What It Is
Microneedling is a minimally invasive solution that aids in the rejuvenation of your skin. It has the ability to improve the look of scars and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by boosting collagen production in the skin.
At McLean Clinic, the dermapen, a medical device, is used to give you these results. It is a hand-held device with a circular head composed of tiny needles, which are used to penetrate the skin in a minimally invasive way. These small punctures that are created stimulate your body’s natural wound healing process, which results in increased collagen and elastin production and cell turnover. This will act as a way to prevent as well as reverse aging signs such as fine lines, dynamic folds, and wrinkles.
The great thing about microneedling is that it can be done on any area of the skin that needs repairing-- not just the facial complexion. Particularly, it works best in areas that contain acne scars or stretch marks, such as the back, chest, arms, and legs. Microneedling can also stimulate dormant hair follicles, which can contribute to new hair growth.
Microneedling can improve the appearance of stretch marks, which is a very common skin condition for women post-pregnancy or for those who gained and lost weight. Stretch marks are very difficult to treat and there are very limited options for those looking to eliminate them. To make a difference in these problem areas, you will only require as few as 4 to 6 sessions, although results will differ depending on your condition and can be discussed during your consultation.
How to Prepare
Microneedling is not recommended for patients who have taken Accutane (isotretinoin) in the last 6 months, those who have a prior history of poor wound healing, or for pregnant individuals. Additionally, patients who have open wounds or healing cuts in the treatment area should not undergo microneedling until the skin is completely healed.
To minimize the risk of infection, microneedling will not be conducted on areas with active acne until it is fully healed. As well, microneedling is not recommended for patients who are currently experiencing rosacea or eczema, or has skin that is inflamed or irritated.
How It Works
At your first consultation, you will be briefed on the entire process of microneedling and any questions you have will be answered. Afterwards, a numbing cream will be applied to the treatment area to minimize your discomfort and pain that you may experience during the procedure. The microneedling procedure will begin by working in small sections at a time. To ensure maximum comfort, you will be actively involved in providing feedback throughout the procedure.
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Immediately, you will notice that your skin will appear fuller and tighter on the surface after your microneedling procedure. Your results will improve over time, as this treatment will continue to plump the appearance of the facial complexion, diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, eliminate hyperpigmentation and skin discolouration, and reduce the appearance of acne scars. Sun damage and discolouration caused by melasma can also be reduced as the treatment breaks down old skin cells and tissue, while triggering the production of collagen for healthy, vibrant skin.
Microneedling is especially appealing because the treatment has the ability to kickstart the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, which is essential to radiant, glowing skin. Leveraging the body’s own natural healing mechanisms will also provide very natural results with minimal downtime. While the procedure can work to fight the current signs of aging, it is also very effective when used as a preventative anti-aging measure. Clinical studies have shown that as little as 4 microneedling sessions at 1 month intervals led to a 400% increase in collagen production and elastin in the skin 6 months after the treatment.
Microneedling can be combined with topical treatments and lasers to maximize its effectiveness. Topical treatments, such as anti-aging serums, can be better absorbed into the skin through the needle punctures and can enhance the effects of the product. Because microneedling is more effective for providing short-term results, combining the treatment with radiofrequency laser procedures can show tissue tightening over the course of a few months and prolong the results of a microneedling procedure.
Aftercare and Recovery
Immediately after the procedure, you may notice that your skin is sensitive to the touch. As a protective measure for the skin, it is highly recommended to apply sunscreen of at least SPF 30 before leaving the clinic. For 24 hours after the treatment, you may experience minor redness, bleeding, tightness, or a itchy feeling. This should resolve on its own. Because only the outermost layer of the skin is punctured, scarring is seldom experienced. In rare instances, scarring will appear temporarily but will resolve on its own within a few days.
Microneedling is a safe, minimally invasive, and effective treatment option. However, repeated microneedle procedures completed in small time intervals can lead to broken capillaries and give skin a plastic appearance. This can be easily preventable by limiting microneedling procedures to once a month, and to always allow skin to fully heal between sessions.
Myths and Facts
People can shy away from microneedling because the idea of puncturing your skin is not always the most appealing. However, these micro wounds are actually benefiting the health of your skin because the production of collagen and elastin will reverse signs of aging and improve its overall tone and vitality. Furthermore, the punctures allow you to reap the full benefits of any products you apply to the skin afterwards because it can better absorb products and deliver benefits directly to the deepest layers of the skin in ways that clogged pores cannot.