Microneedling involves multiple needles repeatedly puncturing the skin, via a manual device (handle and roller with needles) or a mechanical device that looks similar to a pen or electric toothbrush. The holes made in the skin are known as microchannels and do not cause scarring. Depending on the depth of skin that needs to be treated, different size needles (max size 3mm) are used. Microneedling can be used for scars to help improve the texture and pliability of the scar making it look smoother and feel less tight. In some cases, it may also help to return pigment (colour) that had been lost as a result of the scar.
Microneedling causes collagen regeneration and the technique has been around for almost 20 years. It restarts the inflammatory process involved in healing and stimulates repair and regeneration with new healthy tissue via collagen regeneration. Although the process causes some bleeding, it is not enough to need a dressing post treatment nor does it damage the top layer of skin. Treatment is usually on smaller areas (rather than larger areas) with a numbing cream applied to the area prior to treatment to prevent pain and special creams given to be used in the initial days following treatment. For best results, a course of treatment may be needed. For example, 4-6 treatments which can be done at 4-6 week intervals.
It is advisable that you receive microneedling from a surgeon or healthcare professional who has experience in microneedling scars. An appropriate professional will be able to assess the scar, advise if any other treatments may be more effective or appropriate, run through the pros and cons of the treatment and give you reasons why the treatment may or may not be suitable for you. Some NHS burn services offer microneedling but not all. You can ask a healthcare professional in your burn service if they offer it and whether they think it is appropriate for you. If you are not in a burn or scar NHS service, you should speak to your GP who may be able to refer you to one. You are also able to access it through the private sector. If you decide to get treatment privately, it is recommended you choose a provider experienced in treating scars. Listed below are some private practices, however, the list is not exhaustive and it is your responsibility to ensure the products or services meet your requirements. We cannot guarantee the quality of the products or services provided.