Acne & Breakouts After Microneedling – How to Treat

Acne & Breakouts After Microneedling - How to Treat
Acne & Breakouts After Microneedling – How to Treat

Microneedling has tremendous benefits, but like all procedures, it comes with a few risks and side effects. 

And one of these risks is the potential for acne and breakouts. 

While few people who are not acne-prone develop acne and breakouts after microneedling, those who are acne-prone are at an increased risk of flare-ups after the procedure. 

However, in most cases, if they do not resolve on their own, these are easily treatable.

What causes Pimples & Acne breakout After Microneedling

Microneedling displaces bacteria, oil and other debris that are already on the surface of the skin, and it also produces inflammation. 

The bacteria, oil, inflammatory particles and other debris can become trapped in pores. 

These things together can cause a flare-up, especially in people that are prone to acne and breakouts. This is why it is important to let your doctor know whether you are prone to breakouts.

However, a breakout after your procedure should be temporary and easily treatable. Keep reading for tips on how you can safely any flare up induced by microneedling.

Related Article – When & How to Wear Makeup After Microneedling

Can I Get Microneedling Done During a Breakout

You should also never have microneedling done over active acne lesions. This spreads the acne bacteria all over the rest of your skin and will make your breakout worse.  

Instead, you need to wait until the breakout has subsided. Your technician should advise you if its safe for your skin to have microneedling done.

Related Article – How & When to Safely Wash Face after Microneedling

Types of breakout you can get after microneedling

Not everyone gets a breakout after a microneedling session. Lucky them, right?!

But for those of us who are not so fortunate, we can get one of two kinds of breakout after microneedling either: Acne Flare-up or Milia.

1- An acne flare-up usually happens in people that are prone to acne and breakouts.

The microneedling session irritates the skin and causes inflammation, which can cause a flare-up. This also happens if bacteria in the skin is spread by the procedure. 

2- Milia are tiny little bumps that look like whiteheads. They can develop in anyone – not just acne-prone people.

Milia can be itchy, but they are usually harmless and will resolve on their own. Do not itch them or attempt to pop them. 

How to treat Pimples & Acne after Microneedling 

1- Consult Dermatologist if Breakout Occurs After Microneedling

Remember that a breakout after microneedling might not be treated the same way as you usually would.

This is because your skin is way more sensitive after microneedling. So consult your dermatologist before using over-the-counter acne creams, ointments, washes or medication

2- Do not pick at your pimples or attempt to pop them

Never pick at your pimples especially not with your fingers. This can cause further bacterial infection and scarring. 

3- Keep Your Face Clean

Whether you are having an acne flare-up after your microneedling session or you are just experiencing mild pimples as a side effect of the procedure, keep your face clean.

It is important that you use a gentle cleanser that will keep your face clean. Your doctor will recommend a good facial cleanser for you based on your skin’s sensitivity and your breakouts to avoid further irritation. 

Bonus Tips

I have an entire article that will guide you on how to clean and wash your face after microneedling, click here to read it.

Recommended Cleanser For Acne Prone Skin

Both Aveeno Ultra-Calming Hydrating Facial Cleanser and CETAPHIL Gentle Skin Cleanser are great to use after microneedling especially if you are acne prone.

Though, we recommend that you should still consult your dermatologist before using any change from your normal skin routine.

You can click here to see the price of Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser on Amazon.

And click here to see the Aveeno Cleanser that we recommend on Amazon.

4- Keep Your Hair Away from Your Skin

Avoid touching your face too much and try to keep your hair off of your face and skin.

Your fingers and your hair have bacteria, oils and even care products that can irritate the skin, or clog pores and make the breakouts worse.

5- Use Skin care Products that Are Acne Safe

Part of a good aftercare regimen will be using products that are good for treating acne and that will not irritate your skin.

These products will help to treat your acne and will prevent your skin from being permanently scarred and/or damaged.

As always, I recommend consulting your dermatologist before using these products on your skin.

 Best Aftercare Moisturizer For Acne Prone Skin

Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer, CETAPHIL Daily Hydrating Lotion, and CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion are all great options to use after microneedling.

They will keep your skin hydrated yet won’t clog your pores and cause further acne issues.

These moisturizers are also very affordable. You can click on the links below to see them on Amazon.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer

CETAPHIL Daily Hydrating Lotion

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion

Best Aftercare Sunscreen For Acne Prone Skin

Using a good sunscreen is very important after microneedling. This is to protect your skin from being damaged from the sun whilst healing.

But if you are acne prone, you need to be careful with the type that you use or you may cause more flare-ups. We recommend for acne prone skin:

BLUE LIZARD Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen – click here to see it on Amazon.

Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Face Lotion click here to see it on Amazon.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotionclick here to see it on Amazon.

6- Avoid Getting Microneedling if You Have Certain Skin Conditions

If you are prone to acne breakouts, consult your doctor or dermatologist before microneedling your skin. Your dermatologist may not recommend microneedling. Especially if you’re currently experiencing an acne breakout.

Microneedling is also not recommended if you have rosacea or eczema, as the procedure can worsen your symptoms.

How Long do Breakouts last After Microneedling 

Generally, breakouts after a microneedling session will only last a short while and will resolve on their own. How long your breakout will take to clear up will vary with each individual. 

If you have cystic acne or any other kind of acne flare-up, it will resolve based on how bad it is and how you treat it. Some people’s acne may resolve faster than some, even on the same treatment. 

Milia (the little, harmless whiteheads) usually clear up on their own in a few days. 

Does Acne get Worse after Microneedling

It is not recommended that you have microneedling done over active acne. This will make your acne worse and can spread it to other areas of your skin. 

People who are prone to breakouts and who usually suffer from acne tend to have an increased risk of developing acne again after microneedling. 

In other people who do not regularly suffer from acne, the chances of full-blown acne developing are slim. They may still get a breakout, but if they do, they usually get milia (the small whiteheads). 

Even if you do not suffer from acne and you have some tiny pimples and bumps already, it is best to resolve these first, before microneedling. Having active breakouts or pimples is a risk for spreading bacteria and causing excess inflammation and irritation. 

Can a Derma Roller Cause Acne

Derma rollers can cause acne and breakouts. 

Derma rollers are the DIY version of a microneedling pen. The concept of needles penetrating the skin is the same in both cases. But derma rollers are even less invasive when done correctly. 

If you are acne-prone, you have a much higher chance of having a breakout after a derma rolling – the same concept applies as with microneedling. 

How a Derma Roller Can Cause Break Out

If your face is not cleaned and prepped properly, a derma roller can cause bacteria to get into your skin and cause breakouts and acne. Even in people who are not acne-prone. 

You should avoid Derma rolling over active acne lesions. This will spread bacteria, and cause excess inflammation and irritation, which will worsen and spread your acne. 

If you do not have active lesions but are acne-prone, then derma rolling can initiate a flare-up, especially if you derma roll:

  • Too deeply by using the wrong size of needle,
  • With an unclean instrument,
  • On an inadequately cleaned or prepped skin surface. 

How to Prevent Breakouts after Microneedling

In persons that are not acne-prone, the best things you can do are to make sure:

  • That your skin is well-prepped for the procedure
  • All the equipment being used are clean
  • You follow a good aftercare regimen that keeps your face clean

However, acne-prone people can still develop breakouts and acne even though they follow all of those instructions above. 

The best course of action if you are acne-prone will be to consult your dermatologist to have them prescribe a safe and suitable anti-acne cream and other products that you can use before and after microneedling.

Related Articles

To read more about the healing stages after microneedling & Aftercare Tips, click here.

Can Microneedling Scar or Darken Skin (Hyperpigmentation)

Microneedling For Wrinkles – Everything You Need to Know


Microneedling for Acne Scars: Effectiveness, Side Effects, and Costs

15 Things That Happen to Your Skin After In-Office Microneedling

How to treat different types of acne

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