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If you’ve ever suffered from moderate to severe acne during your life, you are likely to have the acne scars or pockmarks to prove it. Many adolescents and adults will try just about anything to reduce the appearance of acne scarring, from topical treatments to at-home face masks and serums. However, when it comes to skincare treatments that reduce the appearance of acne scars, an expert cosmetic dermatologist, like Dr. Michele Green in NYC, should be your first destination.

Experts throughout the dermatology industry agree that microneedling is one of the best non-invasive methods to reduce the appearance of depressed post-acne scars, commonly referred to as ice pick, rolling and boxcar scars. Microneedling treatment, administered via small handheld devices, uses tiny needles along the surface of the skin to stimulate collagen and elastin production in the skin. Collagen and elastin are responsible for youthful, smooth looking skin, and thus can work to “fill in” depressed acne scars, as well as to get rid of fine lines and stretch marks. Microneedling is safe for all skin types and skin tones and, over time, successfully smooths the skin and reduces the appearance of scars and fine lines with minimal downtime post-treatment. Dr. Green often combines microneedling with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) to achieve the best cosmetic rejuvenation.

If you’re frustrated by the appearance of acne scars, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green in New York is here to help you. Dr. Green is an expert in treating acne, acne scars, laser treatments, microneedling, anti-aging procedures, Botox injections and dermal fillers. With over 25 years of experience in treating patients with acne and acne scars, in her discreet, private office, Dr. Green is consistently voted as one of the best dermatologists in NYC by Castle Connolly, Super Doctors, and New York Magazine. Whether it be the redness from acne scarring, or hyperpigmentation or discoloration from acne breakouts, Dr. Green can help rejuvenate and improve your skin tone and texture, in patients with all skin tones.

What is Microneedling for acne scars?

Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, is a proven method to reduce the appearance of acne scarring, fine lines, and stretch marks. It relies on controlled trauma through the use of fine needles that are pressed into the skin. These needles penetrate through the epidermis in order to stimulate the natural healing process of the skin. In this way, the body is able to produce new collagen and elastin in the body, reducing the appearance of scars and lines on the skin without the need for recovery time, unlike invasive plastic surgery procedures. It’s an innovative method for improving skin conditions on a variety of skin types, and has been proven to actively increase the production collagen types I, III, and VII according to a pivotal study published in the US National Institute of Health (NIH; J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2015 Jul; 8(7): 36–42).

Microneedling devices work through the use of tiny needles that make pin-pricks in the skin. When these fine needles break the skin slightly, the subsequent damage helps to promote new collagen production within the dermis. As the skin heals, new collagen is generated by the body’s own natural processes. When this happens, the pre-treatment damage from acne is reduced and new skin is generated, promoting skin texture rejuvenation. During treatment, numbing cream is typically applied prior to the microneedle treatment, to ensure that any potential discomfort is reduced to a minimum. Microneedling treatment can also be combined with rejuvenating or restorative serum application that is absorbed through micro-channels in the skin, such as Vitamin-C Serum, or other de-pigmentation solutions, for facial hyperpigmentation, as well as with platelet-rich plasma treatment (PRP) for skin rejuvenation.

Does Microneedling help acne scars?

When patients ask “is microneedling good for acne scars,” the answer is yes! Microneedling is often used as an anti-aging skin care treatment but can also be used to help treat certain acne scarring issues. There are several different types of acne scars, including boxcar, rolling, and icepick scars. With acne scarring, as with other dermatologic skin conditions, the specific type of scar will determine the best treatment.

Atrophic acne scars are scars that take the form of depressions or dents in the skin. This type of acne scar results from a loss of collagen within the skin itself. Therefore, to treat this kind of acne scar, we turn to methods to replace this lost collagen. Microneedling is one of the best methods that Dr. Green recommends for this type of acne scarring. Additionally, skin needling is often combined with dermal fillers in order to increase volume within the skin and further reduce the appearance of atrophic acne scars or fine lines. Patient satisfaction for acne scar reduction through microneedling is quite high, as there is no discomfort, negligible downtime, and great  improvement in the skin’s overall complexion with glowing and radiatn results.

microneedling nyc photo video

What is the process for Microneedling?

If you would like to eliminate your acne scars, fine lines, or stretch marks, microneedling treatment could be the best option for you. You will start with a consultation with Dr. Green where the two of you will discuss the best course of treatment as well as your aesthetic goals. During the consultation, it is important to disclose if you have active acne outbreaks, experience rosacea or eczema, or are any other medical conditions. Dr. Green will review all past medical and cosmetic history and determine if microndeedling is the best course of treatment for you.

When you arrive for your appointment, the microneedling itself will only take about 15 minutes. You will be prescribed a topical numbing cream to apply at home to the treatment area, one hour before your scheduled appointment, to minimize any potential discomfort. The microneedling is done using a small, hand-held device with small needles that sweep over the selected areas of your skin. It is these small pinpricks which encourage the production of collagen, and improves the appearance of your acne scarring. Following the microneedling, Dr. Green may apply a solution such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or Vitamin-C serum to further stimulate the recovery process. Microneedling can also be combined with other treatments such as dermal fillers, which helps to create more volume in the face and reduce the appearance of fine lines. Alternatively, Dr. Green may alternative treatment with radiofrequency lasers, such as Vivace or eMatrix lasers, to treat your acne scarring. This unique combination approach, developed by Dr. Green, will help improve the elasticity and firmness of your skin.

What is the aftercare for Microneedling?

Microneedling is a very safe, non-invasive procedure and as a result there is no downtime necessary following the treatment. The lack of down time is just one reason why so many patients are drawn to microneedling over other more invasive procedures. Because there is no recovery time needed after the procedure, patients can immediately return to their regularly scheduled activities. The day of the treatment, you may experience some redness and irritation on the skin that should go away within a day or two. The risk of any side effects other than slight irritation to the skin is minimal. The pricks created by microneedling are small and will close soon after the procedure, so the risk of infection is extremely low.

It is very important to note, however, that your skin will be very sensitive to the sun following the microneedling treatment. Dr. Green strongly recommends that you are careful to limit sun exposure and be sure to where sunscreen when you do go outside. In addition, it is important to discontinue any retinoids, retinols, alpha hydroxy acid creams, or any exfoliating products for one week after microneedling. Regular use of a gentle cleanser, Vitamin C serum, moisturizer, and sunblock, will allow the skin to heal and promote your facial rejuvenation.

How soon will I see results?

After the microneedling treatment, you may start to see some improvements right away though for the most part, the collagen production and healing process occurs gradually. You will see more improvements in the weeks after the microneedling and even more so after each follow up session. Dr. Green generally recommends at least three microneedling sessions spaced one month apart, with maintenance sessions scheduled every six months to have the best cosmetic results. For deeper acne scars, more treatment sessions may be indicated and may be done in conjunction with other cosmetic treatments such as chemical peels, dermal fillers, or laser rejuvenation.

How many sessions of Microneedling do I need for acne scars?

The answer to how many microneedling sessions for acne scars are needed varies depending on the severity and size of the acne scars being treated. In general, the microneedling approach is designed to reduce the skin’s natural “memory” of scarring, and in turn rejuvenate the skin without creating any scar formation or tissue damage. The ability to rewire this “memory” process also helps microneedling to treat age spots, melasma, and mild hyperpigmentation. In order to fully refresh the skin’s surface, this process does typically require several microneedling sessions. Typically, Dr. Green will recommend six microneedling sessions to reduce the appearance of acne scarring, but of course this varies depending on the skin condition of each individual patient. When you first meet with Dr. Green for a consultation, the two of you will work together to determine the treatment schedule that is right for you.

Which skin types are best for Microneedling acne scars?

Microneedling is an effective acne scar treatment for all skin types and tones. It relies on the body’s ability to create new collagen in order to heal pre-existing scars, so skin type does not change the success of the treatment. However, the type of acne scar and amount of inflammation is an important factor when determining if microneedling is right for you. If you have active breakouts, experience rosacea or eczema, or are currently pregnant, microneedling is unlikely to work for you.

How often should you have Microneedling for acne scars?

You should be able to safely undergo microneedling for acne scarring once every 4-6 weeks. You will need to wait at least four weeks to ensure that the new collagen regrowth has time to be effective. You may also require a few microneedling treatment sessions for the best results, depending on how bad your acne scars are prior to treatment. On average, Dr. Green recommends 4 to 6 treatments to ensure the desirable results. Dr. Green will work with you to determine an optimal treatment schedule for you, depending on your particular needs.

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Before & After photo of patient with PRP, V-beam and Microneedling treatment

How effective is Microneedling for acne scars?

If you’re doubtful in regards to how microneedling work for acne scars, be assured: microneedling is an effective treatment in reducing the appearance of unsightly acne scarring. In a study from the NIH, patients who received five microneedling treatments to treat moderate acne scars experienced improved skin health, measurable scar reduction and, in some cases, a near-complete disappearance of acne scarring. Patients often combine traditional microneedling with vitamin C micro-channel infusion or PRP to maximize the effectiveness of this restorative treatment.

Further, when Dr. Green combines microneedling  with other cosmetic treatments such as Vivace radiofrequency or eMatrix laser, the benefits of microneedling can be even further enhanced. Radiofrequency energy can be used to improve the elasticity and firmness of the skin. In addition, these complementary laser treatments will stimulate new collagen proaction and improve both the tone and texture of the skin. These laser treatments are safe and effective in patients of all skin types, including type 4 and 5 skin. With a skilled, board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Michele Green in New York, microneedling treatments can be absolutely transformative.

Do acne scars come back after Microneedling?

Microneedling is designed to apply controlled trauma to the skin in order to induce the dermis’s natural healing processs. This means that, during microneedling, new collagen fibres are formed, which results in firmer, smoother and stronger skin. This means that the scars that were improved through microneedling should not return.

It’s important to note that microneedling is not the best acne scar treatment for everyone. For example, if you have active acne and are still susceptible to acne breakouts and pimples, this should be addressed prior to a microneedling session. If you are still suffering from acne there are a range of dermatology treatments that can help with this, too. Be sure to disclose this information during your consultation with Dr. Green and she will help make a determination about the treatment that will best serve your needs.

Can Microneedling make acne scars worse?

Many patients worry that the trauma caused to the skin during microneedling procedures can make acne scars worse. Thankfully, properly administered microneedling will not worsen the appearance of acne scars. The effect of microneedling treatment on the skin activates the skin’s natural healing processes, and therefore is an excellent way to heal and restore skin that has atrophic acne scarring.

For those who have inflamed skin or other types of acne scars, other cosmetic skincare treatments may be more effective, but worsening the appearance of acne scars is not a concern when working with an expert in microneedling treatment, such as Dr. Green. However, taking care of skin post-treatment is a crucial part of microneedling for acne scars. Patients must be very cautious when it comes to sun exposure during a microneedling treatment plan, as the skin will be highly sensitive in between sessions. Dr. Green recommends hyaluronic acid serum daily, along with an SPF 50 sunscreen, in order to avoid any irritation or sun damage both in between and post treatment.

Does Microneedling permanently remove acne scars?

When patients ask, does microneedling permanently remove acne scars, the answer is yes! Due to its ability to kickstart collagen production in the skin, microneedling treatment is extremely effective at permanently reducing or eliminating the appearance of atrophic acne scars. Microneedling allows the body’s natural healing processes to lead, which both breaks up the damaged skin due to acne scarring and restores elasticity and volume to the skin. The majority of patients experience drastic changes to the appearance of their acne scars that permanently improve the look and feel of their skin.

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How much is Microneedling in NYC?

The cost of microneedling is dependent upon the skin condition and aesthetic goals of each individual patient, and varies depending upon the size of the treatment area, the expertise of your dermatologist, and the number of sessions needed to clear away acne scarring. The average cost of microneedling is approximately $600 per session with an experienced dermatologist. If Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) or a depigmentation solution is incorporated into microneedling, the procedure has an increased cost. The effect of microneedling treatment on acne scars  is permanent, and is therefore an excellent alternative to more expensive and invasive acne scar removal procedures. Additionally, the risk of potential side effects is greatly reduced when you work with an expert dermatologist, such as Dr. Green, for your microneedling treatment.

How much is Microneedling for acne scars?

Much like any microneedling treatments, the cost of microneedling for acne scars ranges depending on the total area needed for treatment, whether it is on the face and back, the severity of the scarring, as well as the number of treatments necessary. Dr. Green’s office will be able to provide you with a cost estimate, taking into account your unique condition and aesthetic goals to determine the treatment plan that is right for you.

microneedling oxygen facial

Which treatment is best for acne scarring?

Treating acne scarring can take a while, but the good news is that there are a lot of procedures that can be used to effectively treat acne scars. Along with microneedling, there are a range of treatment options that are suitable for acne scarring. Because acne can present itself in a range of different forms, and every individual is unique, there is no singular “best” treatment. Instead, there are a range of different ways to tackle acne scarring, including microneedling, PRP microneedling, laser treatment, and chemical peels. You can find out more about the types of acne scar treatments that are available by visiting our main acne section. During your initial consultation, Dr. Green will recommend the optimal treatment in your own individual case.

What are the causes of acne scars?

Acne is a common condition that occurs as a result of clogged pores and inflamed sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are the glands that secrete sebum, which keep the skin healthy and moisturized. However, when the sebaceous glands become inflamed, the bacteria inside the glands multiply quickly and create inflammation in the skin, which we call acne. Acne scars are caused when the inflamed acne breakout is filled with excess oil, dead skin cells, bacteria, and sebum and the skin tissue is damaged.

Acne scarring can range in size from surface area damage to deep damage to the skin tissue. For deeper scarring and delicate skin, it can be impossible for the skin to completely repair itself on its own since there is not enough collagen in the skin to fix the damage. This lack of collagen results in an atrophic scar, which is when the skin is depressed. The risk of developing acne scarring if you suffer from acne breakouts is relatively high. Within the approximately 50 million people who have suffered from acne at some point in their lives, about 40% reported developing acne scarring.

What are the different types of acne scars?

There are two main types of acne scars: atrophic scars and hypertrophic scars. The two types of acne differ in whether the damaged skin appears raised or depressed. Hypertrophic scars create a raised appearance of the affected area as a result of too much collagen being produced. Hypertrophic acne scars are actually larger in surface area than the acne breakouts which caused them. The second type of scarring that can occur is atrophic acne scars. Atrophic acne scars create a depressed appearance of the affected area of the skin as a result of a loss of collagen or the inability to create enough collagen as the breakout heals. Atrophic acne scars typically result from acne pustules or cystic acne, both of which are types of acne that are inflamed and infected with bacteria. When the infected pus covers the skin, it can prevent the skin from being able to properly heal itself. Microneedling is a treatment best used for atrophic acne scars.

What are the different treatments for acne scars?

Microneedling is one of many treatment methods that Dr. Green offers as a part of her Upper East Side NYC dermatology practice. Microneedling may be used in conjunction with PRP and Vitamin C serums, and other treatment options, such as dermal fillers with Restylane and Juvederm injections. Complementary cosmetic treatments for acne scars include chemical peels, facials, HydraFacials, and laser treatments such as Fraxel laser, eMatrix laser, and Vivace. Chemical peels are used to exfoliate the outer layer of skin and help to produce new skin as the treated area heals. After a chemical peel treatment, acne scar blemishes will be reduced and the peel also diminishes fine lines and wrinkles, lightens dark spots, and generates smoother, brighter skin. Dr. Green will also recommend appropriate skincare to be used at home, as an adjunct to your acne or acne scarring treatment.

What is better for acne scars: lasers or Microneedling?

Both microneedling treatment and laser treatment can be used to treat acne scars to wonderful effect. Microneedling is best for those who do not have active acne breakouts or blemishes, and it is most effective for treating atrophic acne scars. Lasers, such as the Fraxel laser, eMatrix laser, and Vivace are an excellent solution for treating acne scars and often used as a complementary treatment by Dr. Green. Rejuvenating laser treatments, such as the eMatrix, Fraxel, and V-Beam lasers, are ideal options to treat acne scars.

The V-Beam laser has long been considered the gold standard for reducing the appearance of redness and red acne scars in both inflammatory and noninflammatory acne conditions. The Fraxel Dual laser provides some of most effective treatment for acne scars. It uses “fractionated” technology which pinpoints fractions of the skin for resurfacing, allowing the skin to heal quickly without significant downtime. The eMatrix laser produces a new level of collagen formation to heal cells and reduce the appearance of acne scarring. Vivace laser treatment combines microneedling with radiofrequency energy to tighten the skin and rejuvenate the skin. Additionally, laser treatment can be combined with microneedling or microneedling with PRP to treat acne scars.

Microneedling combined with Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) treatment

An additional treatment that is often used in combination with microneedling is Platelet-rich Plasma, or PRP. PRP is applied to the skin following the microneedling to aid in the skin rejuvenation process. Platelets are found in the blood and help blood to clot, which is important to stop an injury from bleeding and start the healing process. Plasma is the fluid part of blood and platelet-rich plasma is blood with a higher than average concentration of platelets. After the microneedling treatment, dermatologists will take a blood sample from the patient and separate the PRP from the rest of the blood. The PRP solution can then be applied to the skin that was just treated with microneedling to further help to stimulate collagen production to promote healing.

Recent studies have shown that patients are more likely to see a greater improvement following the microneedling treatment when PRP is applied afterwards. While more research is still necessary to confirm all of the benefits of PRP application, initial reports have demonstrated that patients report a higher satisfaction and less downtime when PRP is used in conjunction with the microneedling treatment.

microneedling acne

Microneedling combined with dermal fillers

Microneedling can be combined with other treatments for even more dramatic cosmetic results. Atrophic acne scars result from a loss of collagen, which leads to depressions in the skin. derma fillers can help to restore volume to the face that was diminished as a result of the lost collagen. Dr. Green will inject the filler into the area of the face that has been affected by acne scarring. The injection fills the depressed area of the skin, creating smooth, firm, and refreshed looking skin. Dr. Green uses several different fillers depending on the needs of the patient, including Restylane, Juvederm, Bellafill, and Sculptra. The effect of the filler can last for varying lengths of time depending on the filler – anywhere from 6 months to 5 years. While the effects of the microneedling are permanent and do not need to be repeated after the full microneedling treatment process, dermal filler treatment can be repeated for continued skin rejuvenation.

Microneedling combined with Vitamin C serum

In addition to dermal fillers and PRP treatment, Vitamin C serum is frequently used in conjunction with microneedling to boost healing following the treatment process. With its high concentration of vitamin C and antioxidants, this serum helps in skin cell renewal and rejuvenation, as well as in increasing collagen production. Dr. Green will apply this serum to the treatment area following the microneedling procedure for clearer, smoother, healthier skin.

Do acne scars return after microneedling?

Microneedling is a permanent treatment procedure, meaning that the acne scars being treated do not come back after microneedling treatment. Microneedling boosts collagen production in the treatment area, triggering your body’s natural healing process. As a result, after only a couple of microneedling sessions, patients see their acne scars diminish. However, as we age, the skin’s laxity worsens, and with the decrease in collagen acne scars may appear to return.

Dermarolling for treating acne scars

You may have also heard of the at-home microneedling treatment called dermarolling. Dermarolling is when you use a hand-held roller with many small needles, which you roll across the skin of your face horizontally, vertically, and diagonally. While in theory, a derma roller is meant to create the same slight trauma to your face as microneedling at a dermatologist’s office, you have to be careful that you are doing it right or risk damaging the skin on your face. As microneedling is not the best treatment for all types of acne scars, when you are using a derma roller at home without consulting a dermatologist, you run the risk causing damage. In order to get the highest quality, permanent treatment that is right for your individual needs, it is important to consult with a board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Green.

Why choose Dr. Green for your Microneedling for acne scars?

Dr. Michele Green is a board-certified, expert NYC dermatologist, and practices the latest techniques at the forefront of dermatology to give you the best cosmetic results. If you’re frustrated by the appearance of acne or acne scarring, Dr. Green is here to help. Whether it be Microneedling, Chemical peels, Vivace, Fraxel laser, eMatrix, dermal fillers, or other cosmetic procedures, Dr. Green has the most cutting edge acne scar treatments available. Dr. Green has been in practice in New York’s Upper East Side for over two decades, and has been consistently voted one of the best dermatologists in New York. Please call us today at 212-535-3088 or contact us online to schedule a consultation for microneedling and to learn which acne scar treatment would be best for you.

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