Google searches for "microneedling" have increased by over 50% since the start of 2023. It's a treatment that is gaining popularity and for good reason.
It's a safe (if you go to the right provider) and effective procedure, used for a plethora of skin complaints from reducing fine lines and wrinkles, improving skin texture, minimizing pores, reducing pigmentation and the appearance of scars and boost collagen production.
Microneedling is an amazing regenerative treatment that involves puncturing the skin with doznes of tiny, sterile needles to promote collagen production and improve skin texture and tone. Sounds intense, right? It's suprisingly not!
Here’s how it works…during microneedling, a pen-like device with small needles is used to create controlled micro-injuries in the skin. These micro-injuries stimulate the body's natural healing response, which includes the production of collagen and elastin fibers.
Collagen is a protein that gives skin its structure, while elastin helps skin retain its shape. These two proteins form the scaffolding of the skin and as we get older, levels of both significantly reduce…which is one of the reasons skin sags and wrinkles as we age. Microneedling helps you "bank" collagen - keeping your collagen levels topped up.
Microneedling is generally safe and effective for a variety of skin concerns. Here are some of the benefits of microneedling:
Reducing fine lines and wrinkles: Microneedling stimulates collagen and elastin production, which can help to smooth fine lines and wrinkles.
Improving skin texture: Microneedling can improve the overall texture of the skin by reducing the appearance of acne scars, stretch marks, and other imperfections.
Minimising pores: Microneedling can help to reduce the size of pores, which can improve the appearance of the skin.
Brightening complexion: Microneedling can help to improve skin tone and texture, resulting in a brighter, more radiant complexion.
Enhancing absorption of skincare products: Microneedling creates tiny channels in the skin, which can help skincare products penetrate more deeply and effectively.
Treating hyperpigmentation: Microneedling can help to reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation by breaking up excess melanin in the skin.
Boosting collagen production: Microneedling stimulates the body's natural production of collagen, which can help to replace collagen lost as we age.
Improve the appearance of scars: Microneedling can help to reduce the appearance of scars, including acne scars, surgical scars, and stretch marks.
Helps treat hairloss: When used in conjunction with minoxidil, microneedling can stimulate hair growth
Can be used on all skin types: Microneedling is generally safe and effective for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
Microneedling is a ideal for treating specific skin concerns and as a skin maintenance treatment.
What happens during a microneedling treatment?
Microneedling takes 45 minutes or longer, depending on the area being treated.
During a microneedling treatment, your practitioner will first cleanse and prepare your skin, removing any makeup and ensuring the skin is as clean as possible to prevent infection. They may also apply a numbing cream to minimise discomfort.
Once the skin is numbed, the pen-like microneedling device will then be gently passed over the skin, creating small punctures. The depth of the punctures will depend on the specific skin concern being targeted, as well as the type of device used. Typically, they will range from 0.5mm to 3.0mm, depending on the skin concern and qualifications of the practitioner.
As the device moves across the skin, it will create microchannels that stimulate the body's natural healing response. This prompts the production of new collagen and elastin fibers, which help improve skin texture and tone.
Your practitioner will treat the area a section at a time, ensuring that the whole surface has been treated.
After the microneedling is complete, your practitioner may apply a soothing serum or mask to help the cool the skin and promote healing and regeneration.
Here's a photo of me before and immediately after microneedling treatment.
Why are there different depths of microneedling?
The different depths of microneedling for the face depend on the specific device settings, the qualifications and experience of the practitioner and your skin concerns.
In general, microneedling can be categorised into three different depths, similar to chemical peels: superficial, medium, and deep.
Superficial Microneedling: This involves using needles that are 0.25mm to 0.5mm in length and is typically used for gentle exfoliation and to enhance the absorption of skincare products.
Medium-depth Microneedling: This involves using needles that are 0.5mm to 1.0mm in length and is typically used for treating mild to moderate skin concerns such as fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and acne scars. This type of microneedling is typically performed by a skincare professional in a clinical setting.
Deep Microneedling: This involves using needles that are 1.5mm to 3.0mm in length and is typically used for treating more severe skin concerns such as deep wrinkles, acne scars, and stretch marks. This type of microneedling is typically performed by a medic in a medical setting.
It's important to have a thorough consultation with your practitioner, to determine the best depth of microneedling for your specific skin concerns and goals.
What happens after microneedling?
The downtime following microneedling can vary depending on the depth of the needles used during the treatment and the individual's skin type and sensitivity.
Typically, you may experience redness, swelling, tightness, itching and sensitivity immediately after the treatment, which can last for a few hours to a few days.
In some cases, you may experience mild flaking or peeling of the skin in the days following the treatment, as the skin heals and regenerates. However, this is usually minimal and can be easily managed with a gentle moisturiser.
Most people are able to return to their normal activities immediately following the treatment, but it's important to avoid exposing the skin to direct sunlight and to wear SPF 30 or higher, daily, to protect the skin during the healing process.
Overall, the downtime following microneedling is minimal compared to other more invasive cosmetic procedures. However, it's important to follow proper aftercare instructions to ensure the best possible results and minimise any potential side effects.
How long does it take to see the benefits of microneedling?
The time it takes to see the benefits from microneedling can vary depending on your skin concerns and the specific treatment protocol recommended by your practitioner. In some cases, you may see an improvement in skin texture and tone immediately following the treatment, but it can take several weeks or even months to see the full benefits.
Collagen production typically increases over time following microneedling, which means that the skin may continue to improve in the weeks and months following the treatment. Most of the time, multiple treatments are needed to achieve their desired results, with each treatment spaced several weeks apart to allow the skin to fully heal and regenerate.
In general, most people will see some improvement in their skin's texture, tone, and overall appearance within a few weeks of the initial treatment. However, it's important to have realistic expectations and understand that the results of microneedling may vary depending on the individual's skin type and the severity of their skin concerns.
How many microneedling treatments will I need?
The number and frequency of microneedling treatments depends on your specific skin concerns and the specific treatment protocol recommended by your practitioner. In general, a series of multiple treatments spaced several weeks apart is typically recommended to achieve the best results.
Typically, one treatment every 4-6 weeks for 3-6 months is recommended. This allows time for the skin to heal and regenerate between treatments and for collagen production to increase gradually.
After the initial series of treatments, maintenance treatments every 3-6 months are advised to maintain the results.
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