What is microneedling?
Microneedling is a nonsurgical technique that is intended to improve skin texture by reducing the “crepey” appearance, minimizing fine lines and wrinkles, and diminishing the hyperpigmentation of skin. This is a form of collagen induction created by a mechanical force delivered to the dermis. It also is useful for improving acne pock marks and can weld stretch marks together by creating collagen bridging. The process utilizes a power hand-piece to create tiny channels into the dermis of the skin which initiates the body’s natural healing process to create collagen and elastin.
Where can this technique be utilized?
The power hand piece can be applied to the entire face, neck, décolleté, arms, hands, legs and abdomen, typically where the skin is structurally weak, which usually is in areas that have stretch marks, contour deformities such as divots, and wide depressed scars. One of the added benefits of microneedling is diminished pigmentation, even though it is not used as a skin resurfacing technique. Microneedling can reduce the vertical lines that form around the mouth, as well as reduce appearance of small capillary vessels in the skin given the improved dermal thickness.
How many treatments are required?
The microneedling technique of creating channels in the dermis is very similar to the technology of the Fraxel laser, which utilizes a thermal injury mechanism but at a much lower price point. Just as the laser takes a series of treatments so does the microneedling technique - anywhere from three to six sessions depending on severity. During a consultation, we can define how many sessions are right for the patient. Once the final result is achieved, we generally recommend one to two sessions a year for maintenance of the outcome.
What downtime can someone expect?
After the initial session you can expect to be red for a period of up to five days, but you can wear mineral makeup starting the next day to hide the color. Many patients can expect to be able to go out to dinner the following night of the procedure. People may experience some light burning, tightness, and mild flaking. Noticeable difference in the texture of the skin will occur within a couple of weeks. An important note for someone who has undergone a laser technique: due to the thermal nature of the injury patients may experience more pain, swelling and redness than a patient who has undergone microneedling; results tend to be pretty similar between both procedures. The main difference is the cost for the laser treatment versus the microneedling treatment.
The technique of microneedling is a concept that has been evolving for over ten years. Initially, a simple hand roller with tiny short needles was employed and has now progressed to the current electric hand pieces with adjustable needle lengths to customize the depth for each patient. Ideally, the needle should penetrate no deeper than the epidermal–dermal junction. During the first pass of the session, hyaluronic acid is driven into the skin to improve the hydration and quality of the dermis. Remember, microneedling is a process, but results can vary depending on who is performing the technique.
Ultimately, microneedling can become a phenomenal non-invasive addition to a long-term regimen for virtually anyone who desires to maintain a youthful & vibrant appearance.