As we age our skin loses the support of collagen. Collagen is what makes our skin firm and smooth. Microneedling (aka collagen induction therapy) can help stimulate collagen production.
Microneedling is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that uses a device (such as Bellus SkinPen- the only FDA cleared device on the market to help treat acne scars) featuring many tiny needles to penetrate the superficial layers of your skin, creating tiny columns of controlled “damage” in the tissue. This controlled damage stimulates your natural healing responses producing new, healthy tissue to replace old tissue smoothing out scars and wrinkles improving overall skin texture.
Microneedling can also be useful in enabling skin care products to penetrate deeper layers of skin, deeply moisturizing your skin. Microneedling can be used with Platelet rich plasma (prp) which has high concentrations of growth factor allowing for faster healing. PRP gives the skin a youthful “glow from within” look. The technique can be used on any area of your face or body to treat acne scars, and other types of scars as well as wrinkles, fine lines, and textural abnormalities such as stretch marks, it helps tighten skin, reduce pore size and even skin tone.
The procedure can take 30-45 minutes including time needed to numb the area. Most patients report very little or no discomfort during their treatment sessions. After treatment, your skin may appear slightly reddened, similar to the effects of a mild sunburn, but the redness will resolve soon afterward.
While a single microneedling session can provide some benefits, most patients achieve maximum effects with a series of four to six treatments spaced out over several weeks.
There is always a risk of bleeding and infection with any treatment that breaks the skin barrier. To achieve the best results and to avoid infections, pain, and skin damage, microneedling should always be performed by a skilled professional with experience in applying the technique to treat different issues and different skin types. Microneedling should not be used on patients that are being treated with blood thinners. Certain medications such as retinoids should be stopped prior to treatment. If you are pregnant or nursing, have a history of psoriasis, eczema, keloids or recent radiation therapy you may not be an ideal candidate for microneedling.
There are now derma rollers on the market for people to buy for home use. Derma rollers do not penetrate as deep and can actually damage the skin. A derma roller device have teeth that are in the shape of a triangle. When it is rolled on the skin it makes a linear incision as opposed to a column made by skinpen. The derma roller also harbors bacteria which can be introduced into the skin while rolling.
Post treatment your skin will be sensitive to certain products and the sun. Please ask your healthcare provider to assist with post treatment product selection. Dr. Roy uses Bellus SkinPen as it is the only microneedling device that is FDA cleared for the treatment of acne scars and she has an option to use growth factor post procedure.