acne scars

Microneedling VS. Chemical Peels for Acne Scars

chemical peel

Microneedling and chemical peels are two skin treatments that can help to reduce the appearance of acne scars, fine lines, hyperpigmentation and dark marks. The one challenge you may face is choosing which treatment is best for the issue you are trying to improve.

Chemical Peel Basics

A chemical peel is a skin resurfacing procedure that consists of applying an acidic solution to the skin to remove the upper layers of skin cells. The process of getting a chemical peel generates new skin cells and reveals the healthier skin underneath, which in turn helps to improve acne scars, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone & fine lines. Chemical peels can also help with sun damage caused by harmful UV rays. 

Chemical peels are typically classified by their depth of skin penetration. These range from: superficial, medium & deep peels -  with superficial penetrating the stratum corneum of the epidermis which is the uppermost level. And deep peels reach the dermis, which should be done by a professional.

Pros of Chemical Peels

Cons of Chemical Peels

Renews skin by getting rid of dead skin cells

Dryness, itchiness & soreness: common side effects to chemical peels

Fairly quick treatment: 10 minutes - 2 hours depending on the type

Allergic reactions: people with sensitive skin & certain skin allergies might not be suitable for this treatment

Efficiency: chemical peels can be chosen based on their need & can help certain acne scars

Infections: infections may happen because the skin barrier that prevents the entry of bacteria is destroyed for the time being

Convenient: Some superficial chemical peels can be done at home

Expensive: the cost done by professionals vary from $100 - $3000 depending on how deep the peel goes

Microneedling Basics

Microneedling is a non-invasive procedure where several sterile micro needles are pressed into the skin. This triggers the skin wound repair system which in turn encourages the formation of new collagen and elastin fibers. It also increases the absorption of skincare applied afterwards.  Microneedling is great for removing acne scars, fine lines, and improving hyperpigmentation and melasma. 


Choosing between the two

Similarly, both microneedling and chemical peels will improve the overall appearance and texture of your skin. The different types of skin issues that you are dealing with will ultimately determine which treatment would be best for you. 

When it comes to choosing between the two,  chemical peels tend to work best for hyperpigmentation, while deeper peels can be applied for acne scars. However certain deeper chemical peels may not be suitable for those with darker skin tones.  Microneedling can work well for deeper acne scarring, fine lines, & older scars and works well for all skin tones.

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