Microneedling by dermapen and glycolic acid peel for the treatment of acne scars: Comparative study

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2019 Feb;18(1):107-114. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12827. Epub 2018 Dec 9.


Background: Many methods have been performed to achieve a satisfying outcome in acne scars but some of them were high cost and also were associated with low results and some complications.

Objectives: To evaluate and compare the efficacy and safety therapy of glycolic acid (GA) peel, microneedling with dermapen and a combination of both procedures in treatment of atrophic acne scars.

Patents and methods: This study was conducted on 30 patients suffering from acne scars. They were randomly assigned into three groups, each group included 10 patients; group I was treated with GA peel, group II treated was with microneedling. Group III received a combination of both procedures. All patients received six sessions with 2-week intervals. The clinical assessment was based on the qualitative global scar grading system before and after treatment, quartile grading scale, and degree of patient satisfaction.

Results: There was a statistically significant decrease in acne scars grade after treatment among the studied groups (P = 0.04) but it was higher in group III. There was improvement in boxcar, ice pick, and rolling scars in all groups, respectively (P = 0.03, P = 0.04, P = 0.04). Patients' satisfaction was higher in group III (P = 0.04).

Conclusion: The combination of dermapen and GA peel is more effective than monotherapy.

Keywords: atrophic acne scars; dermapen; glycolic acid peel; microneedling.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / complications
  • Adult
  • Chemexfoliation
  • Cicatrix / etiology
  • Cicatrix / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cosmetic Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Female
  • Glycolates / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Keratolytic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needles*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Random Allocation
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Young Adult


  • Glycolates
  • Keratolytic Agents
  • glycolic acid