What is microneedling?
- Posted on: Aug 30 2017
Do you want a way to achieve glowing skin, improve your product penetration, and help fight the signs of aging? Are you afraid of “going under the knife” or having a laser procedure done that leaves you unable to go outside? Then microneedling may just be for you.
What is microneedling?
Microneedling is a procedure that inserts tiny needles into the skin. This involves using a handheld device that has many needles that all puncture the skin at the same time. This is often referred to in the medical community as collagen induction therapy.
You may be wondering why puncturing the skin hundreds of times with tiny needles is a good idea. When you create these tiny holes in the skin, called micro-channels, your skin starts to repair the injury. In repairing these tiny holes your skin begins to create new collagen. Collagen, a protein found throughout your body, provides strength and structure to your skin. Unfortunately, starting in our mid-twenties we start producing less collagen, meaning we start showing the signs of aging faster. This collagen loss continues as we age…unless you are being proactive about it!
At-Home vs. In-Office Procedures
Currently your treatment options consist of either buying a microneedling device to use at home, or having a professional treatment done in the office. Now, before you open a new tab on your web browser to start shopping, let’s talk about the differences.
At home microneedling devices are going to be extremely superficial in their treatment depth. They are also dependent upon the operator (you) to use it effectively. Most of the at home devices come in the form of rollers, a cylindrical device that is designed to roll across your skin while puncturing it with needles. There are two main difficulties with this type of treatment: the pressure that you exert on the device is most likely to be uneven, therefore creating uneven channels in the skin. Uneven channels equal an uneven treatment. Secondly, with the rolling motion the needle is going in, and more importantly coming out of the skin in an uneven manner. This creates microscopic tears in the skin instead of the straight micro-channels we want. This tearing is partly responsible for the discomfort that at home rollers can be known for.
A professional microneedling procedure, done in a medical office, is going to be different in several ways. The needle length is typically longer, allowing for greater penetration of the needles. These devices are usually powered, delivering a more even and deeper treatment. Some of the devices use a stamp like motion to insert the needles instead of the rolling the device across the skin. This creates those nice, straight micro-channels, which also means less discomfort.
The other benefit of having this performed in a medical office is that sterility is maintained. At home devices can be difficult to keep clean, putting you at risk of infections. Our office microneedling device is a single use system, meaning it remains sterile in its package until we start treatment on you.
What Does it Treat?
Microneedling is a great way to treat a variety of skin concerns, the most common being uneven skin texture such as fine lines or acne scarring. Since microneedling helps to stimulate collagen production, it can also help promote skin tightening and remodeling of acne scarring. Many people report a healthier appearing skin, and mild skin tightening after a series of treatments.
Another great thing about microneedling is that the downtime is very limited. Microneedling can even be referred to as a “lunch-time procedure” meaning our patients will come in to have it done, and then go immediately back to work, their co-workers never realizing they had a procedure done! Side effects are typically mild and can include a slight sunburn sensation. This typically fades throughout the day. Patients are asked to keep their face clean, cool, and moisturized during the next several days to help minimize the risk of any complications.
Who Can Get Treatment?
While microneedling is a relatively safe and effective procedure there are certain individuals who may not be ideal candidates. People with active acne need to wait for their acne to clear up due to the risk of spreading that acne bacteria to other parts of the face. Also, those who are pregnant or lactating should wait until after they are finished until they have this procedure done. Other patients may need to be pre-treated prior to microneedling to help prevent complications and to help promote a speedy recovery.
Your skin care professional can discuss microneedling with you and the options for the best skin care treatment based upon your specific concerns. Together you can both decide whether microneedling may be right for you!
Written by: Chelsea Campbell, MSN, FNP-BC
Posted in: Skin Care