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Image of a woman representing microneedling for acne scars

Microneedling for acne scars - seven things you need to know

Medically reviewed by
Dr. Elen Goncharova at MSM Pro Derma Poly Clinic

Microneedling – a method that uses fine needles to prick the skin, encouraging skin rejuvenation and cell regrowth – is an increasingly popular treatment for acne scars.

But what exactly can you expect from microneedling for acne scars? And what are the top things to consider before booking your appointment?

1. Preparation is key

As with any cosmetic treatment, preparation is key. At consultation stage, you will be advised to avoid certain products and medications beforehand. If you want to book in for treatment immediately or soon after consultation, ring ahead, as some medication, such as ibuprofen, need to be ceased at least three days before the procedure.

Longer term preparation could be building up your skin barrier with specialised skincare or other treatments such as LED before going ahead with microneedling.

2. Create a great skincare routine

Take this as an opportunity to get to know your skin, what works for you, and what doesn’t. Create a daily care routine to keep on top of skin maintenance – many dermatologists recommend combining microneedling acne scars with vitamin C products. Cleanse daily, exfoliate occasionally, and never miss out on that all-important SPF.

3. Look into combination treatments

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections are often used alongside the procedure to enhance healing and results. This involves drawing a small amount of your blood, separating the PRP, and massaging it into the treatment area. Another option is a post-treatment glycolic acid peel, which can be done a few days after microneedling.

4. Work out which type is best for you

There are a few different types of microneedling, so speak to your doctor or dermatologist to determine which might be best for you. Radiofrequency (RF) microneedling applies radiofrequency waves deep under the skin to enhance collagen production. There’s also mesotherapy, which focuses on the top layer of skin, and mechanical and dermarolling, which are the more ‘classic’ forms of microneedling.

5. Don’t avoid aftercare

Take time to see how your skin reacts to different treatments and skincare products both while it’s healing, and post-healing. Some people prefer to go make-up free during the process to keep their skin extra clean and give their body time to do its thing. You can always speak to your dermatologist for additional advice on aftercare too.

6. Side-effects are usually very mild

The most common side-effects associated with microneedling acne scars are slight soreness, redness, and swelling. These should be quite mild and usually go away within a few days – nothing to worry about. However, if you experience any bruising, peeling, bleeding, or signs of infection, call your doctor.

7. Embrace the benefits

Even if microneedling acne scars can take time to fade marks – with three to four sessions over the course of six months generally recommended – there are still plenty of additional benefits that can come alongside having the procedure.

Pores can feel more open, which means they may absorb skincare products better, and many people say their skin glows for weeks afterwards.


Microneedling can be a great way of helping unwanted acne scarring to fade and is available in a variety of forms. Just remember to do your research, find out what works for you and take full advantage of the skin rejuvenation possibilities available.

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