QUESTION 1: What helps with acne scarring?
ANSWER: When it comes to acne scarring, there are many options that can smooth out those scars, but they usually work best when used as part of a personalized treatment plan. Topical retinoids are key to use at home, as they help to rebuild the collagen especially in atrophic scars (ones that appear depressed or have a shadow). If scars are raised (so called hypertrophic scars), then cortisone shots can make a huge difference. For ice pick scars, and many types of rolling scars, I usually combine lasers with microneedling and fillers. I use lasers like the Fraxel laser to resurface the skin. Microneedling is amazing for acne scars as well. I can combine microneedling with your own plasma (the so-called Vampire Facial), or I can combine microneedling with radiofrequency energy (the Endymed Intensif). Last, chemical peels can also help to slowly even out the tone and textural changes associated with acne sequelae. (more…)
QUESTION 1: What helps with acne scarring?
When you hear the word needle, you might think pain. But, don’t fear, this procedure is not painful and not scary. It also delivers refreshed, smooth, youthful skin. Don’t panic and read on to learn about this hot trend in skincare!
What is Microneedling?
Microneedling (also called “collagen induction therapy”) is a procedure based on the use of tiny needles which create tiny, controlled wounds to the skin. Your body reacts by naturally healing your skin and, in the process, building new collagen and elastin in the dermis. More collagen = younger, firmer skin. It is ideal for tightening and lifting the skin and also, for minimizing acne scars, smoothing out pores, photo-aging, dull skin, poor texture, stretch marks and body scars. It can help with fine lines and wrinkles; in fact, a recent study showed that medical Microneedling can increase epidermal thickness by 140%, while increasing and thickening collagen bundles in the dermis.
Microneedling also allows for serums, topical gels, and creams to penetrate or infuse more deeply into your skin, allowing the products to be more effective. The needle punctures create micro-channels, allowing enhanced penetration of topical products. Serums, for example, are packed with powerful ingredients to benefit your skin. This procedure allows the viscous serums to be absorbed more effectively into your skin, thereby allowing them to achieve accelerated results. Up to 80% of a product can penetrate skin after Microneedling, compared to a mere 7% with normal application on intact skin! Translation: even more beautiful, glowing, and youthful skin. Microneedling also does not involve heat, so you will not have post inflammation pigmentation, which can result from certain laser treatments.
Your Virtual Microneedling Appointment:
In my office, I use what is called a “Percutaneous Induction Therapeutic Microneedling Device” called “Collagen P.I.N.” This innovative device scientifically delivers impeccable results which were previously only attainable through laser treatments or surgery. It is safe for all skin types and skin colors and can be used on the face, neck, décolleté, arms, legs, abdomen, hands, and back.
About thirty minutes before your procedure, I will apply a topical numbing agent to the area we plan to treat. By the time we begin, you will feel practically nothing and absolutely will feel no pain.
I will then remove the topical numbing agent and apply a topical serum to your clean skin. I often use a hyaluronic acid or a vitamin C serum so that your skin will be able to soak up all of the benefits of the serum through the procedure. I use very pure ingredients that are specifically designed to be “needled” or infused into the skin without creating allergies or irritation. The procedure itself takes approximately 20-30 minutes, as most of my patients get multiple areas treated at the same appointment. I tailor the depth of the needle as well as the spacing between the punctures based on each patient’s goals.
Once we are done, your skin will look pinkish to moderately red (like a sunburn), which will diminish within 1-2 hours. You also might experience some tightness or mild sensitivity in the treated area which can last for several hours. Some patients experience subtle flaking of the skin several days after the treatment, but no discomfort. All of my patients return to their usual activities the following day, including work, and you can wear mineral makeup as early as one day after the treatment.
You will see results as soon as 1-2 weeks after the first treatment. I typically recommend between 3 and 6 treatments, depending upon the area we are treating and the type of concern we are addressing. We usually space out these treatments by at least one-month intervals at the beginning, and then continue treatments every 3 months as maintenance.
But can’t I use an at home, inexpensive dermal roller instead?
At this time, I don’t recommend dermal rollers or home devices, as they are much less precise than the device I use in the office and can even create tears in the skin. Additionally, dermal rolling can be very abrasive to your skin and can spread bacteria leading to very serious skin conditions. My advice is: proceed with caution. At-home dermal rolling is not interchangeable with the sophisticated equipment, impeccable results, and high safety standards of the procedure in your dermatologist’s office.