Microneedling is used in a range of situations, mostly to try and alleviate various skin conditions. It is not the best-known of treatments and it is likely you will have questions about its purpose and effectiveness. One of its most popular uses is targeted at removing acne scars, a topic that has been carefully studied and for which there is some evidential support.

What is microneedling?

As the name suggests, microneedling involves the insertion of very small needles into the skin. It is also known as collagen induction therapy. The needles are most often applied to the face, although they have been used on other parts of the body for various skin conditions. It is an invasive procedure, but only mildly so, and should feel like gentle pinpricks.

How does it treat acne scars?

The principle underlying ‘microneedling’ is that by penetrating the skin, the needles encourage the body to engage its healing processes. It will produce more collagen, a protein found in the skin, which will cover up the small injuries the needles have caused. This collagen may also grow over other marks, pores and blemishes in the skin, including the scars caused by acne. In theory, it will make the skin look new, bright and fresh.

Research suggests that this technique is effective for indented scars; those that sink below the level of the skin. Raised scars imply an excess of collagen, so encouraging more collagen production is unlikely to help. Collagen induction therapy may be made more effective in combination with other skin healing products such as vitamin C.

Another advantage of microneedling is its high degree of safety. It can be used even on sensitive or thin skin because it is so minimally invasive. Unlike some treatments for scars, such as laser surgery, it is also considered safe for people whose skin is darker in tone. Laser surgery can be damaging to the skin’s uppermost layers.

However, there are some possible side effects to collagen induction therapy. It may cause some mild inflammation, especially if you experience sun exposure in the following days. It may not be safe with all skin conditions, such as eczema. In some cases, it may even encourage a brief outbreak of new acne, although this should not last long.

Can I access microneedling near me?

Practitioners of microneedling include dermatologists, cosmetic surgeons, and plastic surgeons. In most cases, it is considered an elective, aesthetic procedure, not something that is medically necessary, which may increase the cost. The best way to discover if microneedling could be effective for you is to contact a local and experienced practitioner.

In the majority of cases, microneedling is considered a quick, safe and effective procedure that is minimally invasive. There may be some situations where it is not the best treatment for your acne scars or where it causes side effects, but for most people, it can encourage collagen production, which in turn will grow to cover your scars and other skin blemishes.