Today I saw a new patient interested in collagen induction therapy/microneedling; she was curious about how it compares to laser and chemical peels for treating acne scars and evening out the skin tone. She was worried about trying laser and chemical peels because she had read that both come with risks; this patient was particularly concerned because she has a darker skin tone that is prone to hyperpigmentation and doesn’t want to risk damaging her skin.

Traditional resurfacing treatments include laser, microdermabrasion and chemicals peels have a greater risk of leaving areas of hyperpigmentation especially when used with darker skin tones (Cohen, 2016). I encouraged her to give collagen induction therapy a try because current research indicates that it offers a more advantageous safety profile and quicker recovery when compared to other skin resurfacing procedures.

Uses and Benefits of Microneedling

Microneedling has been shown to be effective in a number of skin concerns within this population including:

  • Scarring
  • Melasma
  • Skin rejuvenation
  • Cellulite
  • Stretch marks
  • Fine lines and wrinkles.

Microneedling research:

  • Scarring – After multiple microneedling treatments with a 1.5mm derma roller over 90% of patients saw reduction in severity of atrophic (deep and recessed) facial scars. 80% assessed their treatment as “excellent” on a 10-point scale. No significant adverse effectswere noted in any patient (Majid, 2009).
  • Anti-aging and the treatment of lines and wrinkles – In one study in micro needling was shown to increase new collagen fibers by 206% 6 weeks after treatment. In another, “4 collagen induction therapy sessions 1 month apart shows up to 400% increase in collagen and elastin deposition at 6 months (Yadav, 2016).”
  • Melasma – Microneedling alone, with 1.5 mm needle length, without the addition of any active medication, can cause lightening of skin stains in patients with melasma (Lima, 2015).
  • Androgenic alopecia – Hundreds of cases of androgenic alopecia (most common cause of hair loss in men and women) were divided into 2 groups: one received only: twice daily 5% Minoxidil (like Rogaine) while the other group received twice daily 5% Minoxidil along with weekly micro needling (using a 1.5mm derma roller) (Rachita Dhurat, 2013).

What are the risks involved with microneedling?

Collagen induction therapy/microneedling done by a qualified professional is a very safe procedure with minimal risks. Patients may experience redness and mild swelling of the treatment area for 48 hours following their treatment. I provide patients with a hyaluronic acid sheet mask following microneedling to reduce redness by about 50% within 30 minutes. This mask also provides soothing hydration and promotes collagen production. A study done in 2009 found no adverse effects from microneedling treatment when treating atrophic facial scars (Majid, 2009).

If you are looking for a safe and effective treatment to address scarring, hyperpigmentation, melasma, fine lines, or wrinkles, collagen induction therapy may be your best option based on current research and clinical results. For more information about whether or not this is the right treatment for you, book a free 15 minute consultation at the Integrative Health Institute so we can discuss your individual needs and map out the best protocol for your skin goals. I also encourage you to take a moment to learn more about my approach to skin health here.

Have a beautiful day!


Works Cited

Yadav, A. S. (2016). Microneedling: Advances and widening horizons. Indian Dermatology Online Journal , 7 (4).

Cohen, B. &. (2016). Microneedling in skin of color: A review of uses and efficacy. Journal fo teh American Academy of Dermatology , 74 (2).

Lima, E. d. (2015). Microneedling in facial recalcitrant melasma: report of a series of 22 cases. Brazilian Society of Dermatology , 90 (6).

Majid, I. (2009). Microneedling therapy in atrophic facial scars: An objective assessment. Journal of Cutaneous Aesthetic Surgery , 2 (1), 26-30.

Rachita Dhurat, M. S. (2013). A randomized evaluator blinded study of effect of microneedling in androgenetic alopecia: A pilot study. International Journal of Trichology , 5 (1).