling is for you particularly if you are prone to keloid scarring, or suffer from eczema or rosacea, or other medical conditions.
Since microneedling involves controlled injuries, many clients experience mild redness, and swelling after the procedures, which typically lasts 1-3 days and flaking of the skin after 2-3 days. However, these issues should clear up within a few days.
Occasionally clients may experience breakouts. This is because the skin is detoxicating, the process called purging. Once your skin is detoxed, it will clear up.
Try to avoid direct sun exposure without sunscreen for at least 14 days (you should always use sunscreen properly every day!) and drink plenty of water during the hours before your appointment. Stop using active ingredients like retinol, AHAs and BHAs 5-7 days before.
If you have taken medical treatments for acne either topical or oral, consult with your technician before booking your microneedling appointment. Since microneedling is an advanced skincare treatment, prepare your skin to be in good condition for a month.
Avoid exercise and direct sun exposure during the days after your appointment. Clean the surfaces which touch your treated skin, such as bed linens, eyeglasses, and mobile phones. Arrange your schedule accordingly.
You should book your microneedling appointment later in the day and stay indoors with curtains and blinds drawn the following day as you are not to apply any skincare products or makeup for 24 hours. Avoid active ingredients such as retinol, AHAs, BHAs, and Vitamin C for 5 days. This help minimize the complications.
Sometimes people mistakingly use the terms “microneedling” and “skin needling” interchangeably. The concept of these procedures is the same but there are key differences between them.
Each one has its pros and cons. You’ll likely find that using both procedures gives you the most thorough treatment for acne scars.
A technician who performs skin needling will use a tattoo device. The needle configuration on this device is very flexible.
Skin needling works better when used to correct smaller spots like the ones inside acne scars. The heads of the needles on a microneedling device are too large to enter scars. However, microneedling can cover large areas much faster than skin needling can.
Skin needling can work nicely with boxcar acne scars. It can work fine with ice-pick scars as long as their bottoms are visible. Skin needling may not be the best solution for rolling scars.
In sum, microneedling for acne scarring shouldn’t hurt and has mild downtime. The results are permanent but it may require multiple sessions. As long as you follow the technician’s recommendations and take care of your skin before and after, you should see great results.
If you want to improve your acne scars in New Westminster, BC, near Vancouver, we at the Vita Felice Medi Spa can provide both microneedling and skin needling treatments. We also offer sugaring hair removal, cosmetic tattoo, tattoo removal, and more. Contact us now by filling out the form on this page to get started.