Microneedling Bests Chemical Peels for Fading Acne Scars in Darker Skin

08/19/2022

Treatment produced an improvement of two points or more on the Goodman and Baron Scarring Grading System in 33 percent of patients who received chemical peels and 73 percent of patients who underwent microneedling.

Microneedling is significantly more effective then chemical peels for at treating acne scars in patients with darker skin types, a new study shows.

For the study, Babar Rao, MD a professor of dermatology and pathology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and researchers randomly assigned 60 patients with acne scars and dark skin — Fitzpatrick Skin Phototype IV to VI — to treatment with either 35 percent glycolic acid chemical peels or microneedling, both administered every two weeks for 12 weeks.

Treatment produced an improvement of two points or more on the Goodman and Baron Scarring Grading System in 33 percent of patients who received chemical peels and 73 percent of patients who underwent microneedling, the study showed.

“Based on the results of this study, patients whose darker skin precludes the use of stronger chemical peels, which can permanently discolor darker skin, should treat acne scars with microneedling,” said Rao, the senior author of the study. “For patients with lighter skin who can use stronger peels without risk of discoloration, chemical peels might still be the best option for some.”

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