Microneedling for acne
You bring up an important point! It’s really important to NOT work on acne scarring issues until the acne has been in remission or quiet for at least 3-6 months. This is because most patients don’t really want to spend the time and money to improve their scarring… only to have it undone by new acne.
Get your acne treated first!
- If you have the type of acne that is clearly scarring, please don’t wait and try home remedies. It’s important to see a dermatologist or primary care doctor ASAP to get it under control. Accutane, a vitamin A cousin taken in a tablet, may be needed for the most severe cases. Every month that goes by adds to the problem of treating the scarring later.
- There are lots of resources. Go to the AAD.org (American Academy of Dermatology) website to look for board certified dermatologists in your area. Talk to friends and neighbors. The web can be useful, but anyone can put a nice website now. Be skeptical! Yelp reviews are useless in my opinion since they consistently hide positive reviews and promote negative one… unless the doctor agrees to buy their services each month, which many don’t.
- If you have to wait a few weeks/months for an appointment, get started on non prescription products in the meantime. Here are some options.
Treating acne scars – the basics
- Microneedling – In my opinion, microneedling doesn’t work very well, unless the scarring is barely visible. Be sure to go to someone experienced and licensed.
- Peels – especially done in a series may help with very superficial scarring.
- Lighter lasers like most erbiums (there are some deeper ones too) like the Fraxel can be excellent in a series of usually 3-5 for mild to medium depth scarring.
- Deeper lasers like the carbon dioxide (CO2) laser or deeper erbiums require more “down time” but also give much better results.
- Subscision is also helpful for deeper scars and often done right before a deeper laser treatment.
- Injectibles like Restylane or Juvederm may help temporarily (6-12 months) and, if done repeatedly, have some more permanent effect from the needling.
Hope this helps,
Dr. Brandith Irwin
Director, Madison Skin & Laser Center
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