Micro-needling provides a cost-effective option for dark spots and lighter scarring, a less invasive alternative for deep scarring and a safer alternative for darker skin tones.
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The best treatment for scarring depends on the type of scar being treated. Scars fall into three groups: hypertrophic, contracture and atrophic.
Hypertrophic scars are raised formations characterised by an overproduction of collagen fibres. Keloid scars are a subset of hypertrophic scars characterised by overgrowth outside the borders of the original scar.
Micro-needling is not recommended for keloid scarring and can even make scars worse. In general, for hypertrophic scars, it’s recommended that you consult with a professional because there is a possibility that treatment could make the problem worse instead of better.
Contracture scars normally form from burns. They make the skin tighten or contract, which can be extremely uncomfortable and limit movement.
Atrophic scars are recessed indentations in the skin, also referred to as boxcar or ice-pick scars. These are the scars we most commonly associate with acne. They can also involve hyperpigmentation or dark spots.
MICRO NEEDLING FOR ATROPHIC SCARS
Most of the research on micro needling for scar treatment focuses on atrophic scars. Since they are so common and respond very well to micro needling, atrophic scars will be the focus of this post.
MICRO NEEDLING VS CHEMICAL PEELS AND LASER THERAPY
Compared to other resurfacing procedures, this technique has many advantages. Micro-needling is safe for all skin types and carries the lowest risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation when compared to dermabrasion, chemical peels or laser resurfacing. The recovery period of two to three days is significantly shorter than other resurfacing procedures.
Treating Atrophic Acne Scars
Before micro-needling was discovered treatments like laser therapy subscision and chemical peels were used to treat deep scars, but they all have one potential drawback: they can be very invasive. Laser therapy and chemical peels also target the skin, the outermost protective layer of the skin. This usually translates to a more extensive treatment area and often more downtime.
Micro-needling is a good scar treatment alternative to laser and chemical peels since it’s much less invasive. Treatment only targets the deeper layers of the dermis where it initiates the wound healing cascade that supports new collagen growth.
SCAR TREATMENT FOR DARKER SKIN TONES
Chemical peels and lasers can be a bit of a challenge for individuals with darker skin tones. In ethnic skin, conventional skin resurfacing procedures like laser therapy, chemical peels and dermabrasion can be useful but can also be associated with risk of complications and long recovery times.
MICRO NEEDLING FOR SCARS
Although micro needling is less invasive and can be less costly than laser therapy or chemical peels in general, treatment of very deep scars may only respond to more invasive treatments.
In those situations, a micro-needling treatment with a longer needle length of 2.5mm or more may be used, which could involve local or general anaesthetic and up to a week of downtime. Skin needling treatment at reputable clinics like Gold Coast specialists Esteem Medi Spa can also be combined with other high-tech procedures like radio frequency and platelet-rich plasma facials, which can significantly improve results.