Microneedling for Acne Scars - Derma Roller Acne Scars
Microneedling effectively reduces the appearance of acne scars. By creating micro trauma in the area it inducts the body’s own natural wound healing cycle. This produces collegenease an enzyme that breaks down the old damaged collagen and allows a new smooth layer of collagen to develop in its place.
Acne Scarring can take several forms. Many people suffer from multiple small ice pick scars while others may develop larger more isolated scars. Hypotrophic scars or sunken scars are more common but scars can also be raised (hypertrophic scars) in some cases.
Micro needling also called dermarolling or skin needling employs tiny micro needles which pass over the skin causing tiny punctures. These holes activate the body's own natural wound healing process.
As part of this process a group of enzymes are deployed to break up any old damaged collagen. They naturally identify the scar tissue, which is simply misaligned collagen fibres, and start breaking it down. As they do this they create a new smooth layer of skin to replace it.
It is important to note that micro-needling can benefit both raised and depressed scars. It can also cover a large area of skin very quickly which is very effective against the pock marked depressions common in acne scarring.
Does Skin Needling help Acne Scars?
Several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of derma rollers on scars. One study showed that of 37 people treated, 34 showed a 1-2 grade improvement in the appearance of their scars (1). A second study showed an 80% improvement in the scars appearance after 3 treatment sessions (2).
This research had been backed up by literally thousands of testimonials from people around the world who have benefited from micro needling for acne scars results.
Microneedling Depth for Acne scars
Research has shown that collagen induction can only take place up to 0.6mm into the skin (3). When dealing with scarring the micro needles need to be slightly longer to account for the thickness of the scars. A 1.0mm derma roller is usually the best length to pass through the acne scars and initiate the new health collagen production below it.
Derma Roller Length for Acne Scars
The best derma roller needle length for acne scars is the 1.0mm. This is because acne scars are usually not very thick and are often depressed. Longer micro needles of 1.5 or 2.0mm can be used on thicker scars such as burn scars, but should only be used in a clinical environment.
There has been a lot of debate on the best microneedling size for acne scars over the years. As shown above collagen induction only takes place up to 0.6mm into the skin. However practitioners have argued about how much longer the needles need to be to pass through the scar tissue.
Feedback from both clinics and home users show the 1 mm is the best derma roller needle size for acne scars. They cover the surface area well and effectively reduce the appearance of acne scars.
In initial trials of microneedling 3.0mm rollers were actually used. These were effective but caused massive tissue damage. They could only be used in hospital settings due to the amount of blood and trauma involved.
Thankfully we now know much tiny needle sizes are effective and more people can benefit from these treatments both at home and in clinic.
How Many Sessions of Microneedling for Acne Scars?
6 is the ideal number of sessions of microneedling to assist acne scars. Treatments should be spaced at least 2 weeks apart to allow the skin to heal between treatments. This is based on using a 1.0mm dermaroller. If using longer micro needles more time must be allowed between treatments.
The answer then to how many microneedling sessions for acne scars is dependent on needle length. As 1.0mm is the preferred micro needle length it is best to stick to 6 treatments over 12 weeks.
Under no circumstances follow advice from Ebay or other 'reputable' micro needling sources and use a derma roller every day as part of your skincare routine!
Is Microneedling for Acne Scars Permanent?
Yes once the old misaligned collagen fibres (scar tissue) have been broken down by the wound healing cascade they do not return. A new smooth layer of collagen is created by the body in its place. This dramatically reduces the appearance of acne scars.
Microneedling is a very natural therapy as it simply initiates the body's own natural healing mechanisms. Once they have been initiated and transformed the scar, then it will not return.
Skin Needling for Acne Scars at Home
This is best performed with a 1.0 mm derma roller. This length is effective at reducing the scar tissue without the risks of longer micro needles. Micro needling at home should be performed once every 2 weeks for 12 weeks. A further group of sessions can then be performed if required.
Microneedling for acne scars at home can be performed by most people. If however you are at all nervous about home derma rollers or prefer assistance then it may be better to consult a trained practitioner to assist you with your treatment.
Microneedling for Back Acne Scars
Acne scars on the back can be treated exactly the same as facial acne scars. Use a 1.0mm dermaroller and roll across the entire area crossing each point at least 15 times. Session should be spaced 2 weeks apart for 12 weeks.
A second round of treatment can then be introduced a month or so later if required.
Which Derma Roller is Best for Acne Scars?
A variety of different types of derma rollers now exist on the market. Some use titanium needles whole the most common is stainless steel microneedles. A more recent addition is the development of micro needles made from bio compatible polymers. These hypoallergenic derma rollers are ideal for assisting acne prone sensitive skin.
Hypoallergenic derma rollers have several advantages over metal microneedle rollers. The lack of metal means the skin is far less likely to react. They are also the only option for people suffering the increasingly common nickel allergies. Finally the polymer is formed in one mould so needles can never fall out unlike most stainless steel roller heads.
This text should have fully answered the question is microneedling effective for acne scars. However if you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact our expert team for further advice. Listed below are some further learning resources to assist you on your microneedling journey.
- Majid, I.(2009). Micro needling Therapy in Atrophic Facial Scars: An Objective Assessment. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. Jan–Jun 2(1), 26–30.
- Aust, M. C., et al. (2010). Percutaneous collagen induction therapy: an alternative treatment for burn scars. Burns. Sep 36(6), 836-43.
- Schwartz et al, 2006, internet paper. Abstract reflections about COLLAGEN-INDUCTION-THERAPY (CIT) A Hypothesis for the Mechanism of Action of Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) using Micro-Needles; 1st edition February 2006.