Micro Needling For Acne Scars: Cost, Results, Candidates

Skin Conditions, Treatments

Micro needling for acne scars induces collagen production to improve the appearance of atrophic acne scars. Multiple tiny pokes are made into the skin causing controlled injury. The healing of these penetrating injuries creates collagen within indented, sunken acne scars. Microneedling for acne scars is also referred to as dermaroller therapy and collagen induction therapy (CIT).

How Much Does Micro Needling Acne Scars Cost:

Microneedling is considered a relatively inexpensive acne scar therapy. The procedure generally needs 4 to 8 sessions to achieve the best results. Each session will cost between $200 to $800 depending on several factors. The number of scars to be treated, the popularity of your chosen practitioner, and consultation and travel expenses all influence final fees. Also, micro needling for acne scars is often combined with other modalities such as laser, so knowing your total fee often requires a consultation and treatment plan.

How Is Micro Needling Acne Scars Done?

Two types of devices are commonly used for microneedling acne. 


This is a roller device studded with many tiny needles on its surface. Dermarollers used for acne scars have needles that are 1.5 mm to 2 mm in length. The device is used by rolling it over the skin’s surface, thereby creating thousands of tiny puncture injuries in the skin.

dermaroller device for microneedling for acne scars
Dermaroller device for microneedling acne scars

Motorized Dermastamp

This is an electronic device that makes use of a tip bearing about 12 multiple short needles. Upon activation, the machine repeatedly inserts the needles into the skin. The user moves the tool over the area of skin to be treated. 

microneedling for acne dermapen tip
Electronic dermastamp device for microneedling acne scars

Both dermarollers and motorized dermastamps are available on the market for home use.

Who’s A Candidate For Microneedling Acne Scars?

Atrophic scars including rolling and boxcar acne scars can be improved using micro needling. Icepick scars tend to respond less well to the technique.

micro needling for acne results
Results for microneedling of rolling acne scars (Credit: mdneedlepen.com)
micro needling for acne results
Microneedling for acne scars results (Credit: Dr. Nancy Samolities)
micro needling for acne results
Result for microneedling of rolling acne scars (Credit: mdneedlepen.com)

Who Shouldn’t Get MicroNeedling For Acne Scars?

People with certain conditions should avoid this procedure. The minimally-invasive nature of micro needling acne can cause complications in individuals with:

  • Bleeding issues or on blood thinners
  • Active or very recent cold sores
  • History of making keloid scars
  • Recent use of vitamin A (isotretinoin) products
  • Microneedling Acne Scars Process

First, the skin is washed with a gentle disinfecting agent to remove bacteria and makeup. A topical skin anesthetic will be applied to numb the treatment zone. Either a dermaroller or dermastamp device is used over the treatment area. This induces thousands of tiny needle pricks. This will create many tiny bleeding points on the skin’s surface. 

Generally, about 3 to 4 sessions spaced 4 to 8 weeks apart are needed to achieve maximum results. Full results can take close to a year to appreciate as the production of collagen induced by the treatment takes time.

After Care 

Microneedling for acne is considered a minimally invasive procedure due to the very tiny length of the needles used. The area will become red, and potentially swollen. There can also be spots of noticeable bruising. Pain is generally minimal. Prescription pain killers are rarely needed and the use of over-the-counter meds like Advil or Tylenol suffices in most cases.

Complications Of Micro Needling Acne Scars

Side effects and complications of microneedling for acne scars can include:

  • bleeding
  • hyperpigmentation (uncommon)
  • scarring (especially in keloid prone individuals)
  • activation of cold sores


Microneedling acne scars is minimally invasive and relatively affordable treatment. Complications tend to be uncommon and minor. The atrophic acne scars that respond best to microneeding are rolling and boxcar types. Some success has been seen with icepick scars as well. Microneedling is often combined with other modalities such as laser and PRP to achieve maximum benefit.

Medical References:

Acne scar management, Robin Sahni

Gupta A, Kaur M, Patra S, Khunger N, Gupta S. Evidence-based Surgical Management of Post-acne Scarring in Skin of Color. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2020;13(2):124-141. doi:10.4103/JCAS.JCAS_154_19

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