PH 021 760 827

Salon 1925, 143 Newton Road, Eden Terrace, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

PH: 021 760 827


Sarah Hardy Permanent Makeup
Cosmetic & Medical Tattoo Artist


What is MCA for Scar Treatments?

MCA stand for Multi-Trepannic Collagen Actuation and is also known as Dry Needling

This an exciting alternative treatment that works directly on damaged skin, relaxing and smoothing scars, also reducing stretch marks. Any micro needling treatment essentially brings new life into damaged skin, and using a digital tattoo machine is a very quick way and precise way of making this happen. No pigment is tattooed into the skin, however pigmentation begins to normalise as a result.  

Dry needling is not a new service to the market, but it’s not widely heard of outside of hospitals where it’s better known as MCA Micro Needling. MCA Micro Needling is an advanced course available to those already specialising in cosmetic and medical tattooing. Clients generally hear about this treatment by referral from a doctor or consultant.

Dry needling is a different treatment to other skin needling treatments such as the derma roller or Derma Pen.  Using the same principles of causing growth of healthy new collagen as a derma roller, dry needling works on the specific areas of affected skin only i.e. each stretch mark and only the scar. Areas that are not affected are not treated. The digital tattoo machine causes blood to come into the treated area, without removing the top layers of skin. Over the weeks and months new collagen is formed i.e. healthy new skin rather than poor quality scar tissue, stretched or creased skin. A 20-50% improvement can be seen in just one session, with a course of 3 recommended for best results.

Dry needling can be used on all colours of skin, with only dark skins prone to over pigmentation and keloid scarring advised not to go ahead. Once approved for treatment, scarring, hypo or hyper pigmentation are unlikely risks, as no heat is used and the surface of the skin is not removed.

MCA Micro Needling began as a treatment to relax and reduce scar tissue, however it’s a valid alternative treatment to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, especially for darker skins where laser treatments would not be advised

Expected results for stretch marks

If skin lacks elasticity or is loose, like on the bust or tummy, whilst dry needling will firm any stretch marks, the rest of the skin will still look loose, and the stretch marks less likely to blur away.  A combined Derma Roller/Dry needling treatment would be suggested to tighten any loose skin, this can be carried out in the same session.

If skin has good elasticity, fine, silvery white stretch marks are likely to disappear after 2 or 3 treatments. Colour begins to naturally return, the shine of thin skin disappears and as the stretch marks thicken and tighten and blur into normal skin.

Medium and wide stretch marks are more difficult to treat and a client’s expectations needs to be well managed.  If skin being tighter, and the marks looking and feeling firmer can be accepted as a result, then all is well as any result more than this would be very individual and medium to wide stretch marks disappearing is unlikely. 

Medium to wide stretch marks need to be treated while they are fresh, still very pink or red, to get any result and this would be with specific creams rather than any needling.

Finally, if stretch marks are already normal skin colour and not shiny or striated, it's harder to see any difference of skin thickening, until they blur into normal skin. It's unpredictable how much this will happen for medium and wide stretch marks.

Expected results for scars

Loose scars respond just like stretch marks, dry tattooing causes new collagen growth to the thin and stretched tissue, helping to create firmer skin. As new tissue grows in response to dry tattooing, discoloured scar tissue achieves a more natural tone, and white scars see the return of pigmentation. No pigment is used, this is the body's natural reaction to scar tissue being needled, and dry needling being the most precise and intense form of it.

Dry needling also relaxes the fibres of tight scar tissue, with restricted scars or burns softening, allowing a much larger range of movement. Atrophic and Hypertropic scars are smoothed, with pitted acne scars being treated individually. The finest needles can be used, chosen depending on the scar to be treated.  Keloid scars cannot be treated, Inactive keloid scars can be treated with discretion, but not all raised scars are keloid. Active keloid scars grow, cause pain, itching and numbness. Inactive keloid scars do not grow and their colour is pinkish or normal skin colour

Results don’t happen overnight, you’ll see I add dates to my photos, and one of the reasons I’ll be adding more and more photos to my website is so viewers can see there are no standardised before and after photos. There is nothing to judge your result against, only seeing each person’s scar improving. I recommend 3 dry needling treatments, and then leave the area to settle and develop for about 4 months before considering having any more. Some clients book these treatments regularly; others wait to see a development before returning. I’m of the view the 3 sessions of regular stimulation will work best, as ultimately we want to stimulate the skin so it can re-heal.