To any person who is suffering from acne, one thing is for sure – acne can be debilitating condition that can cause long-term psychological and social issues.
With many cases, people suffering from acne don’t know how to deal with their condition appropriately, which often leads to acne scars. In fact, acne scars actually affect over 95% of all acne sufferers, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology in 2019!
In short, acne scars are fibrous tissues that form as a result of skin injury and inflammation. Categorized into 2 main types of scars: hypertrophic scars and atrophic scars – which often presents itself as a combination of ice-pick scars, boxcar scars and rolling scars.
It is important to note that not all acne scars are equal; each one has its own specific characteristics. Thus, multiple solutions are often required in order to treat a single patient.
Microneedling: a quick recap
A popular solution in recent years is microneedling, which was actually first discovered in the 1950s. Based entirely upon causing injury to the skin in order to heal it – microneedling is often used to treat hyperpigmentation, stretch marks, acne scarring, wrinkles and even hair loss!
Create controlled, microscopic injuries to the skin by injecting a needle into the dermal layers of the skin, microneedling works to induce the skin’s natural wound-healing process to generate more collagen and elastin, decrease inflammation and boost overall skin rejuvenation.
With minimal downtime and side effects (redness, mild bruising and swelling that may last for a few days), microneedling is ideal for all skin types – especially since those with darker skin might not be suitable for traditional laser therapies due to the possibility of hyperpigmentation after treatment.
Although it is causing injury to the skin – minimal damage is actually being done. Only enough trauma is inflicted to trigger the skin’s collagen-building process and accelerate healing. Another similar treatment is subcision for acne scars – which works in a similar method that has been shown to be useful in dealing with acne scars.
There have been multiple studies conducted over the years to support microneedling as an effective treatment to treat acne scars. A 2008 study reported on 45 male and female patients with acne scars seeing great results after 4 sessions, performed 4 weeks apart – producing up to a 400% increase in collagen and elastin 6 months after completing treatment!
Similarly, a 2009 study reported an improvement in 100 percent of acne patients with scars reporting an improvement in the visibility of their scars.
However, many of the studies conducted in the past tend to be conducted within smaller groups; and therefore, isn’t demonstrative enough to come up with any conclusions to paint the bigger picture.
What the latest research tells us
The largest and most comprehensive systemic review on microneedling and the treatment of acne scars was conducted earlier in 2019 by Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM).
Performed by searching databases including PubMed and Google Scholar – researchers assessed all the scientific studies done on microneedling from 2009 to 2018 in order to study the efficacy of treating acne scars with microneedling, microneedling in combination with other topical treatments, as well as overall patient satisfaction.
With sufficient data to cover a 10-year period – a total of 33 peer-reviewed studies totaling 1,057 patients concluded that microneedling did indeed improve patients’ acne scars; with increased patient satisfaction when microneedling was used in combination with another therapy. Not only did inflammation decrease, but an overall increase in collagen and rejuvenation was also reported with no severe adverse effects being reported after treatment sessions.
Why you aren’t seeing results
If you have tried acne scar laser treatment with minimal results, this is why – most traditional lasers are only able to deliver energy into the skin at a depth of 1.5mm.
While studies have demonstrated effectiveness in restoring skin at this depth – needles have to be able to reach deeper into the layers of the skin in order to treat deep acne scars.
While there has been a rise of D.I.Y microneedling products – many of them are too dull to penetrate the skin at the level that is deemed effective (typically 0.25–0.5mm) – which is why it is always best to seek help from the best acne dermatologist in Singapore with the tools and know-how to treat your specific condition.
Combination therapies have been shown in studies to be more effective in treating acne than solo treatments. A great example is combining microneedling with another treatment, such as radiofrequency (RF).
At The Clifford Clinic, we provide a plethora of methods that range from subcision, laser therapy and chemical peels to provide a more comprehensive, all-in-one acne scar treatment for our patients. Our doctors have over 20 years of combined experience and knowledge to deal with some of the toughest cases of acne – and offer a proven, successful model to see results in just a single treatment!
Combining both microneedling and laser therapy is INFINI – the latest technology designed for acne scar removal that is minimally invasive, safe and effective. Using a patented microneedle system that penetrates to a depth of up to 3.5mm below the skin – this maximizes your treatment results to reach deeper into the layers of the skin where other treatments are unable to do so.
Equally safe, pain-free and potent is another revolutionary microneedle fractional RF device we offer at The Clifford Clinic – Secret RF. Using the finest, most precise, gold–plated needles in the market, our doctors are able to make conventional and painful methods completely obsolete. In fact, we have come to realize that both treatments work well together to produce synergistic, amazing results for our patients!
Depending on the type of acne scar present and your specific skin type, we are able to fully-customize your treatment to deliver long-lasting results! If you are ready to reveal your best skin yet – call us today to book your consultation!