I want to reduce the appearance of my acne scars. I would like to try Micro-needling.
Are There Bad Side Effects to Micro-needling?
Doctor Answers 19
Treat Acne Scarring with Microneedling
Rolling needles are the oldest form of needles, and there are many kinds. This procedure was popularized by a plastic surgeon in Cape Town, South Africa: Dr. Des Fernandez, who has taught the procedure and shown its effectiveness for many years. His company, known as Environ, is one of the market leaders with rolling needles. They can be done at home with small needles or in an office with larger needles. The procedure is very technique dependent and, if done correctly, can rejuvenate the skin and treat some mild acne scarring. It can be a fairly bloody office procedure, but it can work with several sessions.
Microneedle pens use a group of motorized needles to deliver into the skin. Names such as DermaPen, MicroPen and others are popping up in offices for the same indications as the rollers. There is still some blood after the treatment, but with a series of treatments the skin can do well. Another pen, although not the same, is called AquaGold, where needles are inserted into the skin with a canister apparatus so products can be applied during the needling — a great concept.
Then there are the big-box needles. These are typically radiofrequency-tipped needles that can penetrate the skin at various depths to have an effect on the deep layers of the skin. Bleeding is minimized as the RF current not only helps with rejuvenation or scars, but also helps coagulate the vessels in the area, so bleeding is not a major concern. RF needles are colorblind, so all skin colors can be successfully treated. Devices such as the EndyMed Intensif and the Lutronic Infini are the leaders in the US with big-box needles, and these treatments are very popular in Asia. Fewer treatment sessions are usually needed.
So what else can go wrong? These things are putting little holes in the skin and sometimes applying product to the skin. The products themselves should be sterile or at least free from allergens that can cause rashes and contact dermatitis — something we are seeing more and more when these are being performed in offices that have no clue as to what they are doing.
And with any procedure, the risk of pigment changes, although not big with needling, still can occur. Scarring has been reported, so once again, make sure that the provider is skilled and knows what they are doing.
What side effects can occur after microneedling?
Microneedling works by injuring the skin in such a way that it responds by producing new collagen, which in turn plumps the skin and restores volume. It works well for texture, lines, volume loss and acne scarring
At my Vancouver cosmetic surgery practice we use rolling needles by Environ and have seen phenomenal results in staff and patients alike. The best part: microneedling is a fairly low-risk procedure with side effects tending to be few and far between.
The rolling equipment should be sterile and personal (each patient should have his or her own roller, and these should be autoclaved before each session) and the face should be cleaned and prepped before treatment to avoid cross-contamination or spread of bacteria. Patients with active acne should consider alternative options before treatment as dermal rolling can easily spread bacteria over the skin, potentially causing breakouts. Patients prone to cold sores should let their treatment provider know so that a preventive prescription can be given prior to the session.
Micro-needling Side Effects
In order to avoid side-effects, there are certain things that should be done after the treatment. Avoid having direct sunlight. Make sure not to make use of any products that are not specially designed to be used with micro-needling for the first 24 hours after the treatment. These skin products might include sun and tanning lotion, make up, creams and body lotion, facial peels or any skin care products that contain harmful ingredients for the skin which cause irritation to the skin after the treatments. Otherwise there are over 150,000 procedures that were performed around the world, and there are no serious reported side effects so far. However micro punctures or micro wounds normally close up quickly within 1 hour. Therefore infections are very rare.
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Thank you for your question. Microneedling is an excellent treatment to improve the appearance of acne scars.
During the microneedling procedure, tiny needles are used to create controlled micro-injuries to the skin The skin’s repair process results in improvement of the appearance of acne scars. I would recommend using PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) with your microneedling treatment.
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The risks of pigmentation issues, cold sore outbreaks, and thermal burns that a patient could potentially see with a laser rejuvenation procedure are very very rare with this procedure. I am seen many results in my practice that rival some fractionated laser treatments at a much lower cost and lower risk.
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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.