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Acne Scar Treatment for Dark Skin: Microneedling vs Peels
When it comes to treating acne scarring, individuals with darker skin tones face some obstacles that patients with less melanin do not. Therefore, it is essential to always seek out skin car experts who are skilled and experienced in treating people of color, like the skin care specialists at AMAE Med Spa in the greater Southfield, MI area.
To begin with, dark-skinned individuals are 15 times more likely to form keloid scars than lighter-skinned individuals. Although keloids can occur in all ethnic groups, they are most commonly seen in Black individuals – and to a lesser degree those of Hispanic and Mediterranean descent.
Adding to the complexity of treating acne scars on darker skin tones is the fact that darker skin tones are more prone to hyperpigmentation and skin damage when exposed to injury or inflammation. And, the melanin in dark skin tones can often cause excess absorption of laser rays. So, many traditional scar treatments are automatically off the table for dark skinned individuals.
Microneedling vs Peels for Acne Scar Treatment on Dark Skin
Worse scarring with safe fewer treatments can create a scar treatment conundrum for many Black, Hispanic and Middle Eastern people. As a result, the “go-to” acne scar treatment for people of color was chemical peels of a lesser strength so as not to cause hyperpigmentation.
But newer microneedling technology has also proven safe and effective for darker skin. So, which treatment is better for treating acne scars – traditional peels or new microneedling?
Microneedling vs Peels for Acne Scar Research Study
A recent study from Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, NJ – published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology – compared microneedling and chemical peels to see which works best for treating acne scars on dark skin.
In the Rutgers University acne scar study, researchers compared microneedling to a 35% glycolic acid chemical peel to see which worked best. 60 males and females from ages 15 to 50 who had darker skin (IV, V, or VI on the Fitzpatrick Skin Scale) participated in the study.
[Note: Individuals with active acne cases, diabetes, or HIV infections were excluded from the study.]
The patients were randomly placed in Group A (microneedling) or Group B (chemical peel). Both of the participant groups received treatments every 2 weeks for 12 weeks. The researchers waited for two weeks after the last treatment and then brought in the participants to judge the effectiveness of their treatments.
The Goodman and Baron Scarring Grading System, which uses ‘points’, was used to evaluate the patients’ improvement in acne scars.
Participants who received the acne scar microneedling treatment had the best results, with 73% of the group seeing improvement in scars of ‘two points’ just 2 weeks after the last treatment. (It should be noted here that microneedling results continue to improve for up to 6 weeks or more.)
Only 33% of the darker skinned chemical peel participants had an improvement of 2 points on the Goodman and Baron scale 2 weeks after treatment.
Acne Scar Treatment for Dark Skin | Southfield, MI Area
Based on the results of this study professional microneedling is one of the few procedures that effectively and safely addresses acne scarring in darker skin tones. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. M. Azhar Ali himself has darker skin tones – and understands the concerns and special techniques required to safely and effectively treat people of color.
AMAE Med Spa in the Southfield, MI area offers 3 different microneedling systems for scar treatment: SkinStylus®, and radiofrequency assisted Morpheus8® and Profound® microneedling.
If you live in the greater Southfield or Birmingham, MI area are bothered by acne scars, or any other skin concerns, schedule a consultation at AMAE Med Spa today – and love the skin you’re in.