Microneedling is a non-surgical treatment that creates tiny punctures in the skin. Your skin starts producing collagen and elastin to repair these micro-perforations.
This natural repair mechanism results in tighter skin, smaller pores, improved hyperpigmentation, and diminished wrinkles and fine lines. Additionally, the overall health and circulation to your skin is improved.
Microneedling is also known as fractional collagen induction therapy, skin needling, collagen induction therapy (CIT), and percutaneous collagen induction (PCI).
What Skin Conditions Does Microneedling Treat?
Microneedling can help skin conditions including:
- Acne scarring
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Loose skin
- Brown spots
- Stretch marks
- Pigment issues
What Is Microneedling Like?
Before microneedling, your aesthetician will review your health history, examine your skin and review options to improve the appearance of your skin.
If microneedling is recommended, the following steps will take place:
- All makeup and skin care products are removed.
- A topical anesthetic is applied and allowed to work for 20 to 30 minutes before treatment to reduce chances of discomfort.
- A pen-like tool called Rejuvapen is used to make invisible, vertical micro-perforations into the top layers of the skin.
- The depth of penetration can be adjusted based on your skin type and skin condition being treated. For example, scars require deeper penetration.
- During the microneedling procedure, specialty products are used to instill growth factors into the skin (as the products will penetrate deeper).
- A specialty biocellulose soothing face mask is applied to create a protective barrier to alleviate discomfort and post-procedure inflammation.
- Post-treatment products are recommended by your aesthetician based on your skin type to allow your skin to heal properly for the best results.
What Is The Downtime After Microneedling?
Unlike with plastic surgery, microneedling requires very little downtime. The healing time after microneedling depends on your skin type, severity of skin damage, and the depth of your treatment.
Typically, there may be some post-procedure redness that resembles a sunburn, which may last 2 to 4 days. The most common side effect is minor skin irritation.
Who Should Not Consider Microneedling?
Persons who are not good candidates for microneedling include:
- Patients with active acne or those who have used Accutane within the last 3 months
- Patients on blood thinners (Low-dose aspirin is acceptable, but patient may be susceptible to increased bruising; vitamin K serum and arnica can help.)
- Patients with facial wounds, cuts or abrasions, or skin infection in area being treated
- Patients with a history of skin cancer
- Pregnant or breastfeeding patients
- Patients with a history of hypertrophic scars, keloid formation, or poor wound healing
- Patients with rosacea or eczema
When Should Patients See Results From Microneedling?
It can take 6 to 8 weeks before visible signs of skin regeneration are seen after microneedling. However, some patients notice healthier looking skin right away.
Patients often require more than one microneedling treatment. The number of treatments recommended will depend on your age, degree of skin damage, and the condition being treated. You may not see your final results until 3-6 months after your last microneedling treatment, as dermal collagen remodeling occurs over time.
By Jaime Ranieri, MD
Franciscan Physician Network Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons