What Is Microneedling?
Microneedling – also known as Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) – is a powerful facial rejuvenation treatment. Microneedling involves the use of a mechanized device that features a series of tiny needles that penetrate the top layers of the skin. The procedure is not painful because the needles are very short and only cause a mild “prickling” sensation as they superficially puncture the skin’s epidermis.
These controlled “micro-injuries” rejuvenate the appearance by catalyzing the skin’s own natural healing response and rebuilding the skin by encouraging the production of new collagen and elastin – smoothing texture and reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Microneedling can also be helpful for deeper absorption of topical skin care products, such as Vitamin C skin serum or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment, as it creates “micro-channels” in the skin that allow these products to penetrate straight to the deep parts of the skin.
WHAT SKIN CONDITIONS DOES MICRONEEDLING TREAT?
Microneedling has several benefits for facial skin of any age, it works to:
- Improve the appearance of acne scars
- Reduce fine lines and wrinkles due to aging or smoking
- Smooth skin texture
- Reduce or get rid of the appearance of stretch marks
- Even out an uneven skin tone due to hyperpigmentation or aging
- Reduce large pores, sun spots, or burn scars
(NOTE: Microneedling is not recommended for those suffering from rosacea or overly sensitive or reactive skin.)
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CUSTOMIZED MICRONEEDLING TREATMENT PLAN
Because everyone has uniquely individual skin care challenges we will create a customized treatment plan specifically for you and your skin during your initial consultation. Microneedling is safe for all skin types, although some conditions may make you not a good candidate for the treatment. We will provide you with an estimate of how many treatments you will need along with recommendations for any topical treatments.
Depending on your skin’s condition and desired results, you may need additional treatments and/or supplemental treatments to boost the results of your microneedling treatment, which may include:
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP): The PRP provides an added stimulus to boost collagen production along with the use of nutrient-rich platelets. This treatment is sometimes known as the “vampire facial”.
- Vitamin C skin serum: Microneedling helps Vitamin C serum to penetrate the outer layers of skin by creating “micro-channels” for deeper absorption.
- Topical retinoid therapy: Topical retinoids are medicines derived from Vitamin A compounds used for treating mild to severe acne, sun damage, fine lines, wrinkles, and freckles.
OUR APPROACH TO MICRONEEDLING
We take great care to diagnose your skin’s condition to ensure the best result for your microneedling treatment and to ensure that it is the right treatment for you. You will receive a recommended treatment plan along with detailed information about the procedure and product recommendations for post-procedure skin care at home.
WHO PERFORMS THE MICRONEEDLING PROCEDURE?
The microneedling procedure is performed by Jennifer Fick, FNP-C, CANS, a board-certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist. You can read more about Jennifer here, or on her own website. Dr. Deschamps-Braly is on hand to consult in more complex cases if necessary.
WHAT WILL THE TREATMENT FEEL LIKE? HOW LONG IS THE DOWNTIME?
A topical numbing cream is applied to your skin prior to micro needling treatment to reduce discomfort. We may also use a “dental block” to provide additional anesthesia to more sensitive areas of your face, such as the mouth.
After treatment, you will feel a mild “sunburn” sensation throughout the treatment area that subsides over the next few hours. There is cosmetic downtime associated with this procedure, and the duration depends on the type of treatment and your skin’s own tolerance. Typically you will experience redness and mild swelling for 24-48 hours after the treatment, followed by some slight peeling. You may wear makeup again after 24 hours. You can usually return to work and social activities after a few days.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SEE RESULTS?
Because microneedling involves very short needles that penetrate only the very superficial layers of skin, recovery time is short. Your skin will be red for about 24 hours after the procedure, but this redness will quickly fade in a day or two, after which time, you will be able to wear makeup and resume your normal skincare routine.
The procedure can be performed quite often, depending on your skin’s condition and innate ability to heal. Usually, you will notice some improvement after the first or second treatment as the collagen and elastin production ramps up. More significant results will occur after 2-3 treatments spaced approximately 4-6 weeks apart.
Skin will continue to improve over the next 6 to 12 months after treatment with a proper skincare regimen. Results will vary for everyone. We frequently combine topical retinoid therapy with micro needling to enhance treatment results. Repeat treatments of up to 3-5 treatments maybe necessary for those with deep acne scarring or hyperpigmentation conditions.
WHAT IS THE SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLE BEHIND MICRONEEDLING?
Microneedling works by stimulating collagen growth. By creating micro-injuries below the skin surface, microneedling stimulates the body’s natural healing response, triggering the formation of new tissue layers of elastin, collagen, and capillaries. The skin becomes thicker and plumper, which reduces the appearance of texture including scars, fine lines, and wrinkles.
Microneedling may also be used to improve the delivery of topical treatments, including PRP. The micro-channels created in the skin allow topical treatments to more deeply penetrate the skin, making the treatment ultimately more effective.
CAN I COMBINE MICRONEEDLING TREATMENTS WITH FILLER OR OTHER INJECTIONS?
We recommend scheduling filler or other injections, such as Botox® or Dysport® at least one week prior to your microneedling treatment, or one week after. However, we do often customize each patient’s treatment program to optimize results and reduce downtime.
MICRONEEDLING: PRE-TREATMENT INSTRUCTIONS:
- Avoid sun exposure and/or usage of a tanning bed, including self-tanning products for a minimum of 24 hours before and after the treatment, preferably 1 week. Treatment within 24 hours of prolonged sun exposure may result in hypopigmentation (white spots) or hyperpigmentation (dark spots) that may not clear for several months or may even be permanent. A microneedling treatment will not be administered on sunburned skin.
- Discontinue Accutane and any other photosensitizing medication for a period of at least 6 months prior to receiving treatment and should not be used during your course of treatment.
- Avoid chemical peels in the treated area for at least 2 weeks.
- Stop using topical retinoids (Retin-A, Renova, and Tazorac) for 1 week prior to and after treatment.
- Waxing and/or use of chemical depilatories must be avoided for 2 weeks prior to and after the treatment. Shaving is allowed immediately before treatment and 48-72 hours after treatment as long as there is no skin irritation.
- You may not be pregnant or nursing.
- Notify the provider of any tattoos, including cosmetic tattooing, in the vicinity of the area to be treated. We cannot treat over tattoos.
- If you have a history of cold sores, we may recommend prophylactic antiviral therapy in the form of Valtrex® or Aycylovir.
- Medical history: During the course of your treatments, notify our staff of any changes to your medical history, health status, or personal activities that may be relevant to your treatment.
MICRONEEDLING: POST-TREATMENT INSTRUCTIONS:
- A sunburn-like effect is normal for 1-3 days. You will look and feel sunburned after the treatment. The severity of redness will depend on the type of treatment and your skin’s individual tolerance. The skin will feel tight, dry, swollen, and sensitive to the touch. The treated area may temporarily appear darker and the darkened skin may flake off within 1 week. Avoid picking or exfoliating the area and allow old skin to flake off naturally.
- After Care Products and Regimen: Cleanse the treated area gently twice daily with a gentle cleanser with tepid water. Apply a soothing, healing moisturizer as often as needed for the first 3 days.
- Sun exposure must be avoided for 4 weeks after your treatment. Wear a sunblock that contains a physical block such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide daily. Plan to wear a hat and avoid sun exposure.
- Do not use exfoliating medications, chemicals, or products on the treated areas for at least 1 week.
- Avoid exercise that causes sweating, sauna, or steam baths if any skin irritation exists.
- Advil or Tylenol may be taken as necessary for discomfort. Ice packs may be used if desired to minimize swelling.
- Sleep on your back with your head elevated slightly to reduce swelling.
- It is recommended that makeup should not be applied for 24 hours after the procedure.
DO YOU NEED A MICRONEEDLING “REVISION” TREATMENT?
Sometimes your previous microneedling treatment from an unskilled provider may not be satisfactory. Either the results were not significant enough to produce the level of skin rejuvenation improvement you were seeking, or, you may need to include a supplemental topical treatment to accelerate the rejuvenation process.
Please read more about our approach to Microneedling revision treatment.