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I Tried Derma FNS To See If It Would Banish My Acne Scarring

By Helen Turnbull Published on 15 February 2017

Facial scarring is the bane of anyone who's ever had the displeasure of suffering from acne's life. But thanks to advances in medical technology and some willing professionals, there's all manner of treatments on offer claiming to rid your face of any unsightly marks left as a permanent reminder of your once blemish-ridden complexion. As someone who's tried every lotion and potion out there in the hope of magicking up flawless skin, I was so ready to try something a little more effective.

I'm convinced you're born into one of two camps: 1. Those blessed with perfect skin who'll have a breakdown when one invisible pimple appears when they hit puberty or 2. Those who are destined to have bad skin for life - acne as a teenager that will more often than not outstay its welcome until your adult years. But fear not fellow no.2 campers - life doesn't have to be so cruel. Not now that we've been blessed with all manner of procedures which encourage the skin to naturally repair itself and have been clinically-proven to banish acne scarring forever. Enter: Derma FNS.

The treatment

I visited the Harley Medical Group's flagship clinic on the famed Harley Street in London for my Derma FNS (or Fractional Needling System to us non-medics) appointment. All patients are required to have a full skin consultation beforehand to allow the cosmetic nurse to decide whether you're suitable for the treatment. I was able to book my consultation and Derma FNS treatment in one appointment and it took around 1hr 45mins in total. The skin consultation also proved invaluable to myself as my nurse - Verity - went beyond her call of duty to recommend me a skincare routine, even making a note of exact products, that would improve the appearance and health of my skin in the long-run which I'll be forever grateful for.

Derma FNS - which has been rolled out in the Harley Medical Group's nationwide clinics - is best described as a 'stamping technique' which involves multiple micro needles piercing the skin. The science behind it is that the insertions encourage the breakdown of old collagen while simultaneously developing new collagen and elastin which makes for tighter, smoother skin.

As well as acne scarring, it's also a treatment recommended to disguise the appearance of stretch marks, wounds, burns, wrinkles and fine lines and no area is out of bounds as far as I'm aware. It's important you make clear to your nurse your exact complaint. It can take up to six weeks before you see visible results and it's advised you book a batch of treatments, depending how big and severe the scars are.

How it works

That's probably put you off but rest assured the 'needling' part of FNS is much less traumatic than you're envisaging. Following a successful skin consultation, the area you wish to target (my face) was lathered in numbing cream and left on for an hour or so to minimise the pain of the tiny needles piercing your skin. My nurse was very reassuring and it was obvious she knew her stuff so my mind was instantly put at ease, not even the loud whirring (which she politely warned me about) of the needling pen could convince me otherwise.

​I was left alone for an hour in the clinic room and I could feel my face becoming increasingly numb. Verity returned after 60 minutes satisfied my skin was sufficiently protected and so it was down to business. I lay down to allow her to get the best view of my face and make it as accessible as possible.

As it's a pen and the nurse is in control, the pressure can be adjusted depending on how severe the scarring is and how sensitive the skin is. It was gently brushed across my forehead and cheeks and pressed a little harder on my nose and chin but I can honestly say I felt no pain throughout the procedure so if you're put off by the prospect, don't be. It's actually quite comforting having tiny needles vertically pierce your face as odd as that sounds. It's all over within ten minutes, too and although I was warned I may bleed, I didn't but I did leave the clinic looking like I'd spent two weeks in Marbella not wearing a scrap of sunscreen - much to the amusement of London Underground's evening rush hour. My face felt tight - a similar sensation to sunburn but I'd been reassured this was totally normal.

My verdict

Aside from looking like the embarrassed emoji for a good 24 hours, my skin felt instantly firmer and younger. It took around 24-48 hours to see visible results in terms of reduced pore size but I was confident two or three more treatments would leave me living an acne-scar-free life. I'd recommend Derma FNS at the Harley Medical Group to anyone who is particularly hung up about any skin imperfections. They have clinics all over the country - from Newcastle to Southampton - so it's likely you won't have to travel too far.

Prices for Derma FNS start at £245 at the Harley Medical Group

Are you tempted to try Derma FNS? Or have you already? Tell us about your experience @soFeminineUK

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by Helen Turnbull

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