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Dry needling has two principal uses, one widely accepted, one controversial. Here is what you need to know about both.

If you have tried everything over the counter for acne scars and you just don't have the money to go see the dermatologist for laser resurfacing, consider dry needling.

Dry needling is basically a very light tattoo without the ink. The process is often confused with acupuncture, but it is based on conventional medical principles, not traditional Chinese energy medicine principles.

What dry needling does is to stimulate the basal layer of the skin to produce collagen. The collagen in turn either fills in indented scars or plumps up the skin to pull against raised scars. 

Injected collagen begins to break down about as soon as the doctor injects it. Stimulating your body to make collagen helps your skin keep up with collagen turnover so you don't have a sag or a bag or a wrinkle replace your acne scar. There are absolutely no worries about allergic reactions or immune rejection of this collagen, because it's something your own body makes.

There's just one thing to remember about dry needling for acne scars. You should never try dry needling at home. The placement of the needles is critical for stimulating the right regions of skin. If you stimulate skin growth in the wrong places, you won't create a new blemish, but you won't necessarily smooth out the old one, either.

Whom Do You See About Dry Needling for an Acne Scar?

The person to see about dry needling usually is an aesthetician. This is the skin expert who works at day spa or a high-end salon. What distinguishes an aesthetician from an amateur is restraint. If you have an acne scar, you want to get rid of it. You will probably be determined to stimulate skin growth to fill in that scar and get rid of it for good.

An aesthetician takes a different approach. The professional doesn't try to restore your skin to its original contours. He or she tries to create shadows or changes in skin tone that draw attention away from the scar so it is less noticeable.  

Couldn't You Get Dry Needling at a Tattoo Shop?

The drawback to going to a day spa is that they aren't exactly cheap, and if you work during the day, or go to school during the day, you will have to get time off to work the day spa into your schedule. Many people who want to try dry needling go to a tattoo shop.

A skilled tattoo artist has the technical proficiency and legal authority to do dry needling to help improve your appearance. However, unless you want a face tattoo, you need to make sure you have a clear understanding of the intended result, that you don't want ink, you want to smooth out a scar. Be prepared to resist a sales pitch to get more work than you intended. 

A henna tattoo or a temporary tattoo isn't a good idea, either. If you have allergic reaction to henna, you will stimulate collagen production, but not necessarily in the way you like. A temporary tattoo can cause similar complications. It's safer to save up and go to the aesthetician for your dry needling needs.

What if you just don't care for the idea of tattoo needles on your face? There is a device called a dermaroller that you can buy for as little as $20 and use at home. Rub to the side of raised scars, or rub over box or pick scars. The tiny "needles" are about as traumatic as a mosquito bite. This approach, however, takes a very long time to produce visible results.

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