The Truth About Microneedling

Woman looking in a mirror Thousands of people have leftover acne scars. Scarring is one of the most distressing long-term effects of acne. Everybody calls acne scarring something different. At NorCal Dermatology Group, I have heard it called many things: “holes,” “large pores,” “uneven skin,” “old pimples,” etc. Whether your scarring is subtle or more noticeable, there is no reason to continue living with your acne scars. Microneedling is guaranteed to reduce the appearance of your scars, and it is completely safe.

What is Microneedling and How Does it Work?

Microneedling is a procedure in which tiny needles are used to poke holes into the skin.

(I know what you’re thinking: “A bunch of needles in my skin? No, thank you!” However, the needles we use are very small, and we put numbing cream on you beforehand, so that you feel almost nothing.)

There are a few devices out there that get the job done. We recommend a medical grade electric-powered pen that is much more effective than the “home-roller” solutions available to the public. My preference (and that of many other dermatologists) is to use an electric-powered microneedling pen.

When you undergo microneedling at NorCal Dermatology Group, I attach sterile disposable needle tips onto the pen each time so that each person gets a new set of sterile needles. I highly recommend getting this treatment done only in a dermatologist’s office. At the end of the day, it is a medical procedure and it is essential to your health to ensure it is as sterile and sanitary as possible.

When the pen is turned on, it vibrates and makes a buzzing sound. (It sounds kind of like an electric razor.) Before we use the pen on your skin, a gliding gel will be put on your skin such as hyaluronic acid or platelet rich plasma (ever heard of vampire facials?). Then, the pen is then glided onto your skin, and the sterile needles attached to the pen will quickly go in and out of the skin. Your numbing cream should have kicked in by this time, and so it should not feel any more painful than a shave.

You know the microneedling treatment is working when there is “pinpoint bleeding.” This happens when there are VERY small amounts of blood coming from the holes that were just created in the skin. Some people like to leave the pinpoint bleeding on their face (like Kim Kardashian). Otherwise, we wash it off for you.

What to Expect After Microneedling

You may have some pinkness (which looks kind of like a mild sunburn) for a few days. I typically recommend not using any of your home products or make-up for 24 hours after the treatment. I wouldn’t get this treatment done RIGHT before a big event because your skin may not be completely healed and ready photos.

You also want to be really good about sunscreen and sun protection during the days following your procedure. You should always protect your skin from the sun, but you should take extra care to avoid the sun and wear your sunscreen after your microneedling procedure.

Microneedling for Acne Scars

Acne scars are caused because the skin does not make enough collagen in a specific area after an acne breakout. The sterile needles attached to the microneedling pen break up the scars and cause the collagen to rebuild under the skin.

It typically takes at least three treatments for the collagen to rebuild enough to see notable improvement. You may see results after the first treatment, but it does take patience because collagen sometimes takes time to remodel.

Please DO NOT Microneedle At Home

At-home treatments are not nearly as effective as the treatment you would get with a dermatologist’s electric-powered microneedling pen. Roller devices are not going to stimulate enough collagen to make a big difference in acne scarring. Some at-home microneedling devices can actually worsen acne scars because they creates too much skin damage. If you are considering microneedling, I always recommend speaking to a board-certified dermatologist in order of avoid harming your skin any further.

Again, PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. It is almost impossible to completely sterilize and clean a microneedling device by yourself. If you’re looking to improve the overall look of your skin, the last thing that you want is to get an infection. At NorCal Dermatology Group, I have personally treated far too many infections that were caused by at-home microneedling devices.

I can’t say this enough: Please get this procedure done at a dermatologist’s office!

Professional Microneedling & Acne Scar Removal in Berkeley

There is no reason to accept your acne scars when microneedling treatments are so accessible and so effective.

At NorCal Dermatology Group in Berkeley, my team and I believe in the importance of simplicity in any skincare treatment or regimen. Our experience in skincare has allowed us to provide custom, personalized solutions for patients to help them maintain healthier, more beautiful skin.

At NorCal Dermatology Group, we provide:

  • Cutting-edge skincare treatments
  • Weekend appointments
  • Short wait times
  • Personalized care and attention
  • Convenient parking
  • A wide range of accepted health plans

To book an appointment with our team or to learn more about NorCal Dermatology Group, call 510-646-8065 today!


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