Micro Needling Hyperpigmentation: Does It Actually Work?

Micro Needling Hyperpigmentation featured photo

Skin discolorations, regardless of where they appear on your body, can wreak havoc on your confidence and self-esteem. We’ve all been there, and sometimes there’s really no one to blame but genetics. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize those pesky patches or keep them at bay.

Micro needling hyperpigmentation creates micro-abrasions on the skin and triggers the body’s amazing healing process. This encourages new collagen and elastin production for a healthier complexion.

However, different hyperpigmentation responds differently to microneedling. Can microneedling make melasma worse? What about post-treatment scars and bruising? Is it safe?

These are important considerations before going under the needle. Below, we’re going to talk about the different types of hyperpigmentation and how microneedling works for each. We’ll also look into its potential side effects to help you prep for the treatment.

What Is Microneedling?

Microneedling is a collagen induction therapy that involves introducing tiny needles to the skin to create controlled, superficial punctures. It triggers the skin’s natural wound-healing response, regenerating new collagen and elastin for skin repair and rejuvenation.

It helps reduce acne scars, improve skin texture, and treat pigmentation due to excessive sun exposure. The micro-abrasions also help the skin better absorb skincare products.

A microneedling device typically comes in hundreds of microneedles. The needle depth ranges from 0.5mm and 2mm. It’s a minimally invasive procedure with little to no downtime. Microneedling also suits all skin types and skin tones. It has been extensively used to treat a range of skin concerns.

It often requires several sessions to appreciate results. If you are particular with pain and safety, have a board-certified dermatologist carry out the treatment plan for you.

How Does Micro Needling Work for Hyperpigmentation?

Microneedling targets different skin concerns. It works to improve scars, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and promotes skin rejuvenation.

For hyper pigmentation, the procedure breaks up the melanin-producing cells in the dermis. Since it is also where the skin’s blood vessels lie, micro needling treatments help pump enough blood to the wounded area to support skin healing.

Hyperpigmentation is defined as spots or patches that are darker than the surrounding skin. They can come from a range of triggers, mainly UV lights from the sun. Exposure to the sun triggers melanin production within the skin pigment cells (melanocytes).

Melanin is a naturally occurring pigment on the skin. It also serves as a sun protection. However, when there’s an overproduction of melanin, it accumulates on the surface of the skin. And this creates those dark, brown splotches.

Hyperpigmentation can also be due to a few factors such as hormones, genetics, certain medications, inflammation, and age. To better address your concern, you need to assess what type of skin discoloration you are dealing with.


Melasma is characterized by brown or gray-brown patches on the skin. Also referred to as a “pregnancy mask”, it’s common among pregnant women due to the overproduction of hormones. However, it can affect women of ages 20 to 40, pregnant or not. It’s also most common in women of color.

Melasma is incredibly hard to treat because it’s caused by a range of factors. It can be triggered by UV light, hormones, genetic predisposition, thyroid issues, certain medications, and stress. The treatment requires trial and error. However, a case report shows that it works among patients with 100% satisfaction.

Microneedling for melasma is used as an ‘adjuvant’ treatment. It’s done in conjunction with topical therapies, particularly in patients with recalcitrant melasma. It works well with topical solutions like hydroquinone, vitamin C, tranexamic acid, and tretinoin.

Periorbital Hyperpigmentation

Periorbital hyper pigmentation or periorbital melanosis refers to under-eye circles. It’s typically caused by genetics and stress and it’s very common. Fortunately, it responds well to microneedling.

A study reports significant improvement in dark circles in adult patients in combination with 10% trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels.

Microneedling under the eyes can also be performed with an autologous technique. The same study demonstrates improvements in dark circles with platelet-rich plasma (PRP), but it’s a much more expensive approach.

Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

This is a type of hyper pigmentation caused by skin injury including acne, burns, wounds, and skin infections. It usually shows up after a skin injury has healed but it usually fades over time. The pigments or marks can be reduced with microneedling with the same method done on melasma and sunspots.


Sunspots, also called age spots or sun damage are exactly what they are. They are characterized by brown spots caused by exposure to UV lights from the sun. It’s common among people with lighter skin tones. And compared to melasma, sunspots are easier to treat.

This type of hyperpigmentation responds well to microneedling in combination with skin-lightening agents like vitamin C, AHAs, BHAs, and niacinamide.

Potential Side Effects of Micro Needling Hyperpigmentation

Micro-needling creates tiny pores on your skin. This can lead to some redness, swelling, peeling, and bruising. If this happens to you after the procedure, know that it’s normal. Most patients tolerate the side effects well.

However, because microneedling punctures your skin, there is a chance that it can make your skin darker post-treatment. They are basically hyperpigmented scars or post-inflammatory scars that happen due to a range of factors like repeated sun exposure post-treatment and aftercare.

It’s important to slather a broad-spectrum sun protection factor of 30 and higher after the procedure since your skin is now more sensitive to the sun. Choosing the right skin care also helps fade the side effects faster.


Is Microneedling Good for Hyperpigmentation?

Microneedling does wonders in improving the appearance of persistent or deep hyperpigmentation. It helps encourage the new collagen production, which helps heal the skin, revealing a healthier complexion. But to really see visible results, you’ll need several sessions of the treatment.

Is Microneedling Good for Hyperpigmentation Dark Skin?

Yes. Unlike other treatments like certain acid peels and comparable laser therapy treatments, microneedling also works for the dark skin tone. It is suitable for all skin types. However, it should be carried out by a qualified skincare professional to reduce the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

You should also prep your skin by priming to get the most out of its benefits. What it does is it calms your skin before the day of the treatment. You can do this by applying vitamins A and C 1 to 4 weeks prior to the treatment. Doing so will help speed up recovery and enhance results from the treatment.

How Long Does It Take for Dark Spots To Fade After Microneedling?

Individual results vary, but you should see results over a period of 10 to 14 days. However, it can take several sessions to really appreciate the results.

How Many Microneedling Sessions for Hyperpigmentation?

It depends on your skin type and condition. Most dermatologists recommend going for 3 to 6 sessions with 4 to 6 weeks in between to get the best results.

Why Did My Face Get Darker After Microneedling?

Your face can get darker after microneedling due to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) from skin trauma. Many patients have worries about this potential side effect, but it usually fades over time. Aftercare is a crucial part of the treatment to ensure that the condition doesn’t get worse.


While hyperpigmentation is common and very human, it can take a toll on one’s confidence. Fortunately, there are several treatments available. Micro-needling is one of the most popular treatments you can opt for. It’s minimally invasive and suits all skin types and shades.

A microneedling treatment can help reduce the appearance of different types of hyperpigmentation, including melasma, sun spots, and PIH. But aside from improving skin complexion, it can also help with reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and scars, and improving texture.

Whatever topical therapy you incorporate into the treatment, remember to wear sunscreen. Make sure to use the right skincare and follow aftercare guidelines by your dermatologist.

If you have more questions, let us know and we’ll gladly help. Thanks for reading!