Philadelphia and Mainline Center of Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery

Microneedling treatment for acne scars

[2011-10-02 18:02:28 - Chris from Bryn Mawr]: Hi, What are you thoughts on microneedling versus a laser for acne scars?
[2011-10-04 10:36:59 - Dr. Ringpfeil]: According to the manufacturer's website, microneedling seems to be treating almost every condition. I am hesitant to endorse this technique other than for improved uptake of topical products (please never use before sunscreen in the morning!). It may in fact make a difference in product delivery in those who do not use a topical retinoid regularly. However, I will be able to comment on its efficacy in acne scars only when studies are available.

Derma rolling for the treatment of acne and acne scar

[2011-09-28 13:58:17 - Renee]: Hi Dr. Ringpfeil, I'm a 31 year-old black woman with light/medium brown skin. I've had light to moderate acne since I was a teen. My pores are very large, I'm starting to see depressed scar marks on my cheeks, and I have some dark scars. I've been researching the best options for my skin tone and type and it seems that many treatments are more risky for darker skin tones. Most recently, I heard about "derma rolling". I'm interested in this procedure since, from what I've read, it is safe for all skin tones and types. Is this a service you offer? Is it one that you would recommend? If not, what treatments are safest for my skin tone and type? Thank you, Renee
[2011-10-03 13:17:10 - Dr. Ringpfeil]: You are right about some treatments having unwanted side effects on darker skin types. Proper acne control is a prerequisite to scar treatment and may include prescription items as well as ancillary treatments designed to speed up resolution. The latter include acne facials, peels, microdermabrasion, and even photodynamic therapy. With darker skin you may have to stay away from some IPL treatments such as Isolaz. Derma rolling should be tolerated on your skin type. In my experience it only increases penetration of your topical products but does not treat acne or acne scars by itself. It is unnecessary to perform if you are able to use a retinoid or other agents that speed up skin turnover as part of your acne treatment. Therefore, we do not offer derma rolling but I have heard some spas do. Acne scar treatment on darker skin is possible but may take more treatments than on fair skin. Certain treatments cannot safely be performed such as TCA peels, old-fashioned dermabrasion or full CO2 laser resurfacing. However fractionated CO2 laser treatments can be performed.

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