What is Microneedling?
Microneedling is a cosmetic procedure that treats and improves a number of skin conditions, such as acne scarring, fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin texture, loose skin, large pores, brown spots, and more. The procedure involves the insertion of very fine, short needles into the skin to stimulate natural healing processes. Microneedling is a preventative and restorative anti-aging treatment available without damaging the surface layers of the skin.
Microneedling stimulates the production of collagen, which is the most abundant protein in the human body. Collagen provides structure and support to organs, including the body’s largest organ: the skin. Collagen keeps skin plump, elastic, and youthful-looking. Unfortunately, the body produces less collagen over time, which leaves skin vulnerable to sagging, wrinkles, and fine lines. Also known as collagen induction therapy or derma needling, microneedling triggers collagen production in the treatment area. Microneedling is an advanced skin rejuvenation technique and is an attractive alternative to ablative laser therapies.
Microneedling stimulates the production of collagen in the skin to treat acne scars and wrinkles, improve skin texture and tone, and tighten the skin. Microneedling is minimally invasive, has no downtime, and is appropriate for all skin types.
Microneedling treats a number of common skin conditions, such as:
- Wrinkles and fine lines
- Acne scarring
- Sagging skin
- Enlarged pores
- Stretch marks
- Sun damage
- “Bags” under the eyes
The skin heals and rejuvenates new tissue quickly. Most patients see results from microneedling within a couple of weeks of treatment.
Microneedling is effective in treating signs of aging and minor scarring from acne or wounds, and is significantly more effective than at-home rollers. The procedure also creates brighter, firmer skin. Most patients achieve ideal results after just a few sessions, depending on the severity of their skin issues.
Using a derma roller at home can extend the microneedling results. Derma rollers barely puncture the skin, so they do not produce the dramatic results of professional microneedling.
How long does microneedling take?
About an hour before performing the procedure, your provider will apply a topical anesthetic to the treatment area to reduce the patient’s chances of pain. The actual microneedling treatment takes about 30 minutes. The skincare professional may then apply a serum or calming treatment to optimize the results of the treatment. In all, patients should schedule a couple of hours for their treatment.
As with many other cosmetic treatments, patients may need to undergo several microneedling sessions to enjoy the full benefits of this minimally invasive procedure. Many patients wonder how often to microneedle their skin; everyone’s needs are different, but it is generally safe to undergo microneedling every 4 to 6 weeks.
Many patients undergo microneedling for acne scars. Acne is a skin condition that causes pimples, blackheads, and large, red, tender bumps. As acne heals, scar tissue can replace normal tissue. This scar tissue pulls the skin inwards to cause unsightly pits and other irregularities of the skin. Microneedling breaks up acne scar tissue and promotes the growth of new skin. Microneedling for acne scars can significantly improve skin texture, appearance, and overall quality.
Unlike invasive plastic surgery that requires extensive recovery time, microneedling requires very little recovery time. In fact, most people who undergo microneedling require very little downtime, if any at all.
Patients may notice skin irritation and redness within the first few days after undergoing microneedling. This irritation and redness are the body’s natural response to the small injuries to the skin. Redness and irritation are only temporary.
Microneedling patients can typically return to work or school immediately after the procedure. Some use camouflaging makeup during the first few days as the redness dissipates; patients should consult with their dermatologists to learn about using makeup after microneedling.
Patients should avoid exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or tanning beds for 3 weeks following the microneedling procedure. Microneedling makes the skin more vulnerable to burning; UV light exposure can also increase pigmentation and trigger the development of brown blotches and freckling as the skin heals.
To maintain the results of treatment, patients typically require multiple sessions. Some patients benefit from complementing treatments.
One of the most common questions dermatologists hear is, “Is microneedling safe?” Yes! Microneedling is a very safe procedure – there are very few reports of adverse effects from the procedure. People of all skin types can tolerate the procedure well, and it is less expensive than laser surgery or other treatments.