What is Microneedling?
Microneedling is a safe and effective procedure that can improve the appearance of the skin. Also known as Collagen Induction Therapy and/or Collagen Rejuvenation Therapy, it involves the insertion of fine needles to create hundreds of tiny, invisible puncture wounds in the top layer of skin for the purposes of rejuvenation.
What are the benefits?
This minimally invasive treatment is virtually painless and incredibly effective. Micro-injuries are created to stimulate the body’s natural wound healing processes, resulting in cell turnover and increased collagen and elastin production. It works the same way lasers do, only you’re injuring the skin mechanically instead of using heat or light.
One of the main Microneedling benefits is its ability to stimulate the growth of collagen and elastin, which is the key to new, youthful-looking skin. The procedure is the most powerful way to stop aging in its tracks and prevent new fine lines and wrinkles from forming. With its ability to trigger the generation of new skin cells, just a few sessions of Microneedling will noticeably reduce fine lines, crow’s feet, and deep wrinkles on the forehead. It’s able to utilize the body’s own natural healing mechanisms, so the results are very natural.
What can Microneedling treat?
The multi-purpose treatment targets everything from acne scars to hair loss. For those looking to improve the look of scars, boost collagen and elastin, or encourage hair growth, Microneedling can offer a minimally invasive solution. A 2018 systematic review found that Microneedling is a safe and effective way to rejuvenate skin and treat scars and wrinkles. A press release from the American Academy of Dermatology states that people can expect a reduction in the “appearance of large pores, fine lines and wrinkles, scars, and stretch marks.”
- Fine Lines & Wrinkles: As we age, less collagen and elastin are naturally produced. Stimulation of these elements cause the skin to look firmer and more youthful, therefore reducing the signs of aging.
- Sagging and Crepey Skin: On top of Microneedling’s ability to smooth and correct damaged skin, it also has the added bonus of tightening loose skin.
- Scarring: Microneedling works by breaking down existing scar tissue while promoting the formation of new skin cells. In a recent study, 94% of participants showed a reduction of scarring by one or two grades without any reported side effects.
- Acne: In a 2009 study on the effects of Microneedling, nearly 100 percent of acne-scarred participants reported a marked improvement in the visibility of their acne scars. In case you’re wondering how Microneedling compares to fractional laser treatments when it comes to resolving acne scars, a head-to-head comparison published in the journal Dermatological Surgery in 2016, found both treatments to be comparable and effective but gave credit to Microneedling for being better tolerated, with fewer side effects and less downtime.
- Skin Pigmentation Issues: Once again, collagen is arguably the most vital way to improve the look of skin, and this goes far beyond reducing wrinkles. By stimulating collagen growth with Microneedling, you can also reverse sun damage and discoloration, including the hyper-pigmentation that comes with melasma. A 2015 study showed Microneedling to be a promising treatment for the blotchy, brownish facial pigmentation that comes with this chronic condition.
- Hair Loss & Alopecia: Microneedling stimulates dormant hair follicles for new hair growth. In a recent study, 100 test subjects were divided into two groups: One set was treated with minoxidil lotion and the other received minoxidil lotion plus Microneedling. After 12 weeks, 82 percent of the Microneedling group reported 50 percent improvement versus 4.5 percent of the minoxidil lotion-only group.
- Topical Skin Care: Did you know that only 4 to 8 percent of that expensive serum you’re using on your face actually penetrates your skin? Studies confirm that the treatment can actually help topical medications penetrate skin more efficiently, allowing you to reap the full benefits of any product. Microneedling creates thousands of invisible holes in your skin that are ready to absorb products in a way clogged pores can’t. The tiny punctures act like little channels, allowing topical products to penetrate better and work more effectively.
- Large Pores: It’s a bit counter-intuitive, but Microneedling doesn’t actually enlarge pores as you might imagine piercing your skin hundreds of times would. Rather, one major Microneedling benefit is that it helps pores appear much smaller. Microneedling stimulates collagen in and around your pores, which causes them to plump and appear shrunken, if not closed.
- Stretch Marks: Microneedling works to fill in fine lines, smooth out uneven texture, and reduce discoloration. Addressing all aspects of stretch marks in one procedure will produce a dramatic improvement.
- Trans-dermal Medication Delivery: Professionals and Medical Doctors working together can use Microneedling to deposit medication, such as topical tretinoin or vitamin C, deeper into the skin. This can boost the treatment of a variety of conditions.
Are there side effects?
The medical community generally considers Microneedling to be safe and effective, but there are still some risks. The primary risk is skin irritation after the procedure. Other side effects could include swelling, discomfort at the site, redness, slight bruising, dryness and flaking of the skin. Bleeding is an uncommon reaction to Microneedling, though it may be more likely to occur after a deeper treatment.
Some people are not candidates for Microneedling treatment, including those with active skin infections, active acne, prone to keloid scarring, and who have bleeding disorders or who are taking blood-thinning medications.
When proper Blood-borne Pathogens Precautions are taken, there is no risk of disease transmission during the procedure.
Is There Downtime?
Depending on the depth of the treatment, clients report little or no downtime after a Microneedling session. Skin may be sensitive and flake in the following week due to skin rejuvenation.
- Pre-Treatment: Clients are asked to discontinue the use of Retin A, Retinols, Vitamin A creams, and other topical medications for 3-5 days before treatment.
- Post Treatment Aftercare: Detailed aftercare instructions are given to each client after a treatment. Excessive sun exposure should be avoided for 10 days. No makeup or sunscreen for 12 hours. Regular skin care regimen can be resumed after 48-72 hours. No swimming, saunas, or strenuous activities for the first 24 hours.
Does Microneedling hurt?
Microneedling can be slightly uncomfortable and is usually described as a stinging sensation. Areas of “boney” prominence and thinner skin can be a bit more sensitive. Skin may be sensitive and feel tight after a procedure. This will diminish significantly within the first 12-24 hours.
Microneedling offers immediate results. You will look plump, pink and luminous for a couple of weeks. Microneedling results will also Improve over time. According to a 2008 study, skin treated with four Microneedling sessions spaced one month apart produced up to a 400% increase in collagen and elastin six months after completing treatment.
It is important to realize that Microneedling is not a quick fix, as it involves the growth of new skin. It can take several months for a person to see the full results of the procedure.
What is Collagen & Elastin?
They are essential proteins that helps keep the skin looking youthful, with a firm, smooth, and stretchy texture. Aging causes the decline of collagen and elastin in the skin, contributing to wrinkles and other signs of aging. Skin can also lose these due to injuries, such as acne scarring, stretch marks, or other scars.