Micro-needling and Skin Needling for Skin Rejuvenation and Resurfacing
Micro-needling is also referred to as skin needling, collagen induction therapy, percutaneous collagen induction, and collagen rejuvenation therapy and is often associated with devices such as the dermaroller or dermapen which run the gamut of efficacy from home-use to professional use.
Micro-needling treatments can rejuvenate the skin similar to laser resurfacing without the same downtime or high cost, especially if you just have superficial wrinkles that are fine and shallow. Deeper lines and indentations will respond much better to the individualized needles of skin needling that can specifically target those deeply depressed areas in order to activate the skin’s regenerative response of collagen synthesis.
Both Micro-needling and Skin Needling are nonsurgical treatments that work to plump up depressed areas in the skin. Micro-needling works by creating a series of controlled micro-injuries via sterile, single-use, surgical grade disposable needle tips that stimulates the skin’s own natural collagen production. These micro-injuries signals the brain to send collagen to the site of injury for skin tissue repair, helping the skin heal within hours after the procedure. This results in strengthening, smoothing and rejuvenating the skin within a few days to over the next few weeks time and effectively improves fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, enlarged pores, rough skin texture, sun damage, skin laxity, stretch marks, and even crow’s feet and deep lines in the peri-oral and naso-labial regions.
Micro-needling devices come in many forms, including manual dermarollers, fixed-needle rollers, and electric-powered “dermapens” or “micropens” (where needles are distributed on a vibrating tip). Our device is a micro-needling pen device with the added healing benefits of LED light therapy, which delivers enhanced results when compared to micro-needling alone. LED lights are produced by different wavelengths with each light having a unique effect on the skin as follows:
Red light (650-730nm): Penetrates deep into the skin to promote cell regeneration, stimulate collagen production, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for total anti-aging benefits.
Green light (430-450nm): Soothes the skin, reduces redness, regulates melanin production, and speeds up healing.
Blue light (525-550nm): Anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, reduces skin inflammation, and destroys the living environment of the bacteria that causes acne.
Yellow light (565-570nm): Improves rough skin, reduces redness and uneven pigmentation, promotes lymphatic drainage, and enhances skin immunity.
Purple light (340-440nm): Combines the benefits of both red and blue light for a dual effect and is particularly beneficial for healing acne and acne scars.
Clear blue light (340-440nm): Wavelengths closer to 400nm are more anti-bacterial (even effective against MRSA) than blue light at higher wavelengths even though it does not penetrate as deeply.
Skin Needling’s ability to focus on each particularly noticeable line or scar is a great adjunct to existing professional skin care treatments including micro-needling. Like many professional in-office micro-needling treatments, Skin Needling is performed using sterile, single-use needles and enables the user to adjust the operating speed and penetration depth (typically ranging from 0.5 mm-3.0 mm). The adjustable depth for Micro-needling is 0.1 – 2.0mm. Alternating both treatments at 4-6 week intervals offers enhanced results with less downtime, especially in conjunction with a proper home care regimen.
Micro-needling and Skin Needling are both safe and effective ways to stimulate the skin’s own natural collagen production and offers vast benefits over temporary synthetic collagen injections. Most importantly, the results from these treatments requiring little to no downtime are gradual but permanent.
Treatments are packaged in a series of 4, 5, or 6 sessions and are tailored to your needs and budget. Please keep in mind that the more severely damaged the condition of your skin, the more sessions are needed which then provide benefits for longer periods of time. While these treatments are safe and effective for all skin types, it is contraindicated for skin that is sunburned, has open lesions, or has a propensity to keloid. When you schedule a consultation we will be able to discuss your areas of concern, answer any questions, and develop a treatment plan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Microneedling creates microscopic punctures or micro-channels in the skin which signals its wound-healing response which then creates structural benefits in the skin and an improvement in cosmetic appearance. Initially for the first 24-48 hours, the skin may feel warm and tight and look a bit flushed. Once the skin normalizes the benefits of the injury becomes apparent over the next few weeks and months.
Any kind of skin needling is contraindicated for skin that is irritated, infected (including fungal skin infections), has active rosacea, psoriasis, severe solar keratosis, skin cancer, raised moles and/or warts, and/or any open wounds or sores. While it may also not be desirable to microneedle skin that has active acne and eczema, these conditions can also be improved with microneedling due to normalization of keratinocyte function and reduction of hyperkeratinization. Any skin condition can experience an adverse effect with microneedling if products with known problematic ingredients such as certain preservatives, acids, fragrance, dyes, surfactants, emollients, humectants, and UV filters are applied afterwards.
When performed properly, microneedling treatments are considered very safe, cost-effective, and well tolerated by most skin types, including darker skin. Side effects, if any, are seldom and temporary such as redness, burning/stinging, dryness, flaking, track marks, and breakouts. Exceedingly rare adverse reactions involve swelling, rash, bruising, cold sores, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and cellulitis. Proper skin history screening and post procedure home care is vital to minimizing any undesirable effects of microneedling. Complications that can occur when this procedure is not performed under the right conditions can include secondary bacterial infection, allergic reactions, scarring, granulomas, and skin discoloration.
Microneedling is a highly effective treatment for stimulating collagen and elastin production while allowing other skin-improving ingredients to more effectively penetrate the skin where they can affect cells at deeper levels. A variety of common skin conditions such as aging, uneven pigmentation, and scars, and acne can all be greatly improved with microneedling treatments.
The results of microneedling is incremental and cumulative. Within several days to several weeks you may notice a smoother, brighter, and more radiant appearance, but the full effects of your treatment typically does not appear until several months later. Part of the process of collagen formation includes developing cross-links between peptide chains or between collagen molecules. Those cross-links are what gives the collagen its strength, and this process can last anywhere from 20 days to up to 2 years after the tissue injury from microneedling.
Recovery after a procedure depends on the intensity of the treatment, including the length of the needles used. The skin is expected to look pink or red in appearance immediately afterwards and may last for the next 24 to 48 hours, feeling much like a sunburn.
Microneedling and Botox injections can be seen as complementary procedures as they use different mechanisms to target the same lines and wrinkles. Botox works to smooth the skin by temporarily paralyzing the muscles that cause the lines and wrinkles created from frequent squinting or furrowing of the brows, whereas microneedling treats the actual skin itself by improving its health and integrity from below the surface. Microneedling further complements Botox treatments by creating healthier skin that can better withstand the risk of bruising, discoloration, and injury as well as decrease healing time from both procedures, whereas Botox can prolong the results of microneedling by inhibiting the cause of certain lines and wrinkles. While these procedures are complementary, they nevertheless should be done at least 2 weeks apart from each other.
A topical Vitamin C in a stable form, along with other active ingredients such as peptides, growth factors, and hyaluronic acid, can greatly maximize benefits to the skin when applied after any skin needling procedure. Vitamin C plays a specific role in increasing collagen formation so it is an ideal anti-aging ingredient.
In general, skin can be safely treated every 21-28 days. However, depending on the specific condition there is an ideal timing or frequency with which the skin should be treated. In general, for anti-aging microneedling can be performed every 28 days, while some types of scars respond best to treatments either on a more frequent schedule and other types of scars will do better on a more spaced out schedule. A minimum of 3 to 6 treatments are recommended depending on the severity of the condition or degree of improvement desired. Response will also be highly individual and there is no way to predict who will respond best or how long it will take.