Have you been seeking a way to improve the overall look of your skin? Microneedling is a treatment that has been around for a very long time. Recently, it has seen a boost in popularity. People love it because it gives them dramatic results without the downtime and pain associated with many other treatments. For some, the entire thing sounds too good to be true. Let’s take a look at what exactly microneedling is and how it works.
What is Microneedling?
Microneedling is sometimes called collagen induction therapy. The reason for this is simple. By making a series of micro-channels to the face, the body will respond by creating new collagen and elastin fibers. These components are incredibly important to the structure and health of our skin. As we age, the body begins to create less of it, which is a major contributor to the aging of our face. Microneedling is simply a way to encourage the body to increase its collagen and elastin production.
The micro-channels are created using a special device. These microscopic openings are quite shallow and feel more like pinpricks. The skin is also numbed prior to beginning. To respond to the wounds that are created, your body begins the healing process, which involves both collagen and elastin.
How Does This Treatment Work?
Although the inner workings of the body can be complicated, what happens after your treatment can be broken down into three major steps.
- Your skin becomes inflamed as a response to the microwounds
- Your body triggers an inflammatory response, which will then start the healing process
- New, healthy tissue begins to form on the treated area(s)
The third step in the process can continue for up to a year, depending on the exact treatment you have.
What Can Microneedling Treat?
This treatment has been around in one form or another since the days of Cleopatra. Its lasting popularity can be attributed to the long list of things it can help to treat. Consider this treatment if you are trying to:
- Soften fine lines and wrinkles
- Plump up sagging or drooping skin
- Reduce the appearance of acne and other scars
- Treat dark spots
- Treat age spots
- Make your skin brighter
- Treat sun damage
- Treat rosacea or melasma
- Reduce the appearance of stretch marks
Microneedling for Hair Loss
One exciting area that this treatment is being used for is stimulating hair growth. The microneedling process is great for stimulating dormant hair follicles, leading to more hair growth. It also helps topical products, such as those containing minoxidil lotion, penetrate the scalp deeper. This, too, can increase the amount of hair growth.
In fact, one study took one hundred people to see if microneedling actually made a difference. Half of the participants did not have the treatment done in addition to using minoxidil lotion. At the 12-week mark, only 4.5% of them reported a 50% improvement. On the other hand, out of the fifty people who did combine microneedling with their minoxidil lotion, 82% reported a 50% improvement!
Combing Microneedling with Other Treatments
Having microneedling done will provide you with dramatic results, but they will be relatively short-term. To get more long-lasting improvements, you can combine it with other treatments. PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, is great for increasing collagen production. It involves taking a small amount of blood, separating out the PRP, and then applying it to the face prior to using the microneedling device. This is sometimes referred to as the Vampire Facelift. PRP can also be applied to the skin after treatment. You can also add radiofrequency to your treatments, which will help give you longer results when it comes to scar and acne reduction.
Microneedling and Product Absorption
One great thing about this procedure is that it dramatically increases the effectiveness of topical treatments. The microwounds create channels in your skin, allowing topical products to be absorbed deeper. In fact, it is estimated that absorption rates are increased by 3000% in the hour after your treatment! This is why so many people choose to combine their treatment with PRP, hyaluronic acid, or retinol. At your consultation, we can discuss your goals for the treatment and create the best plan to help you reach them.
Cellulite is one issue with very few solutions. Although microneedling itself cannot treat this problem, new research is suggesting that it can help boost the absorption of anti-cellulite lotion. While the cellulite is not removed completely in this manner, it is possible to have it greatly reduced. This is just one of the exciting new uses for this technique.
Why Choose Microneedling?
There are so many treatments out there currently, all claiming to be the best. Be sure to give this one serious consideration due to that fact that it:
- Is safe and effective for all skin tones
- Requires no harsh chemicals that dry out the skin
- Causes minimal damage to the surface layer of skin
- Increases the thickness of your skin
- Can boost collagen production up to a staggering 1000%
- Nearly any part of the body can be treated
What to Expect with Microneedling
Curious what actually happens when you come in for a microneedling appointment? Before anything else, the skin must be thoroughly cleaned. This helps to reduce the risk of infection and ensures you get the most effective treatment possible. Half an hour before beginning, a topical anesthetic is applied to the face or other area that is being treated. A specialized serum can then be applied to help the device move smoothly and gently across your skin.
During the treatment, you may feel a bit of vibration in your skin. Thanks to the device and the topical anesthetic, you should experience no discomfort. The healing process associated with this treatment is quick and easy.
A treatment plan will be created for you prior to beginning based on your skin types and concerns. Most people will need a series of treatments in order to achieve their goals. While this number varies from person to person, the number is typically between three and six. You will want to complete all of these treatments within a four- to six-week time frame for best results. Once your desired results are reached, two annual touch-up treatments are beneficial, especially if you are not combining microneedling with other treatments.
There is typically no downtime after your treatment. Although you can immediately resume your normal activities, you may want to plan on staying home for the rest of the day while the redness subsides.
Caring for Your Skin After Microneedling
In the days following treatment, there are some special considerations to keep in mind. You will want to avoid hot showers, sun exposure, massages, and exercise for the first 48 hours or so. Watching sun exposure is particularly important due to the fact that your skin will be more sensitive for a bit. Be sure to wear sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 30 and avoid the sun as much as possible. Otherwise, there is a risk that hyperpigmentation will develop.
For best results, no makeup should be applied for a minimum of 12 hours after your microneedling session. If you have a treatment done on the body, avoid shaving the area for a day or two. You may use emollient creams to help with any itching or dryness you experience during the healing process.
Who is the Ideal Candidate for Microneedling?
This is a great treatment for almost anyone. Unlike many other treatments out there, it is safe for all skin tones. It is great for those who would like to reduce the signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles as well as age spots. People who struggled with acne previously but are now just dealing with the scars can benefit as well. Interested in reducing the appearance of your pores? There is a good chance this treatment will work for you.
Nearly anyone can be considered the ideal candidate for this option. This includes those who are trying to undo years of sun damage as well as younger people who are doing preventative maintenance or trying to erase scars. The best way to know if it will be effective for your skin care concerns is to schedule a consultation with a professional.
Is At-Home Microneedling Just as Effective?
As you might guess, the short answer is no. Although at-home microneedling devices have proven to help improve the quality of the skin, these treatments are not nearly as effective. The devices available to professionals are simply more powerful. They can typically penetrate the skin deeper. The longer needles are more effective, but not considered safe for use by people without proper training.
On top of the device being more effective, the technique used by a professional is also typically better. This is due to training and experience. Although there are plenty of YouTube videos out there that claim to teach you the proper technique, the odds are you will get better results by trusting a pro.
Get In Touch with Us for More Information
We encourage you to learn more about the microneedling process and what it can do for you by reaching out and making an appointment with MacMed Spa. At our convenient locations in Milford, Framingham, and Hopedale, our caring and devoted team of professionals will be pleased to explain this option to you in greater detail and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to set up your consultation – we look forward to speaking with you!