Skin needling involves inserting tiny needles into the top few layers of skin with or without extra ingredients to stimulate the natural healing response. Skin needling is also known as collagen induction therapy since, ultimately, that is what we’re trying to achieve. When treating acne scars with micro-needling, we’re also looking to break up existing scar tissue to soften the appearance of scars, a process known as collagen remodelling.
The micro-injuries to the skin caused by the very fine needles stimulate collagen production in special skin cells called fibroblasts. Your fibroblasts are responsible for producing collagen and elastin to keep skin firm and flexible so it can continue to protect you and remain smoother and healthier for longer.
The process is a little more involved with acne scarring since we’re breaking up very fibrous collagen deposits while also stimulating new collagen. Don’t worry – we’re not adding to the scars by promoting further collagen production but instead augmenting the skin and scars’ appearance.
Why we use skin needling
- Remodel scar tissue
- Reduce prominence of scars
- Reduce redness of scars
- Smooth the skin’s surface
- Improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Strengthen junctions between dermis and epidermis
- Rejuvenate the complexion
- Reduce pore size
- Improve skin texture
Skin needling for improving the look of acne scars
When we insert a set of tiny needles into an acne scar, we break up the fibrous tissue a little, which softens the scar. Softening a scar can be extremely useful when scars are tight or depressed, improving the appearance of the surface of the skin by evening it out and reducing dark patches.
The action of poking a series of very tiny holes in a scar relaxes the collagen that makes up the scar and effectively helps to remodel the scar tissue. We can’t remove the scar, but collagen is not a fixed entity; we can modify it somewhat.
You will require more than one treatment for best results since remodelling collagen is a process rather than something we can do quickly. A course of skin needling treatments might consist of between 2-5 sessions, but you’ll start to see improvements as you go. Treatments are necessarily at least a month apart.
The process is entirely mechanical and doesn’t use any heat, unlike other treatments like laser, radiofrequency or ultrasound. Micro-needling can work for all skin tones and types.
Who can and can’t get skin needling
We can’t treat inflamed or infected skin, so if you’re experiencing a breakout of cystic acne when your appointment is due, it’s best to rebook so you’ve got time to clear the outbreak. We also can’t treat skin affected by sunburn, eczema, psoriasis or very sensitive skin. Those on blood thinners and other medications should check with our team first. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, we will rebook your appointments for a later time.
Having hydrated skin helps the treatment be a success, so drink up!
The best candidates for skin needling are those with acne scarring, fine lines or anyone looking to improve the texture and firmness of the skin.
Understanding the skin layers
The needles of The Secret, our skin-needling device, puncture the upper dermal layer. The epidermis is the outer layer of the skin, so the Secret’s needles get further than any topical treatment can.
The Secret’s needle set can be switched out for a deeper or more superficial treatment and are set into spring-loaded bases to ensure consistent treatment across all areas of the face. The Secret and other clinic-based needling technology go deeper than at-home treatments.
Once the treatment is complete, the work has only just begun – for your skin cells. The process of regeneration reliably kicks off, albeit slowly. You can expect improvements to start to appear after about six weeks post-treatment.
Does skin needling for acne scars hurt?
Deeper skin needling can result in some discomfort which we manage with anaesthetic cream and pain medication as needed. Each of you will experience discomforts differently, but some areas will indeed feel better than others. Boney areas are more likely to be more uncomfortable, such as the forehead and cheekbones. We work with you to ensure you’re always comfortable.
Acne scarring treatments do require deeper treatments than other types of skin needling.
Success rates of skin needling for acne scars
Skin needling is gaining a reputation for being a solid strategy for dealing with acne scarring, proving itself repeatedly reliable with consistently good results. The treatment is useful for a broad range of skin types and tones, so it is a very accessible treatment. Skin needling can treat other types of scarring, soften the scar tissue and make it more pliable. Skin needling treatments are not just used on the face; we can do back, buttock and neck treatments – almost anywhere scarring occurs.
You can expect a recovery time of about a week and the impacts to be revealed over the coming months, making skin needling a low-downtime treatment.
We are experts in treating acne scarring, so if you’re unsure what your next best step is, contact us for a personalised consultation to discuss your options.