Just ask anyone who has been through the rounds of having acne… there are few things more frustrating than dealing with inflamed, irritated skin! But the frustration of acne doesn’t stop there as for many people, long after the active acne has subsided, they’re left with acne scarring.
Acne scars like many other scars, can fade with time – but what if you’d like to speed up the process, feel more confident and reveal smoother, more even looking skin?
Enter the Dr. Pen M8, an advanced microneedling pen that can dramatically help with the treatment of acne scars, surgical scars, burn scars and more – as well as providing a myriad of anti-ageing benefits!
Before we explain how it works, let’s find out how acne scars are formed so we can better understand how your skin works.
What are scars and why do they occur?
Scars are a natural part of the body’s healing process. Scars form from the process of wound repair and most wounds, except for very minor ones, usually result in some form of scarring. Scars can form from skin diseases, trauma to the skin, accidents or surgeries. Scars can also appear as stretch marks, such as the stretch marks that appear during pregnancy as a result of dramatic expansion of the skin to accommodate for a growing baby.
Scars form when the dermis (the deepest, thickest layer of your skin) is damaged. The body forms new collagen fibres – a type of protein – to heal the damage. This results in a scar that remains after the wound has completely healed.
What causes acne?
Many factors can dictate your predisposition to acne, including genetics and environment, as well as personal hygiene and face washing habits. Acne is typically caused by hormones and an overproduction of oil. When hair follicles become trapped by oil, this leads to the growth of bacteria.
After an acne cyst is formed, the skin pores become inflamed and engorged with excess oil, dead skin cells and bacteria. Then the pore swells and causes a break or tear in the follicle wall. If the break is shallow, it will heal quickly – but with ongoing or cystic acne, the breaks in the follicle wall are often deeper and the infected material can spill out into the surrounding tissue. This creates deeper lesions and the skin attempts to heal by forming new collagen fibers. Usually these collagen repairs aren’t as flawless as the original skin.
There are two main acne scars categories:
#1 Hypertrophic or Keloid Scarring
Hypertrophic or keloid scarring occurs when the body produces too much collagen as wounds heal, creating a mass of raised tissue on the skin’s surface.
#2 Atrophic or Depressed Scarring
Atrophic or depressed scarring develops when there’s tissue loss. This can look like “pock mark” scarring or “ice-pick” scars, which present as small yet obvious holes in the skin.
“Boxcar” scars are depressed areas that are usually oval or round in shape, with steeply angled sides – not dissimilar to the appearance of chickenpox scarring.
Most people with acne scarring have a mixture of scar types. Finding the right treatment option is crucial for revealing smooth, rejuvenated skin and minimising the appearance of acne scars.
Can acne scars be fully removed?
Most acne scars will fade with time, but many people are eager to speed up the process so that they can feel more confident. The degree of improvement of acne scarring is dependent on the scar type, scar severity and skin colour.
Commonly recommended treatments for acne scars include topical treatments (such as Vitamin E), steroid injections, radiotherapy, dermabrasion and microdermabrasion, laser resurfacing, filler injections and cryosurgery.
Many of these options are invasive, costly, have significant downtime and aren’t suitable for all skin types. Recent research studies have shown that microneedling is a great option for reducing the visible effects of acne scarring.
How can micro needling reduce acne scarring?
Microneedling tools are comprised of tiny needles that gently puncture the skin and create small wounds called micro channels. These wounds are almost undetectable to the naked eye – but not to the skin, and that’s the key!
Micro needling tricks the skin into thinking that it’s being injured and it produces a healing response. Gliding tiny needles across the skin creates micro channels, and breaks down collagen bundles found in the top layer of the dermis – and it’s these collagen bundles that are responsible for the uneven texture of acne scars.
Microneedling stimulates the repair process of the skin by immediately boosting collagen production in an even manner, resulting in plumper skin tone and even texture – which minimises the appearance of scarring.
Within a few microneedling treatments most people see a noticeable improvement in their acne scarring (depending on the type and severity of scars). Microneedling treatments can be performed once every month – allowing your skin plenty of time to heal and produce new collagen and elastin.
Micro needling results in deep acne scars being lessened, pockmarks visibly reduced and more even skin tone and texture. Microneedling helps reveal new skin that looks visibly brighter, smoother and firmer. And compared to other scar-reduction treatments, microneedling carries almost no side effects.
The Dr. Pen M8 PowerDerm System
The Dr. Pen M8 model is our most advanced model, and if you suffer from acne scarring that you’d like to improve, then this is the one for you!
Because acne-scarred skin has been compromised and is often uneven, it’s crucial to use a microneedling pen with the thinnest possible needle gauge – this will avoid causing excessive trauma to the skin, whilst still allowing the needles to penetrate deep into the skin to create those micro channels that are going to stimulate the deep skin healing that you’re after.
The M8 has the finest needle gauge pin cartridges on the market – this means less trauma on the skin, and less discomfort (which is great news, particularly because scar tissue can sometimes be more sensitive to discomfort than non-compromised tissue). The needles on the M8 are also specially designed with an ‘arc edge’. This gives them improved efficiency, and is designed specifically to flatten uneven skin surfaces (as often found with acne-scarred skin) whilst micro needling.
The fine needles also allow you to operate the microneedling pen in smaller areas than previous models, which means that you can pivot and move the pen seamlessly around your face to target all areas where you might have experienced acne scarring, such as within the nasio-labial folds (the folds down the sides of the nose to the mouth), where bacteria can gather. And because the needles penetrate the skin vertically, they are easily able to penetrate any scar tissue without risk of bending – the ultimate in precision, so you can rest assured that you have full control over where you target your treatment.
What can you expect after microneedling your acne scars with the Dr. Pen M8?
Whilst micro needling results are a ‘gradual reveal’ that will appear over a 4-6 week period following your treatment, you’ll also love watching a noticeable cosmetic improvement in your skin within a few days after the first treatment.
Please note: The M8 is designed to be used on acne scars, however it should not be used on active acne, open wounds or irritated skin. If you have extensive keloid scarring, please consult with a medical professional prior to starting any treatment, as keloid scars are often more reactive than other types of scars.
The treatment itself carries some minor discomfort, however the use of a topical numbing cream makes this more than tolerable. After applying numbing cream, many people describe the sensation of microneedling as a ‘scratchy tickling’ sensation. In terms of side effects, your skin may appear a little red or flaky for several days, so we recommend making sure to perform the treatment at least a week out from any events that you may wish to attend.
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of microneedling lies in product penetration – because you’re creating micro challes deeper into the skin, any topical treatments that you apply to the skin are going to skin in so much deeper, and give you far superior results. When paired with a great serum (such as Vitamin C, which plumps, hydrates, evens and protects), your skin will thank you and your acne scars won’t know what hit them!
Want to take your results even further?
To increase the effects of your microneedling treatment with the Dr. Pen M8, you can also assist your skin’s healing process by using an LED Mask for Light Therapy.
The LED Mask is a non-invasive cosmetic treatment that can be used nightly. It works by using different wavelengths of light to visibly improve and rejuvenate the skin – giving you a choice of 7 different colours/wavelengths, all of which have unique benefits and applications.
The C3/Blue wavelength, specifically, is used in clinics as an acne solution. The C3 wavelength works to kill acnes bacteria (the bacteria that is active in acne) within the skin, thus preventing future breakouts. This can be a great step to add after microneedling your acne scars, especially if you find that skin treatments result in minor breakouts as bacteria leaves your skin – as this will help ensure that your pores stay squeaky clean whilst you work on evening out the textural irregularities of any acne scars.
The C5/Light Blue wavelength is also a great choice, as it has a soothing effect on injured or broken skin, and is going to further stimulate healing within the micro channels that the microneedling creates. It also strengthens the skin, helps desensitise it and also reduces oil production, so again, it’s going to help keep your pores nice and clean so your skin can focus on healing and producing plenty of new collagen and glowing, radiant, smooth new skin!
If you’ve got acne scars that you’re looking to fade, we recommend speaking with your doctor before starting any treatment – it’s important to understand your specific scar tissue to understand how it’s likely to respond to treatment, as this will help give you the best results.