Anyone who has suffered through teenage or adult acne knows that having acne is bad enough. The same people also know that scarring is a common complication that comes with acne.
Even more unfortunately, scarring can occur even when the acne is relatively mild and self-limited. In other words, the scars that acne leaves behind can be worse than the original infliction, and they last longer.
Over the years, a number of treatments have been offered for improving acne scarring. However, all of them have had limitations to varying degrees.
Usually I don’t start these articles on a seemingly hopeless note. However, the hopeful part of this inevitable scarring is the fact that there is one particularly effective treatment for reducing the appearance of these scars.
A recent study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology was conducted to assess the technique of microneedling. Researches chose to study this specific technique because of its reputation for having very few complications, and its ability to also help reduce hyperpigmentation, which is the darkening that occurs with some acne scarring.
The results of this study showed a statistically significant improvement in their degree of scarring and in post-acne hyperpigmentation as soon as two weeks after the first treatment. Unlike other previous treatments, none of the patients experienced any worsening of their scarring or hyperpigmentation.
During the study, all patients did experience the expected redness and dryness of the treated areas after the procedure. However, these side effects disappeared within a few days.
I have been performing the latest generation of microneedling techniques for patients with acne scars for several years now, also with excellent results. While this study show improvements after just one treatment, it is important to realize that the deeper or the darker the scar, the more treatments and the deeper the depth of needling will probably be needed.
The other nice feature of microneedling is that the downtime is limited. The person is very red and scratched in appearance immediately after the procedure and for 4 hours after until the initial medication is washed off.
Generally, the next day, the treated area looks slightly wind or sunburned, and then it gradually improves each day thereafter. Women can apply makeup to their faces on the day following treatment.
Although microneedling is very good on the face for acne scars, we here at Maine Laser Skin Care also use it frequently for other types of scarring including traumatic scars, post-surgical scars, and stretch marks. Both our Augusta and Scarborough offices have the equipment and expertise to perform microneedling for any of your scarring needs.
If you have any questions about dealing with old acne scars or the microneedling treatment specifics, call our Augusta office at (207) 873-2158 or our Scarborough office at (207) 303-0125 to schedule a consultation or treatment. As always, the consultation is absolutely free, and we give you a cost estimate for treatment at the end of the session with no strings attached.