Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that uses small needles to prick the skin. This is done to generate new collagen and skin tissue for smoother, tighter, and more toned skin.
Microneedling Treatment Areas
Microneedling is typically performed on the face to target:
- Acne scars
- Age spots (also called “sun spots”)
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Large pores
- Other types of scars
- Poor skin elasticity
- Uneven skin tone
Microneedling can also be used to treat stretch marks in other areas of the body, such as the thighs and abdominal area. Scarring on other body parts may benefit from this procedure, however microneedling is primarily used on the face.
What to Expect During Treatment
During the procedure, the physician or esthetician will make small pricks under the skin with a pen-like tool. The pinpricks are tiny and won’t be visible after the procedure. Your physician will move the tool evenly across the patient’s skin to ensure even skin rejuvenation.
Approximately one hour before treatment, the doctor will apply a topical anesthetic to the treatment area to reduce the risk of pain. The actual microneedling process lasts about 30 minutes.
The doctor may then apply a serum or calming treatment to soothe the skin.
Risk or Side Effects of Microneedling
Like all cosmetic procedures, microneedling has its risks. A few common side effects include minor skin irritation immediately following the procedure and temporary redness that may last a few days. Patients should call their doctor if they notice the following severe side effects:
Who is a Candidate For Microneedling?
The ideal candidate for this procedure is in good health and has certain skin concerns that haven’t responded to home treatments or other types of skin care procedures, such as peels.
Microneedling may also be a final step to take before undergoing cosmetic surgery for anti-aging and other concerns. Patients should learn more about microneedling and talk to their dermatologist to see if this is the right option for their skin.
Patients may not be good candidates for microneedling if they:
- Are pregnant
- Have certain skin diseases, such as psoriasis or eczema
- Have open wounds
- Have recently undergone radiation therapy
- Have a history of skin scars
The Recovery Process
Unlike plastic surgery, microneedling isn’t invasive so the recovery time is minimal. Few people require downtime.
Within the first few days after the procedure, patients may notice skin irritation and redness. This is a normal reaction to the small “injuries” made to the skin by the needles.
Patients are typically able to resume normal daily activities. Some patients choose to apply makeup during the first few days to cover the redness. It’s important to wear sunscreen as the skin recovers, since it will be very sensitive to the sun.
After treatment, patients should see results within a couple of weeks. To maintain treatment results, patients should consider scheduling multiple sessions and other complementary treatments. The physician will advise patients on the best plan of action based on their individual goals.