Dermarolling Plus Acid Peels: Effective for Treating Acne Scars for Dark Skin – The Truth Unfold

Dermarolling Plus Acid Peels: Effective for Treating Acne Scars for Dark Skin – The Truth Unfold

Do you have a dark skin complexion? Is Dermarolling Therapy effective in treating acne scars for your skin type? Is the extent of damage of acne scars similar with a lighter skin complexion versus darker skin complexion?

Acne scars causes psychosocial and emotional disturbances to a patient. [1] Post-acne scarring in particular is psychologically depressing and disfiguring for anyone having darker or lighter skin. [2] Therefore, there are many treatment modalities used in treating acne scars such as:

  • Peels
  • Subcision
  • Punch excision
  • Unfractionated and fractionated lasers
  • Microdermabrasion

The current in the wide arsenal of treatment armamentarium is dermarolling therapy or microneeding. The main problem with acne scars is that it usually coexists with a post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. As a result, a combination therapy of glycolic acid or GA peels and microneedling are currently being used to provide more improved results in treating acne scars. A recent study has examined the efficacy of microneedling and glycolic peel for treating acne scars in dark or pigmented skin.

Based from the study, volunteers were able to observe significant improvement in their acne scars both in superficial and moderately deep scars. They also observed an improvement in their skin texture and there was a considerable reduction in the post acne pigmentation.

Without a doubt, dermarolling therapy is a simple and inexpensive out-patient clinic procedure with no any downtime. It is safe in patients with darker skin complexion. The study has proved that a combined treatment of microneedling with GA peel has shown significant improvement in acne scars without any morbidity or grave side-effects. 1

How Chemical Peeling Help Reduce Acne Scars for Dark Skin Individuals?

Acne Scars for Dark Skin 1

For years, chemical peeling has been widely used as one of the multiple treatment modalities in treating acne scars.  Use of medium-depth chemical peels has found to be effective and safe method in treating scars particularly for patients having dark complexion. [3]

Patients with dark skin complexion may suffer from various forms of acne scars. There are atrophic crater-like or saucer form of acne and there are pitted or ice-pick form. Used of chemical peeling alone has prove to be effective in treating these form of acne scars.

If there is any side-effect of chemical peeling it would be post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation but usually the symptoms are transient and or will resolve immediately after several days. Generally, people with light brown complexion will not have any hyperpigmentation.  There are only very few patients who experience prolong erythema that may last for 1 month.2

After chemical peeling, patients noticed that they are free of visible pigmentation following a 3 month treatment period. Usually patients are asked to undergo a series of chemical peeling depending on the severity of the acne scars.

Glycolic acid peels is widely used by most clinicians in treating facial scars, acne and skin hyperpigmentation.[4]  It is usually being applied for patients with lighter skin.  However, recent studies have noted that it is also effective for patients with darker skin.

How Dermarolling Therapy Helps Reduce or Remove Acne Scars?

Microneedling with dermaroller therapy is one of the newest treatment modality used in treating acne scars.  2 The good thing about dermarolling treatment is that it is relative cheap and simple procedure. The means of treating acne scars has little downtime so patients can immediately get back to work after the procedure.

The results are also noticeable and satisfactory within few days of initial treatment. And considerable improvement is observed months after the therapy. Skin with darker pigmentation like Asian skin types had no any peculiar side effects 2 making it a great treatment option for this population.

Combined Treatment of Dermarolling Therapy and Chemical Peeling: A Perfect Combo!

Combining dermarolling therapy and chemical peeling is a brilliant idea. It is like getting the best out of the two treatments modalities to produce a more potent effect. Dermatologist has been using these two treatments because it is proven to be effective in reducing or removing acne scars.

A study has shown that patients who underwent the treatment have observed a significant improvement in their post acne scars. Aside from that, they also noticed that their skin texture improved because of the reduction of post-acne hyperpigmentation. So the crater like scars was reduced. More so, the combination treatment has proven to be effective in reducing acne for darker skin type.

Is Dermarolling Therapy Effective for Darker Skin Color?

Having a darker complexion or an ethnic skin is not a limitation for having a successful dermarolling treatment. There are many skin resurfacing procedures that can be used for pigmented skin such as:

  • Chemical peels
  • Laser therapy
  • Dermabrasion

The only drawback is that having darker skin has prolonged recovery and may be at risk of having complication than lighter skin. If you have a dark skin, you have higher risk of scarring, dyspigmentation and unsatisfactory clinical outcome.[5]

Dermarolling therapy or microneedling is a new therapeutic option that is used for wide array of skin and other dermatologic conditions. The good thing about dermarolling therapy is that it can offer a better treatment outcome and more safety profile that is suited for various skin types. It has lesser side-effects as compared with the other skin resurfacing procedures.

As a matter of fact, microneedling with dermarollers is effective in treating wide array of dermatologic conditions including:

  • Melanosis
  • Melasma
  • Acne Vulgaris
  • Primary hyperhidrosis
  • Skin Rejuvenation



[1]Sharad. (2011). Combination of microneedling and glycolic acid peels for the treatment of acne scars in dark skin. J Cosmet Dermatol. , 317-23.

[2] Dogra S, Yadav S, Sarangal R. (2014). Microneedling for acne scars in Asian Skin Types: an effective low cost treatment modality. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology , 180-7.

[3] Al-Waiz MM, A.-S. A. (2002). Medium-depth chemical peels in the treatment of acne scars in dark-skinned individuals. Dermatol Surg. , 383-7.

[4] Garg VK, Sinha S, Sarkar R. (2009). Glycolic acid peels versus salicylic-mandelic acid peels in active acne vulgaris and post-acne scarring and hyperpigmentation: a comparative study. Dermatol Surg. , 59-65.

[5] Cohen BE, Elbuluk N. (2016). Microneedling in skin of color: A review of uses and efficacy. J Am Acad Dermatol. , 348-55.


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