woman with acne scarring

Treatment for Acne Scarring

Can microneedling be used to remove or minimize the appearance of scars caused by acne?

We may live in what seems to be an increasingly polarized world, but there are some things that we all agree on. A good example of that can be found in our growing-up years, which most would agree can be tough. We all had our individual challenges, but the onset of acne that came with puberty was particularly challenging. 

Teenage acne was bad enough. Some of us still have the scars, both physical and psychological, to prove it. As we were struggling through those high school mornings and that first look in the mirror to see just how bad the day was going to be, we always had the hope that our acne would go away as we got older. For the majority of people that turned out to be true, and by their early to mid-20s, acne was no longer a problem. Unfortunately, while we may think of it as a teenage issue, around 20 percent of all cases of acne occur in adults.   

What Is Acne?

The most common skin condition in the U.S. is acne. We are familiar with the pimples, blackheads and whiteheads that are the result of the tiny openings in the skin (pores), which contain hair follicles, becoming clogged with secretions from the oil glands, as well as with dead skin cells. Acne affects both teenage boys and girls, although it tends to be worse for boys. In adults, women are more often affected than men. 

What Causes Acne?

Parents have always admonished their children about certain behaviors leading to acne. While there is no one definitive cause, we do know it is not caused by eating greasy potato chips or too much chocolate. Nor is it the result of poor hygiene or having an over-active sex drive. 

The one thing that most researchers agree on is that hormonal changes play a role in the development of acne. That would certainly explain why it is such a problem during puberty and why it affects adult women more than men. Other factors that may not cause acne but do appear to be related to triggering outbreaks are certain medications, dietary choices, and stress. 

The good news is that there are effective treatments for acne, both for teenagers and adults. This is also true for the scarring that is too often left in the aftermath of acne.

Microneedling for Acne Scarring

There is a lot more to having acne than having an occasional pimple pop up. For those with more than mild outbreaks, there can be severe emotional distress. This can go far beyond the teenage years, especially when there is physical scarring as well as emotional.  

It may take a professional counselor to help with lingering emotional trauma, but microneedling has proven to be very successful in treating the physical scars left behind by acne. It is done with a small roller that moves across the face or other area and delivers tiny, controlled pricks to the skin. These pricks are actually micro-wounds but are enough to activate the body’s healing response systems. The process to replace damaged cells calls for more collagen to be rushed to the wound site and this helps fill in and smooth out the appearance of any scarring. 

If you are unfamiliar with microneedling, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), states on their website that “Microneedling is a very simple, safe, effective, and minimally invasive therapeutic technique.”

Dr. Brian D. Cohen is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with extensive training in cosmetic/reconstructive plastic surgery and has had years of experience performing a wide array of cosmetic surgery procedures, specializing in procedures of the face, eyes, nose, breast, and body and is known for his exemplary and compassionate care by his patients. Knowing that Dr. Cohen has been selected by his peers in Super Doctors for 8 years in a row in 2020 gives you the confidence that he is highly respected for his performance in his specialty.Information on locations and office hours for Cohen Plastic Surgery can be found by clicking here.