Microneedling isn’t a new idea. Humans have understood the power of our skin’s healing mechanisms for a long time. Microneedling was actually introduced as a procedure in the 1950s with a “dermaroller,” which was rolled across the skin. But this was hard to take, and it didn’t catch on. Tattoo guns without ink have also been tried to break down post-surgical scarring.
Recent improvements in technology, such as the handheld microneedling pen, have made microneedling easy to take and a great procedure to improve your skin’s texture and firmness, and to reduce large pores, stretch marks, and acne scarring. You may consider combining this procedure with a plasma facial.
How does microneedling work?
At Skin & Cosmetic Solutions, we use the STRATAPEN™ for our microneedling. The STRATAPEN™ features thirty-six microscopic needles in a handheld pen-like device. As we move the STRATAPEN™ across the treatment areas, the thirty-six needles move up and down penetrating the skin to the selected depth. We can vary this, depending on the area of the face we are treating. For instance, the forehead needs shallow depths due to thinner skin, while the cheeks can have the full 2.5 mm depth. As the STRATAPEN™ moves across the treatment areas it creates hundreds of microscopic punctures/wounds through the epidermis (the skin’s outer layer) into the dermis (the skin’s second layer). The wounds are so small that they heal within a couple of hours, as the skin around the punctures is untouched and gets to work helping heal the adjacent microscopic punctures.
The key to the rejuvenation of microneedling is how the body responds to these tiny punctures. The body perceives these punctures as injuries and it initiates a wound-healing response. This involves producing new amounts of collagen and elastin to send to the “wounds” to heal them. Collagen is a protein responsible for providing the skin’s structural support framework. Elastin makes the skin firm, yet pliable.
In addition to triggering the would-healing mechanisms, these punctures enable us to apply topical gels, serums, and creams that penetrate into the skin far more efficiently. These topical applications further enhance the skin.
What skin issues does microneedling improve and who would benefit the most?
At Skin and Cosmetic Solutions, we use microneedling on all skin tones and it usually doesn’t cause hyperpigmentation. It can be used anywhere on the body, but the face and neck are the typical targets.
Here are skin conditions we treat with microneedling:
- Acne scars
- Large pores
- Fine lines
- Uneven texture
- Stretch marks
This is a very safe procedure. The microscopic punctures are so small they heal in just a couple hours, so infection risk is almost nil. You may be red and dry for up to 48 hours. There aren’t any limitations on who can benefit from STRATAPEN™ microneedling.
How long does a microneedling session take?
Having microneedling done on your face only takes around 60 minutes.
Is microneedling painful?
It’s easy to assume that having hundreds of punctures made on your facial skin would be incredibly painful. Not so. Prior to your procedure we apply topical numbing cream. Plus, the STRATAPEN™ needles are very thin. Our Skin and Cosmetic Solutions patients have said they equate the feeling of microneedling to having a light grade of sandpaper being moved across their skin.
How long before I see results from my microneedling procedure?
You will be red for about 48 hours immediately after your STRATAPEN™ treatment, but this is simply the skin reacting to the punctures and working to heal them. The real results from microneedling build over time, as new collagen and elastin are produced and sent to the treatment areas. This production remains elevated for weeks. Your skin continues to improve for up to six months.
How long will my results last with microneedling?
The new collagen and elastin produced by your body are not going anywhere, but your overall production of collagen and elastin continue to decline by one percentage point every year after the age of 20. So, in effect, microneedling is a way to mitigate the decline in collagen production by creating the wound response and triggering new collagen in the treatment areas.
How many microneedling treatments will I need?
We recommend at least three microneedling treatments for overall skin rejuvenation and to improve skin texture. For acne scarring, 3-6 treatments could be necessary to gain enough new collagen to reduce the scarring. At Skin and Cosmetic Solutions, however, we have patients who opt for regular sessions with the STRATAPEN™ because they like what it does for their skin. These treatments can be done every 4-6 weeks.
Are there any things I need to avoid after my microneedling session?
Don’t apply products with glycolic acid, retinol, other acids, or other skin reactive products for 2-3 days after your session. Plus, limit sun exposure and be sure to wear a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 or more daily..