December 11, 2018

Acne remains one of the most stubborn skin conditions. Data from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) shows that it’s the most common facial blemish in the United States, affecting up to 50 million people yearly. Among these, the majority are teenagers and young adults. Approximately 85% of people aged 12 to 24 and 40-55% of adults aged 20 to 40 years have the condition.

Considering the stigma associated with acne, many treatments and remedies have been developed, the most recent one being microneedling with Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP). Question is – how effective is this new approach in reversing the symptoms of the condition? Can microneedling be used with PRP to treat acne scars?

Let’s begin by understanding what the procedure involves.

What is Microneedling with PRP?

Microneedling with PRP involves two procedures; microneedling and PRP treatment. The two procedures are performed together simultaneously to achieve the desired effects.

Microneedling

Originally known as collagen induction therapy, microneedling is a minimally invasive skin rejuvenation procedure used to treat a range of aesthetic and medical conditions. It is based on the principle of neovascularization (formation of microvascular networks with red blood cell perfusion) and neocollagenesis (new collagen formation) that occurs during the healing process following an injury to the skin.

As such, the procedure involves triggering self-repair deep within the skin by creating thousands of micro-injuries and inducing a healing response within the tissue through a physical and mechanical process.

Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment

PRP, meanwhile, is the purest form of blood plasma taken from a small sample of the patient’s blood drawn in the doctor’s office. To extract PRP, the blood sample is carefully manipulated in a sterile process that takes place in a specially designed centrifuge.

The extract contains stem cells and autologous blood products that carry essential growth factors necessary for tissue regeneration. In fact, PRP, over the past two decades, has been used in multiple medical procedures to aid in wound healing. Some of the practices where the procedure is used include; oral surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedics, sports medicine, and plastic and cosmetic surgery. This quality can be tapped to help with faster, healthier healing following a microneedling procedure. 

Combining the Two Procedures Produces Amazing Results

The treatment is often performed in two steps; you’ll go through a microneedling session then PRP massage. First, though, the doctor will cleanse your skin and apply a topical anesthetic to numb the area. The anesthesia takes around 30 minutes to set after which the main procedure begins.

The microneedling session lasts about 30 minutes. During this time, the doctor will apply professional-grade derma roller and move it in sweeping or circular motions. As your face numbs, PRP is extracted. Then, the extracted solution is massaged into the treatment area.

The microneedling procedure opens microchannels, targeting the deeper layers of the skin. These microchannels provide passage for the PRP solution. Once the solution gets to the deeper layers of the skin, it triggers a tissue regeneration process. Meanwhile, the microneedling effect will also have triggered a wound-healing reaction.

The end result is that the treated area heals not only faster but also more safely. More importantly, thanks to the tissue regeneration qualities of the PRP extract, the healed area will exhibit significantly reduced fine lines, wrinkles, stretch marks, and yes, acne scars.

Is There Scientific Proof?

Yes, there is. A 2014 study by the Association of Cutaneous Surgeons of India found that acne scar reduction is better with microneedling + PRP. In the study, 76.67% of patients achieved a significant reduction in scarring. Moreover, the results were permanent and patients experienced fewer, less intense side effects.

Make the Call

In Scottsdale, our expert staff of trained medical professionals is ready to help you achieve clear skin. For more information on the procedure and whether you would be a good candidate, contact us and discover why we are a trusted supporter of your aesthetic needs.