The aim of acne treatment is not just to reduce outbreaks, but the prevention of permanent scars. For adults whose acne has been quiescent for years, the scars often remain. Such permanent facial scarring, especially if prominent and deep over the cheek area, can have a major negative impact on the individual’s self confidence.
Various treatments have been used in an attempt to reduce the appearance of acne scars. Microdermabrasion is popular as it is relatively non-invasive. Multiple sessions (20-25) are needed for optimum results. The scars depth is reduced and a glow is more visible. Microdermabrasion is useful in shallow, rolling scars and has little impact on the deeper ice pick scars.
Subcision has been employed to cut the fibers under the scar tissue, in an attempted to release the scars from the underlying tissues. This is useful for ice pick scars. Further filling with a temporary or permanent dermal filler may be needed for an even skin surface.
The best treatment to date has been laser resurfacing. This destroys the skin surface. When the epithelium grows back, the skin is smooth and unscarred. However, this is a traumatic procedure with a prolonged recovery.
A new roller device with rows of tiny microneedles is now available for the treatment of acne scars. When the needles penetrate the skin surface, micro-channels form. Microneedling This allows product penetration past the skin barrier. The physical minute breaks in the skin surface stimulates the skin to produce collagen naturally (Collagen Induction Therapy). New skin forms under the dead scar tissue, hence the skin naturally becomes smoother once it regenerates.
Up to three treatments, six to eight weeks apart (length of the skin growth cycle), are needed for optimal results. Depending on the device and protocol chosen, downtime can be minimal. The results are progressive. As the skin remains intact, there is no increased sensitivity to the sun. The micro-channels close within minutes, and the skin continues its normal barrier function.
This simple mechanical device produces results equivalent to laser therapy, without the prolonged recovery or expense. It is rapidly gaining popularity worldwide as a useful part of the Aesthetic Physician’s tool kit in the treatment of acne scars and general rejuvenation.