Are the Benefits of Microneedling Worth It?

Medically reviewed by William Truswell, MD

Microneedling may improve the skin's appearance. That's because it increases collagen (a protein that keeps skin and joints healthy) production, which stimulates the skin's healing factors and can reduce the appearance of scars, lines, and wrinkles. Microneedling may even help stimulate hair growth.

But does microneedling work? This article explains the possible benefits of microneedling on the face and other body parts, what to expect from results, and how to weigh the benefits and risks.

<p>ReMa / Getty Images</p>

ReMa / Getty Images

Microneedling on Face: Possible Benefits

A microneedling facial involves using a small rolling device with hundreds of tiny needles across a targeted area on the face. Benefits range from skin tightening to reducing the appearance of acne scars.


Microneedling lays down new collagen, elastin, and capillaries. This process results in skin tightening. Microneedling can result in the following effects:

  • Reduced fine lines and wrinkles

  • Reduced pore size

  • More suppleness

  • More elasticity

Vitamin C serum and tretinoin application (acne medication) can enhance microneedling's skin-tightening effects.


People sometimes use microneedling to address acne, injury, or surgical scars. Combining microneedling with platelet-rich plasma (PRP, a concentration of platelets from your blood that can help with healing) can be especially effective for reducing the appearance of acne scars. It is also effective in people with darker skin tones.

Acne scars may require four to six treatments spaced four to six weeks apart. This treatment protocol can fade acne scars by 50-70%.

Related: 14 Ways to Get Rid of Acne Scars


In addition to treating acne scars, microneedling can treat acne vulgaris—the most common form of acne. Studies have found that microneedling treatment for acne is safe and effective. It has a quick response, results in less scarring, and reduces recurrence.

Related: How to Practice Acne Self-Care


Microneedling has also been used for the following skin pigmentation conditions:

  • Melasma (causes dark, blotchy, and uneven skin tone)

  • Vitiligo (patches of skin lose their natural color)

  • Periorbital hyperpigmentation (dark pigmentation around the eyes)

When used for melasma, participants who received microneedling experienced a 44% improvement. While no major side effects were reported, some experienced mild discomfort, burning, and erythema (skin redness).

Combining microneedling with topical treatments is more effective than microneedling alone for vitiligo, a skin disorder that causes the skin to lose color. It is considered safe and can be an alternative treatment when conventional treatments are not an option.

Studies have found that nearly all participants report significant improvement in periorbital hyperpigmentation after microneedling.

What About Microneedling on Other Body Parts?

You can also do body microneedling. The benefits of microneedling on the face extend elsewhere on the body. Plus, it may also treat hair loss.

Stretch Marks

Microneedling is good for all kinds of scars. In addition to reducing the appearance of acne, injury, and surgical scars, it can also help with stretch marks.

Research has found that microneedling can improve the appearance of stretch marks. While it doesn't change the texture of the scars, it can change the skin pigmentation to lessen the appearance of the marks.

Related: Types of Cosmetic Laser Procedures

Hair Loss

Very few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of microneedling for hair loss. However, some studies have found that, when combined with other therapies, microneedling is effective at increasing hair count.

In one study, microneedling with topical 5% minoxidil (hair loss treatment) significantly increased total hair count compared to microneedling alone.

Related: Microneedling for Hair Loss: At-Home vs. Professional Results

Microneedling Results

Professional microneedling by a dermatologist (a healthcare provider specializing in skin) or a facial plastic surgeon produces better results than at-home microneedling. Most people see results gradually after a few weeks, but it may be up to a few months before they see full results.

At-Home Microneedling

At-home microneedling products are gentler and don't fully puncture the skin. That makes them less effective than receiving the procedure at a dermatologist's office.

Doing microneedling at home also comes with risks. These include:

  • Overuse

  • Infection and scarring

  • Spreading warts and viruses across the skin

  • Skin damage

Deciding to Get Microneedling

Like most cosmetic procedures, microneedling does not produce permanent results. That means how long microneedling lasts depends on the skin condition and severity. These factors will also influence how many microneedling treatments people need. So, before you decide to get microneedling, it can help to evaluate the pros and cons.


Microneedling is an effective, proven procedure for various skin conditions. The upsides of microneedling include reducing the appearance of the following:

  • Wrinkles

  • Acne scars

  • Injury scars

  • Surgical scars

  • Stretch marks

  • Acne

  • Melasma

  • Periorbital hyperpigmentation

  • Vitiligo

  • Hair loss

Consider the severity of your skin condition and how much it interferes with your satisfaction. The more it interferes with the way you feel, the greater the likelihood you may benefit from microneedling.


Microneedling may cost as much as several hundred dollars per session. So, the expense can add up quickly. In addition to the price, other downsides of microneedling include the following:

  • Redness (in lighter skin tones) and darker shades (in darker skin tones)

  • Skin may feel sunburned

  • Minor discomfort

  • Burning

  • Swelling

These side effects are usually short-lived, lasting a week or less. After your procedure, you'll need to avoid applying makeup for about a day.

Microneedling Contraindications

Some people should not get microneedling, including:

  • Those who heal slowly

  • Those with a keloid (scars that grow abnormally)

  • Those who are immunocompromised (have a weakened immune system)

  • Those being treated for skin cancer

  • Those receiving radiation treatments

  • Those with recent sun damage

  • Those with a skin infection

  • Those with painful or infected pimples

  • Those taking isotretinoin (a medication for acne)


Microneedling is an effective procedure that may help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, acne, scarring, and pigmentation conditions. You may need multiple sessions to see adequate results. While there are at-home tools, they are less effective and not as safe. So, it's always best to receive microneedling from a professional for the best results.

Read the original article on Verywell Health.