Microneedling Therapy for Atrophic Acne Scars: An Objective Evaluation

J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2015 Jul;8(7):36-42.


Objective: Treatment of acne scarring is always a challenge. Microneedling therapy or percutaneous collagen induction is a new addition to the treatment modalities for such scars and has been reported to be simple and effective in atrophic acne scar treatment. The aim of this study is to evaluate the clinical effect and objectively quantify the histological changes of acne scarring in response to skin microneedling.

Design: A prospective clinical study.

Participants: Ten patients with different types of atrophic acne scars were subjected to three months of skin microneedling treatment (six sessions at two-week intervals).

Measurements: Patients were photographed, and skin biopsies were obtained at baseline as well as one and three months from the start of treatment. Histometry for epidermal thickness and quantitative evaluation of total elastin; newly synthesized tropoelastin; collagen types I, III, and VII; and newly synthesized collagen were performed for all biopsies.

Results: Compared to the baseline, patients' evaluations revealed noticeable clinical improvement in atrophic post-acne scars in response to skin microneedling. There was a statistically significant increase (p<0.05) in the mean of collagen types I, III, and VII and newly synthesized collagen, while total elastin was significantly decreased (p<0.05) after the end of treatment.

Conclusions: Multiple minimally invasive sessions of skin microneedling are an effective treatment for post-acne atrophic scars as it stimulates the repair processes with the advantage of being a relatively risk-free, in-office procedure with minimal patient recovery time.