What is MCA Dry Inkless Needling?

Skin Needling, also known as MCA or Multi-Trepannic Collagen Actuation, is a technique used by Permanent Cosmetics Artists in which, as a result of the healing process, benefits are achieved in wrinkle and stretch mark fillings, scar remodelling and skin re-pigmentation.

MCA Dry Needling is actually not performed dry any longer, since it is now used with scar repair serums.  So it is known now as MCA inkless needling.

What is MCA Dry Inkless Needling? Ink Illusions

MCA Dry Needling or MCA inkless needling is a form of Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) which is a great treatment for improving the appearance of scars and burns. 

It is not the same as Microneedling or Dermaroller.  It is a medical treatment using tattoo needles causing more precise and targeted trauma to the scarred area, creating small channels to allow for scar repair serums to be absorbed in to the cells.  This aids in the production of melanin (skin pigment), collagen and elastin to flatten, smooth, shrink and re-pigment scar tissue.  We only focus on the individual stretch marks without affecting the surrounding skin.

Because the needles are so fine, they penetrate the skin more easily, causing the required skin response, which results in a cascading healing response.  Due to the more aggressive nature of the treatment, it is classed as a medical procedure.  


MCA ‘Dry’ Needling is actually no longer performed dry, due to changes in legislation and insurance terms.  It is now always using with some sort of serum so actually ‘MCA Inkless Needling’ or MCA inkless tattooing are better names for this treatment now.  Here at Ink Illusions, we use scar repair serums full of essential nutrients and vitamins, to help with the repair process.

Types of scars

Most types of scars are suitable for treatment with the exception of Keloid scars and new scars (less than 12-24 months old).  If a scar is still pinkish or red / purple, then it is most probably still healing and should be left alone until it has finished healing.  Anyone with a history of keloid scarring should not be treated, unless they have a doctors letter confirming they are ok to have treatment.  It may be that they had a keloid scar once but haven’t since.  If someone has had a piercing (ears etc) or a tattoo and was fine, then they are likely to be ok having this treatment.

Frequency of treatment

The skin healing time period varies between clients but MCA needling treatments can be performed usually every 6 weeks.  Some older clients, those with weaker immune systems, and those with hyperpigmentation, will take longer.

What is MCA Dry Inkless Needling? Ink Illusions

Skin Prep

MCA needling is a great way to prepare scars and stretch marks ready for tattoo pigment treatment.  It flattens and smooths the skin, shrinks the scars and can also stimulate natural pigmentation.  Some stretch marks are deeper than the surrounding skin, or appear wrinkly, so MCA needling helps improve this. It is always recommended to try MCA needling before resorting to ink.

Can anyone have MCA Needling?

Those with a history of keloid scarring are not suitable for treatment.  Hyperpigmentation is also another condition which needs to be approached with caution.  It is possible to treat those who suffer from hyperpigmentation, but the client must know that they could be left with dark pigment in the areas. This darkness could be transient, only lasting several months, but know there is a risk of longer term dark pigmentation.  It is possible to try to manage hyperpigmentation (or Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation PIH) with topical products at home, and also by following stretch mark needling treatments with chemical pigmentation peels.

What results can be expected?

As with any skin treatment, it is never possible to predict how someone’s skin will react to treatment.  Every person is different.  Usually a few MCA needling treatments are required to see an improvement.  Some people may not respond enough, but it is possible to get amazing results from this treatment and is highly recommended to try before resorting to ink, and definitely needed to smooth out some scars before it is possible to tattoo.

What is MCA Dry Inkless Needling? Ink Illusions

How many sessions are needed?

The above photo shows a result after only one MCA needling session, so shows what is possible.  We find darker skin types respond quicker in terms of pigment stimulation.  It isn’t possible to predict how anyone’s skin will respond to treatment, and it depends on the texture of the stretch marks as to how many sessions are needed.  If the stretch marks are deeper or raised compared to the surrounding skin, or are a little “wrinkly”, then a few sessions are usually needed to smooth them out, ready for inking if required.  If the stretch marks are fairly flat but are perhaps shiny / silvery, then maybe 1-2 sessions might be needed.  Everyone is different so we have to play it by ear and see how the skin heals after each session of MCA dry needling.

What is MCA Dry Inkless Needling? Ink Illusions
What is MCA Dry Inkless Needling? Ink Illusions
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