You probably think microneedling is only a cosmetic treatment for younger-looking skin. As correct as that might be, microneedling has so many other uses as well; and some of them are for medical purposes, such as removing acne scars.

Microneedling is a proven method to remove many skin marks, including acne scars, large pores, and face lines. The operator inflicts micro-punctures on the skin surface where the skin is more damaged. The needles installed in the device penetrate the outer layers of the skin to the depth of 0.2 to 0.75 mm. The process stimulates the natural processes of collagen production and regeneration.

Here in this article, we look into how microneedling can help remove old acne scars and regenerate the skin anew.

What is the science behind acne scarring?

Acne is a common skin condition for all people of all ages and genders with different skin types and health status. The acne might appear on the face, chest and back. Though not all acne are the same, they are usually sensitive and painful to touch. But oily skin around the acne spots is the most known symptom of them.

Various reasons can cause acne marks, such as any changes in hormone levels, eating habits, health conditions, lifestyle and genetics. Acne spots come and go, but in some cases, they leave a permanent mark on the skin. It usually happens when acne penetrates deep into the skin, damaging the skin tissue. Acne scars then appear when the body does not produce enough collagen or too much of it to repair the skin.

As the situation continues, the skin looks saggy, fallen, and beyond repair. But with microneedling and stimulating collagen, the skin can regenerate itself and gain its original smooth form.

how acne or pimple forms
Acne shows up when oil, dead skin, or bacteria blocks the skin pores.

How does microneedling for acne scars work?

Microneedling is a non-invasive cosmetic treatment. The treatment can take place clinically/professionally and domestically.

At the clinic, the operator uses a handpiece device called derma-pen. There are micro-sized needles at the tip of the device. Before the procedures begin, the needles get sterilized. Plus, the skin should be numbed by using local anesthesia.

The operator then makes nano-sized puncture wounds using the derma-pen on the surface of the skin. The body starts to react to puncture wounds, releasing collagen to regenerate the skin. Finally, the skin achieves a firm and smooth skin with no marks of scars or wrinkles.

Microneedling can help the skin remove all acne scars. The affection of this method depends on the skin condition or acne marks. In some cases, they disappear all too quickly after the session and in some others, it might require multiple sessions to get the desired outcome.

How effective is microneedling for acne scars?

The studies show that microneedling can be most effective when acne marks are depressed. These types of acne marks always show up due to a lack of collagen in the area. With the help of microneedling, the skin is triggered into producing the right amount of collagen.

But in some conditions with raised acne marks, microneedling would not be as effective as it should be. Those types of acne marks appear only because there is too much collagen under the skin.

There are ways to support microneedling in gaining a better result. Some researchers say using vitamin C during microneedling treatment can affect the results well.

Overall microneedling is one of the most well-known, risk-free and cost-effective ways to treat acne marks, compared to using other methods like laser therapy or medication.

appropriate derma pen needle depth for acne scars treatment
Derma pen creates puncture wounds to provoke the body into producing more collagen to heal acne scars.

Does microneedling for acne scars have any side effects?

Generally, microneedling is considered to be one of the most low-risk procedures among cosmetic treatments. The intensity of the side effects could vary for each patient. Even one person can experience differently after each session.

After each session, you might face a few side effects such as redness, inflammation, and bruising. These are normal and expected side effects and should fade away after a couple of days.

In some cases, there might be acne breakouts after the treatment, but it would clear up soon after a few days. Keep in mind that if that happens to you, do not touch your skin. It only aggravates the healing process.

Microneedling aftercare is not long either. There are only a few things to consider after your sessions. For instance, you should avoid exposing your skin to direct sunlight for a few days after your treatment. You should prevent scrubbing your skin or use any exfoliants. Touching the area or picking at your skin is also prohibited after treatment for a while.

To reduce the possible inflammation, it is recommend to drink plenty of water a day or two before attending the treatment. Plus, if the treatment is for your face, you should avoid heavy make-ups a few days before and after your session.

Some microneedling for acne scars before and after photos

microneedling for acne scars before and after photos
microneedling for healing acne scars
microneedling treatment for acne scarring

How often should you microneedle for acne scars?

The primary results of microneedling become visible only 24 hours after the procedure. The effects of each session can last for a few months.

The procedure should be repeated up to 3 times, with a 10 to 14 days time gap between each session for final results. The effects would last 4 to 6 months after the sessions.

How soon after microneedling for acne scars can I see results?

Even though the outcome of microneedling treatment is almost immediately visible, the healing process of acne marks is slow.

It takes time to remove all marks of acne on the skin. So patients must be patient and follow the aftercare skin routine to get the best possible result.

How much does microneedling for acne scars cost?

Microneedling is one of the most cost-effective cosmetic treatments in comparison to other procedures and their result. Each session costs about 250$ and takes 1:15 to 1:30 hours to get the work done.

Although microneedling is mostly known for treating facial acne scars and wrinkles, the treatment can also apply to the rest of the body. Microneedling can fade away stretch marks on hips and stomach or acne spots on shoulders, chest, and back. Aside from treating skin conditions, microneedling is also popular for skin tightening, rejuvenation, hyperpigmentations, and minimizes wrinkles size and pores size. Microneedling has also been used for hair growth by provoking scalp skin.

How much does microneedling cost?
The cost of microneedling can vary in each clinic. Research well enough before booking an appointment.

A few things to consider before getting microneedling for acne scars

Microneedling is one of the cosmetic treatments that you can do at home with a derma roller. But the effects of at-home microneedling is as much as a usual skin routine like scrubbing or skin toner. If you want special results for special skin conditions such as acne scars, wrinkles, or stretch marks, clinical microneedling treatments are the answer.

Microneedling devices

One of the reasons is the devices. Clinical microneedling devices have longer needles than DIY devices. The professional needle type is between 1mm to 3mm. Although longer needles can give a better result, they could be dangerous for amateurs. Therefore they must be handled by certified specialists.

Not to mention that the benefits of derma pens at the clinic are much more to domestic derma roller. Here are some perks of using the derma pen:

  • With the derma pen, there is more control over the needles.
  • Derma pen is less painful.
  • The needles’ length in the derma roller stays the same while in the derma pen needle can penetrate higher into the skin.
  • Derma pen is faster than the derma roller.
  • The derma pen provokes the body into producing more collagen than the derma roller.
  • The puncture wounds in the derma pen are far cleaner than the derma roller. Derma roller is curved and needles penetrate the skin with sharp angles. On the other hand, the derma pen’s needles insert the skin vertically.
  • Aesthetic professionals have more control over areas with a derma pen.
  • The electronic derma pen device can move up and down thousands of times per minute while the derma roller has no power source and is utilized manually.
Microneedling procedure; derma pen versus derma roller

The technique is another reason why clinical microneedling gives you a more effective result. The operators and experts at the clinics have some level of experience that no amateur can achieve, no matter how many youtube tutorial videos they watch.


As it was said before, microneedling is a well-known method of cosmetic treatment for removing acne scars. But before booking an appointment or picking a clinic, research thoroughly on how the process is done. Make a visit to the clinic, consult your dermatologist, and study before and after photos of microneedling to get a better image of the final microneedling for acne scars results. This way you would know what to expect from the whole procedure.

Keep in mind that even though you can do microneedling by yourself at home, the results differ from doing it at the clinic by an expert.

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