Microneedling for acne scars in Asian skin type: an effective low cost treatment modality

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2014 Sep;13(3):180-7. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12095.


Background: Postacne scarring is disfiguring, both physically as well as psychologically. Over the past two decades, multiple modalities for treatment of acne scars have emerged and microneedling with dermaroller is one of them.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of microneedling treatment for atrophic facial acne scars.

Material and methods: Thirty-six patients (female--26, male--10) of postacne atrophic facial scars underwent five sittings of dermaroller under topical anesthesia at monthly intervals. Objective evaluation of improvement was performed by recording the acne scar assessment score at baseline and thereafter at every visit. Pre- and posttreatment photographs were compared, and improvement was graded on quartile score. Final assessment was performed 1 month after the last sitting. Patients were asked to grade the improvement in acne scars on visual analog scale (VAS, 0-10 point scale) at the end of study.

Results: Of 36 patients, 30 completed the study. The age group ranged from 18 to 40 years, and all patients had skin phototype IV or V. There was a statistically significant decrease in mean acne scar assessment score from 11.73 ± 3.12 at baseline to 6.5 ± 2.71 after five sittings of dermaroller. Investigators' assessment based on photographic evaluation showed 50-75% improvement in majority of patients. The results on visual analog scale (VAS) analysis showed "good response" in 22 patients and "excellent response" in four patients, at the end of study. The procedure was well tolerated by most of the patients, and chief complications noted were postinflammatory hyperpigmentation in five patients and tram-trek scarring in two patients.

Conclusion: Microneedling with dermaroller is a simple and cheap, means of treatment modality for acne scars remodulation with little downtime, satisfactory results and peculiar side effects in Asian skin type.

Keywords: acne scarring; microneedling; minimally invasive; treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / complications*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asian People
  • Cicatrix / ethnology
  • Cicatrix / etiology
  • Cicatrix / therapy*
  • Cosmetic Techniques* / adverse effects
  • Cosmetic Techniques* / economics
  • Cosmetic Techniques* / instrumentation
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Ecchymosis / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperpigmentation / etiology
  • Male
  • Needles
  • Pain / etiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult