Laser Versus Microneedling Therapy – Is One Superior than the other?Blogija
Are you choosing between laser therapy and microneedling therapy to treat your atrophic acne scars? Can you not decide which of the two strategies you will use? In here, you will find out whether one technique is superior or far better than the other or do they have the same effects?
Which is Better? A Clinical Trial Reveals the Answer
In a randomized clinical trial study of Cachafeiro and colleagues, they compared non ablative fractional erbium laser 1,340 nm with microneedling for treating atrophic acne scars. Laser therapy is one of the proven dermatologic techniques which are used for treating acne scars. Just recently, microneedling therapy has been showing a lot of positive reviews and outcome in clinical trials.
Microneedling with dermarollers provides quick recovery period and lower risk of having post inflammatory pigmentation. More so compared with laser therapy, it offers a much lower costs.1
In the study, 46 patients having atrophic facial acne scars where randomly selected to undergo either laser therapy or microneedling therapy. They were assigned into groups and each will receive three sessions of both treatment performed on a monthly basis. Two dermatologists who are unaware which of the two belong to the laser therapy group and or microneedling group validated the post acne scarring scale.1
They evaluate the outcome before two months and after six months of the treatment. They also noted the side effects of the treatment which is recorded on every follow-up visit.
The results of the study showed that both of the two groups showed a significant improvement in their atrophic acne scarring. But there was not any statistically significant difference between the results of both therapies. Although, the erythema after the treatment session was longer for the laser group while 13.6% of the subjects had post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.1
The post inflammatory hyperpigmentation was not observed or noted with the microneedling group. Therefore, the researchers concluded that nonablative fractional laser 1,340 nm and microneedling with dermarollers are both effective and comparable in terms of treatment per se for atrophic acne scars. But among the two microneedling is better tolerated, with lesser downtime and fewer side effects than laser therapy.1
Is Non Ablative Fractional Lasers Effective?
The Non Ablative Fractional Lasers is an effective and safe procedure which is used in treating various skin conditions. Aside from atrophic acne scarring it is also being used to remove café au lait macules for patients with darker’s skin type.  It is also being used for treating erythma dyschromicum perstans or EDP which is an acquired pigmentary disorder with an unknown cause. 
The point here is, the non ablative fractional laser is used for wide variety of skin procedures and it has its own benefits and safety profile. It’s superiority in terms of treating wide array of skin conditions cannot be questioned. Studies have demonstrated that the procedure is potentially safe and effective therapeutic option in treating wide array of skin condition.
Microneedling goes ahead of non ablative fractional lasers in terms of lesser side effects and reduce downtime.
Why Laser Therapy and Microneedling Therapy are Being Compared?
Among the different dermatologic treatment laser and microneedling therapy has some similarity that is why they are often compared with each other. Ablative laser therapy is approved to enhance the topical drug penetration. It has a similar therapeutic modality with microneedling which uses the dermaroller with microneedles to enhance the topical penetration of serums and other topical agent. They are also both used to treat scarring, depigmentation and other skin conditions.
Microneedling with Dermarollers is More Effective in Terms of?
The study has shown that in terms of effectiveness, both laser therapy and microneedling therapy can reduce atrophic acne scarring in patients. All the participants of the study observed a significant improvement in their acne scarring after undergoing the treatment.
But in terms of tolerance, downtime and side effects, microneedling with dermarollers is better than the laser therapy. Patients in laser therapy control groups experience erythema and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation whereas microneedling group did not experience any.
Which will you Choose?
The decision is yours. Whether you will use laser or microneedling, the bottom line is both treatment modality is effective in treating atrophic acne scars and other skin conditions. But if you do not want to have longer down time and you want to get back to your daily routine immediately, you may opt for microneedling with dermarolling therapy.
If you also do not want to experience more side effects, microneedling is the better option among the two.
At the end, it is you who decide.
 Cachafeiro T, Escobar G, Maldonado G, Cestari T, Corleta O. (2016). Comparison of Nonablative Fractional Erbium Laser 1,340 nm and Microneedling for the Treatment of Atrophic Acne Scars: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Dermatol Surg. , 232-41.
 Balaraman B, Ravanfar-Jordan P, Friedman PM1,. (2016). Novel use of non-ablative fractional photothermolysis for café-au-lait macules in darker skin types. Lasers Surg Med. .
 Wolfshohl JA, Geddes ER, Stout AB, Friedman PM. (2016). Improvement of erythema dyschromicum perstans using a combination of the 1,550-nm erbium-doped fractionated laser and topical tacrolimus ointment. Lasers Surg Med.