As much as we want to deny it, we are all getting older. There are many paths you can follow to reverse the signs of ageing. You can find face creams and serums that work for you, or you can consult a doctor for a procedure like a facelift. Cosmetic surgeons recommend thoroughly examining all of your options to find the right level for you, whether that is a topical remedy or a full surgical procedure. Microneedling is a procedure that is rising in popularity that lies right in the middle of the spectrum.
Microneedling has existed since around 1995, and doctors have praised the procedure for its effectiveness on all areas of the body from the head and face to the feet. You may have heard the word “microneedling” before, but you may not have known what it was or if it was right for you. In this article, we are going to give you a quick rundown of everything you need to know about microneedling.
What is Microneedling?
Microneedling is a minimally invasive skincare procedure that stimulates the body’s natural healing agents and skin elasticity to rejuvenate skin, repair scars, and heal acne.
During the procedure, the doctor will apply a local anaesthetic to the area that you want to be treated. Then, they will use a device called a derma roller, a handheld instrument with a rolling column covered with tiny needles, that are between 1mm and 4mm depending on the procedure. This device gives the procedure its name. The doctor will move the roller over the treatment area to pin-prick punctures or “micro-injuries.”
Your body will then react to injuries by releasing natural healing agents such as elastin and collagen to repair the wounds. After the derma roller procedure is complete, the doctor applies a serum designed to enhance the production of collagen. The serum is absorbed into the skin and the healing process can begin quicker.
As technology has advanced, microneedling has been used in conjunction with a Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment. This treatment, which speeds up the body’s collagen production, involves removing and processing a patient’s blood to create PRP. The PRP is applied topically to the skin after the microneedling procedure to stimulate growth factors and quicken the healing process.
You will begin to see results after a week, but your skin will continue to improve for a few weeks, up to a month after your procedure. Microneedling sees the most success as a session-based procedure. Patients who receive one session per month for several months produce more elastin and collagen after completing their treatment.
The Recovery Process
As with any cosmetic procedure, there is a healing period following a microneedling procedure, but because it is a minimally invasive process, the doctor will not fully bandage you. Immediately following the procedure, you should expect some redness and bruise, especially around bonier areas. Therefore you should be aware that a microneedling procedure on your face, may make you look like you got in a fight.
The initial redness should go away within a few hours, but for the next few days after the procedure, you should expect itchy, sensitive skin. Consult your doctor or nurse for how to address this condition. They may recommend a hydration serum or an anti-itch cream depending on how sensitive your skin is.
Advancements and Alternatives
Dermarollers and Derma Pens may be the most common applicators for microneedling, but the procedure has advanced in the last 25 years to include tools that pair microneedling with radiofrequency to provide a more powerful stimulation.
Radiofrequency, such as in the Morpheus8 procedure, delivers a controlled heat through the needles into the skin that boosts the natural healing response. Morpheus8 can deliver heat deeper into the skin than standard microneedling, giving a more invigorating result.
However, if you do not have the time or money to spare to visit a professional, there are at-home options for a microneedling experience. You can find derma rollers and microneedling pens from beauty supply stores. At-home have shorter needles for your protection, but this will result in a less powerful treatment. Visiting a professional will guarantee a deep treatment, plus a professional to advise on how to care for your skin afterward.
Know the Risks
Because microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure, it offers fairly low risks to patients. As we mentioned, immediately after the procedure, you can expect red, sensitive skin. Further complications with the procedure may result in scarring, pigmentation problems, or infection.
Microneedling is not recommended for everyone. People with severe skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema, pregnant people, people who have recently had radiation therapy, people with open wounds, and people with a history of skin scars are not considered ideal candidates for a microneedling procedure.
It is also possible to abuse microneedling. Over-puncturing can damage the blood capillaries under the skin, or even give your skin a plastic-looking veneer. Dermatologists recommend that you do not use an at-home derma roller more than once per month.
Microneedling has been around for almost 25 years, but that is still relatively new in terms of cosmetic procedures. If you are thinking about getting some work done, microneedling may be the right choice for you. Review this guide to microneedling as you learn more about your options. Then, you will be on your way to youthful, rejuvenated skin.
About the Author
Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.