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If you’ve ever suffered from moderate to severe acne in your life, you likely 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, often administered via handheld devices such as a dermaroller, uses tiny pricks 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. Contact the office today to learn more about the best treatment for your acne scars including microneedling treatment.

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 study via 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 for facial hyperpigmentation, as well as with platelet-rich plasma treatment (PRP) for skin rejuvenation.

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Can Microneedling help acne scars?

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, so with this skin condition, 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 look at methods to replace this lost collagen. Microneedling is one of the 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 patients experience minimal discomfort, negligible downtime, and vast improvement in the skin’s appearance and health.

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 between four and six microneedling sessions to reduce the appearance of acne scarring, but of course this varies depending on the skin condition of each individual patient.

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. 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 does 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 microneedling is combined with radiofrequency, the benefits of microneedling can be even further enhanced, as radiofrequency energy can be used to improve the elasticity and firmness of the skin. With a skilled, board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Green, microneedling treatments can be absolutely transformative.

Microneedling treatment requires very little downtime, though a patient might experience some redness and soreness for a few days post-treatment. Mild side effects can include minor bruising and skin irritation.

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.

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 a daily high SPF sunscreen in order to avoid any irritation or sun damage both in between and post treatment.

Are Microneedling results permanent for acne scars?

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 allow 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. However, 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.

Which treatment is best for acne scarring?

The treatment of acne 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 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 on atrophic acne scars. For other forms of acne scarring, lasers are an excellent solution.

Rejuvenating laser treatments, such as the eMatrix, Fraxel, and V-Beam lasers, are great options to treat acne scars and redness. The V-Beam laser has long been considered ideal 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. Lastly, the eMatrix laser produces a new level of collagen formation to heal cells and reduce the appearance of acne scarring. Additionally, laser treatment can be combined with microneedling or microneedling with PRP to treat acne scars.

If you’re frustrated by the appearance of acne scarring, Dr. Green offers a variety of treatments that can finally help. Contact us online today to book an appointment, or call 212-535-3088 to learn more about whether Microneedling may be right for you.

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