Hottest Skin Care Trend Right Now: Microneedling

Hottest Skin Care Trend Right Now: Microneedling

What is Microneedling?

Also known as collagen induction therapy treatment, is done with a hand held device containing a head with multiple tiny needles which create invisible puncture type wounds in the skin.

Options for microneedling include over the counter dermal rollers, as well as professional grade (used in a medical office) microneedling devices which have around 10 tiny needles on a circular head. The over the counter version of dermal rolling will penetrate to a depth of usually around 0.5mm, while the professional grade tools can penetrate up to 3mm deep.

Why Microneedle?

This is a great option for anti-aging, as well as diminishing acne scarring, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, as well as tightening the skin. While most of us hear about microneedling for the face, it can be used as a treatment anywhere on the body. Yes, even for stretch marks!

How Does Microneedling Work?

The tiny needles penetrate (micro-punctures) the skin to stimulate your body’s own natural production of collagen. In turn, and generally speaking, this thickens the skin and provides a smoother appearance. Keeping in mind that when treating with a home dermal roller, the depth of penetration is quite superficial, not really penetrating deep enough to stimulate collagen, it will only disrupt the stratum cornea (the outer most layer of the skin).

In essence the “wound” created by the tiny needle puncture stimulates the body to send fibroblasts to the area and create more collagen, and elastin as a repair mechanism. The body is essentially tricked into thinking it has a wound. The result is less crepey skin, with increased density, and improved texture overall.

How is The Procedure Done?

First the face is cleansed, and depending on the medical provider a growth factor serum may or may not be applied prior to the procedure, and again following the procedure. In my practice, we administer a more aggressive approach and apply a topical numbing cream for about 30 minutes prior to the procedure. Our most popular microneedling treatment is the “Vampire Facial,” made popular by Kim Kardashian. This procedure involves drawing the patients blood prior to the procedure, and then applying their own serum (white blood cells separated from the red blood cells) onto the face while microneedling. The serum contains a person’s own natural growth factors which also stimulates the production of collagen and speeds up healing time from the tiny puncture wounds created.

How Often to Microneedle?

For younger patients this is a great option at least twice yearly. For those concerned with acne scarring, I usually recommend 4-6 treatments spread out about 6 weeks apart. The skin creates a new layer every 6 weeks, so I have found better results giving the skin time to completely heal through it’s own natural cycle before asking it to work again. Once the desired correction has been achieved, the treatment upkeep is usually twice yearly. For those looking to turn back the clock with an anti-aging approach I usually recommend 4 treatments at about 6 weeks in between.

Who is a Candidate For Microneedling?

Anyone! This is one procedure that can be used on all skin types without taking the risk involved with a laser that isn’t an option for darker skin types. Anyone that wants to thicken their skin (treating fine lines, wrinkles, scarring) this is an excellent option. Anyone with chronic clogged pores (black heads) will also enjoy the benefits, as the treatment will diminish pore size. Anyone who wants to improve acne scarring also benefits! In a 2009 study of microneedling treatment to acne scars, it was found that close to 100% of those treated reported visible reduction in the appearance of the scars.

What is The Downtime After a Microneedling Treatment?

The procedure is quite popular as there is actually very little social downtime. A pink glow for the day is usually all the downtime. However, the more aggressive treatments will have you looking a pink for 2-3 days after.

Where Can I Get The Microneedling Procedure?

You can always try the home over the counter dermaroller to just keep your skin glowing. If you elect this option make sure to cleanse your face prior to the procedure, and to apply a growth factor serum following the treatment with no make-up applied until the next day.

If you are looking for a medical grade treatment for more noticeable results, you can find this done at almost all medical offices. You will notice the prices will vary, and this is because some offices don’t apply numbing cream or growth factor serum. When interviewing the right provider for your procedure always ask what the procedure entails: The depth of the needle penetration, numbing cream as an option, and are they applying a growth factor serum, or are they using your blood platelet rich plasma (PRP)?

You will find that when choosing the “Vampire Facial” (PRP) it will cost a bit more ($550 in my office in the midwest). This option is by far my favorite microneedling treatment!