19 Oct Microneedling Beats Peels for Treating Acne in New Study
If you have the lingering signs of acne—hyperpigmentation, light scarring, and shallow pits—you understandably want to get rid of them for good. But which is better, microneedling or a chemical peel? Both are available at RefinedMD and we can help match you with the right choice for you during a consultation. However, a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology might sway you. Researchers found that microneedling is better than a chemical peel for many clients, although bear in mind that any treatment plan should be customized just for you. Let’s take a look at what the latest science says.
Active acne is troubling enough, but once you get it under control you want to leave the signs of acne’s past behind you (don’t worry, we can help you with treating active acne, too). For many years, chemical peels were the go-to treatment for acne scarring and skin darkening, but many peels aren’t safe for darker skin tones. They can make hyperpigmentation worse or, in some cases, result in hypopigmentation. There are some peels safe for those with more melanin, which we carry in-office, but they aren’t all the best choice to specifically treat signs of acne.
What the Study Shows
During a study that included 60 participants, all of whom had acne scars, the individuals were separated into two groups based on their skin tone. One group received a treatment with a chemical peel featuring 35 percent glycolic acid. This is a common acid and strength in chemical peels that does not require intensive downtime. A chemical peel literally peels away the top layer or layers of skin. It reveals more youthful, clearer skin below the surface. It can be considered a collagen induction therapy since it is a controlled trauma, but it cannot compare to the collagen induction achieved via microneedling.
The other group received microneedling sessions. Both groups got their treatments every two weeks for three months. Those who underwent microneedling received “traditional” microneedling treatments in which tiny sterilized needles created micro-channels in the skin to stimulate collagen production. Collagen is the natural healing agent our bodies produce, but microneedling manipulates and manages it so that it targets specific tissues and sites.
According to the findings, “microneedling provided better treatment outcomes compared to 35% glycolic acid peels in patients with darker skin tones.” It is important to note that microneedling is the more recommended approach for those who are melanin-rich. Participants who have fairer skin tones also achieved great results from chemical peels. So, which is right for you? It might depend on your skin tone—or you might simply need to be matched with the right treatment based on your unique skin, acne scarring, and goals. In fact, mixing and matching chemical peels and microneedling has been the most effective solution for several people.
Also bear in mind that microneedling can vary. Today, there are various different types of microneedling techniques and tools. Something else to consider is how quickly results are seen. The peel used in this study is typical, and while some pinkness may occur for a few days, there is little downtime. The superficial skin peels and flakes away typically within two weeks. This means that you may see quicker and more obvious improvement compared to microneedling, which requires collagen induction solely from the inside out. In the end, both can yield great results, but if you’re more inclined to instant gratification, a chemical peel might help with that.
An Individualized Plan
So, which should you get, a peel or microneedling? Find out during a consultation. Since both of these methods are minimally invasive yet create a controlled damage, it is typically not recommended to get them during the same appointment. However, you can alternate which therapy you receive during your initial series of treatments. This will allow you to double down on the collagen induction and enjoy the unique benefits of both treatments.
To learn more about microneedling, peels, and more options for acne scar treatment, get in touch with RefinedMD today. Call the office during business hours or complete the online contact form now.