The signs of aging may take center stage sometime after age 35, but they begin much earlier. Recent innovations in dermatology provide us the opportunity to slow the progression of cosmetic aging without much investment or downtime. In our Boca Raton office, one of the ways we postpone the onset of aging and correct the early indications of skin breakdown is to perform microneedling.
What is microneedling?
Microneedling is a procedure that involves piercing the superficial epidermis with tiny needles. An automated handpiece is often used to expedite the process and maximize the depth of tissue that can be comfortably treated.
How does microneedling work?
The purpose of microneedling is to induce collagen production in the treatment area. The body naturally responds to micro-wounds in the same way it does to scrapes and cuts. Microneedling triggers a healing response without inducing noticeable injuries on the epidermis. Some studies indicate that collagen production can increase as much as 400% within six months after a series of microneedling treatment. Where there is an abundance of collagen, there is smooth, radiant skin.
What is the microneedling procedure like?
Microneedling treatment begins with an application of numbing cream. This needs to stay on the skin for approximately 30 minutes to be fully effective. While this occurs, the provider may take pictures of the treatment area.
Once the skin is numb, the handheld applicator tip is used to “stamp” the skin. The vibrating needle-tip is moved passed over the skin one or more times in a period of 20 – 30 minutes. After completing this process, a skin-soothing product may be applied to the skin to penetrate the deeper layers of tissue.
Before leaving the office, patients receive post-treatment care instructions.
Does microneedling hurt?
Because a topical anesthetic is applied before treatment, microneedling is tolerably comfortable. Patients may feel tiny pin-prick sensations that are more intense in areas where there is less fatty tissue, such as the forehead.
What effects does microneedling have?
Microneedling triggers a mild inflammatory response. This may cause slight redness and swelling in some people. Beneath the surface, this reaction excites fibroblast cells, which become more active in their production of collagen.
Is there any recovery process for microneedling?
Patients may want to schedule 3 to 5 days of relative downtime after microneedling. Typically, the most noticeable side effects occur from days 1 to 3. During this time, the skin may feel tight and sensitive to the touch and may look dry and red. After the third day, all of these side effects begin to noticeably subside. The skin may flake or peel for up to 5 days.
How long do the microneedling results last?
The results of one microneedling treatment last an average of 4 to 6 weeks. It is at that time when collagen production peaks. Depending on the goal of treatment, multiple sessions may be scheduled. With repeat sessions comes an accumulation of collagen. As we mentioned, where there is an abundance of collagen, there is smoother, younger-looking skin. Once the desired improvements have been achieved, maintenance sessions may be scheduled one or more times per year.
What can I expect immediately after one treatment?
Some people do experience noticeable improvements as quickly as one week after their first microneedling treatment. These include improved radiance, smoother skin, and smaller pores.
What conditions does microneedling improve?
As a collagen-inducing treatment, microneedling is often performed to reduce the appearance of:
- Sun damage
- Acne and acne scars
- Stretch marks
- Mild skin laxity
- Fine lines
- Enlarged pores
What areas of the body can be treated?
Microneedling can be performed virtually anywhere on the body where there are scars, textural irregularities, sun damage, or pigment concerns.
How soon after microneedling can I wear makeup?
It is recommended that patients wait at least 24 hours to apply makeup after microneedling treatments.
Detailed post-treatment care instructions are provided to help promote optimal collagen remodeling after each session.