Letting someone poke a bunch of tiny holes into your skin doesn’t sound like something you want to do for fun, but your skin will look younger and healthier after a microneedle treatment.
Microneedling is a popular cosmetic treatment that gets its roots in Ancient Chinese acupuncture. Acupuncture is believed to encourage the skin’s self-healing process and those same principles are applied to the art of microneedling.
Serums and body scrubs help the skin’s outer appearance. Microneedling can treat skin problems at the start by reducing scars, wrinkles and other skin blemishes. This is done by increasing the skin’s collagen production that occurs during the natural healing process.
Learn more about for the numerous skin benefits of microneedling.
What is microneedling?
Microneedling is used to treat skin conditions and slow the effects of aging. During the procedure, a tool called a derma roller is used to insert a dozen or more tiny needles into the skin. The small puncture wounds are called microinjuries.
The idea is that the physical trauma will result in the body transmitting elastin and collagen to the wounds to heal the pinpricks. The needles are inserted deeper into the skin with each appointment, as the skin becomes more tolerant of the needles. A typical microneedling treatment can span four to six sessions with a month between each session.
Before the derma roller is used on the skin, a topical anesthetic is used to numb the area. This treatment can be used anywhere on the body, but is most commonly used on the face. The purpose is to force the skin to rebuild itself with collagen.
Microneedling treatments on the face can help eases the following skin-related issues:
Microneedling can rejuvenate the skin by increasing the skin’s production of collagen. Collagen is a natural protein that keeps the skin firm and smooth. As we age, our body decreases collagen production, which can cause wrinkles and saggy skin. Injuries, such as acne scars, can also cause the body to lose collagen. The effects of microneedling can take months to appear.
While the needle marks are invisible on the skin after a treatment, your skin will look red and irritated. However, that is the effect you are looking for, to encourage the body to heal those wounds by rebuilding the dermal layer of the skin. The method of damaging the skin to heal the skin is similar to laser therapy, but using the needle instrument instead of heat or UV light.
What does microneedling do for your skin?
Microneedling is a painless way to trigger skin regrowth and increase the skin’s healing properties. The tiny puncture wounds stimulate the body to send collagen and elastin to the injured skin. Both collagen and elastin are essential for the appearance of youthfulness.
The microneedling treatment can reduce the visibility of aging and other skin blemishes and prevent further skin issues.
A few sessions of microneedling will grow a new generation of skin cells to ward off the signs of aging. Microneedling has fewer side effects and less recovery time than other skin care treatments, such as laser treatments and botox. What can microneedling do for your skin?
If your skin has suffered sun damage or discoloration due to hyperpigmentation, the infusion of collagen caused by the tiny needles can reverse the visibility of the blotchy, discolored skin.
Frequent exposure to the sun can cause patches of extra pigmentation to show up on the skin. The increased collagen production can reverse these blemishes and restore your skin’s health.
Aside from wrinkles and fine lines, sagging skin is the tell-tale sign of aging. Microneedling can help tighten the loose, sagging skin that is caused by the loss of collagen. Since microneedling sends collagen to the wounded areas of the skin, you can use the treatment on the common areas of sagging skin, such as the neck and chin.
Microneedling isn’t just to reverse the effect of aging. It can be used to combat the causes of acne. While it is impossible to physically shrink pores, there are things you can do to make your pores appear smaller. Microneedling stimulates the collagen production near your pores. This causes the skin surrounding the pores to plump, making the pores look shrunken by comparison.
Did you know one of the purposes of exfoliating is to prep your skin to absorb more of the moisturizing serums that you use in your face care routine? Without help, the skin only absorbs 4 percent of the face care products you use for healthier skin. One reason for this is because clogged pores can’t absorb anything.
The hundreds of pinpricks used in microneedling improve the absorption percent of the skin by allowing the topical serums to absorb through tiny holes caused by the needles. This means all those products you slather on for beautiful skin have a better chance of working if you add microneedling to your face care routine.
How long does it take to see results from microneedling?
Microneedling sounds painful, but in reality, it is a sensation similar to that of running sandpaper across your skin. If it does cause you discomfort, a topical anesthetic can be used. Microneedling is a non-invasive procedure that uses your body’s natural wound healing processes of cellular turnover and collagen production.
Each session of the microneedling treatment takes about 30 minutes to complete. Your skin will be red and swollen for a few hours afterward. The body begins sending the collagen to the wounds almost immediately after the puncture is made. The increased collagen production occurs within 72 hours of the treatment. However, you won’t see any visible results for up to four weeks. So, if you’re looking for a quick fix, microneedling won’t meet those expectations.
What are the side effects of microneedling?
Even the safest and most effective treatments can have minor side effects. Microneedling is no exception to this. While the process is virtually painless, it’s important to remember that microneedling treatment is literally poking holes into your skin. Sure, the body’s healing process is immediately deployed to the damaged skin, but the skin is going to be angry about being injured.
Aside from irritation, some of the other side effects of microneedling include:
- Dry, flaky skin
- Discomfort in the treatment area
Bleeding generally doesn’t occur, but it is possible for bleeding to occur after deeper microneedling treatments. People who have blood disorders should inform the dermatologist before seeking treatment. Having an infection or reaction to the topical anesthesia can result in more serious side effects.
People who have skin infections or an acne outbreak aren’t eligible for microneedling treatment, as the infection can spread through the needle holes. Many beauty departments sell at-home microneedling kits. However, having an experienced dermatologist will help prevent any serious complications.
Microneedling might seem as simple as puncturing the skin with a small needle. But it is actually more complicated than that because the size and depth of the needle depend on what skin problem you are trying to correct. The depth of the needle also increases from session to session as the skin gets thicker and more tolerant of the needle pricks.
Have many times do you need to do microneedling?
How often you need microneedling depends on what skin problem you are trying to correct or prevent. Whether you are doing the treatments at home or by a professional is another consideration. The size of the needle also plays a role in how many times you need to repeat the process. 0.25 mm needles can be used at home every other day, while the skin can only tolerate 0.5 size needles every six weeks.
The vastly different needle sizes and functions are the main reason a professional dermatologist is your safest option for the treatment for rejuvenated skin.
Some needles can be used to break down scar tissue and create new layers of collagen. The microneedles improve blood flow to the skin, which causes the treated skin to appear red, such as with a sunburn, for up to 48 hours.
Once the skin has calmed down, it will look smoother and healthier in as little as a week or two. If you are doing the microneedle simply for collagen induction, at least 3 treatments will be necessary. There is usually a 4 to 6-week span between appointments to let the wounds heal. More intensive procedures to reduce visible scars can take up to 6 microneedling sessions. Microneedling can be done on all body parts, though the face is the most common. It can be used to tighten skin on the arms and legs, which are frequent targets of cellulite.
Like many current beauty care trends, microneedling is based on ancient practices originating in Asia, such as acupuncture. While our tools are more advanced, using the body’s healing process is a timeless skin care method. Microneedling is a safer alternative to lasers that expose the body to harmful UV light and heat.