Microneedling – A Guide To Instant Youth
Being pricked with a needle can be daunting for some, especially if you’re required to be pricked over and over repeatedly. In a skin treatment known as microneedling or scientifically listed as “percutaneous collagen induction“, patients are pricked at least a total of 5,000 times in a method that enhances the skin considerably for a younger and redefined appearance.
However, even though many people are willing to endure various degrees of torture for the sake of beauty, if done correctly, what may seem like sheer torture will not only be relatively painless, but will in fact make your skin healthier and stronger on the inside and more youthful and beautiful on the outside!
What is Microneedling?
Microneedling is a widely known revolutionary protocol that promises healthier looking skin that is both radiant and youthful. Microneedling achieves this through a process of rejuvenating your skin’s collagen in a method of acupuncture-like treatment. The method of microneedling can help restore your youthful appearance by introducing holistic processes to rebuild and regenerate the collagen in your skin.
The Science Behind Microneedling
When microneedling is performed correctly, the causes and changes in micro-electrical-currents that flow between cells(demarcation currents), trigger numerous growth factors. These growth factors allow the formation of new blood vessels and blood flow to the dermis, followed by the migration of new fibroblast cells. As a result, a harvest of fresh, healthy, and robust collagen fibers fill in the dermis and improve the skin considerably. To accelerate and amplify this process, a dermatologist will provide the patient with a microneedling treatment. The doctor may also infuse the skin with PRM formulations, which enhance the overall efficacy of both the PRM and the microneedling treatments.
How Microneedling Works
The concept behind microneedling treatments is straightforward and well known. If you damage any tissue, your body will naturally repair it. If you damage any organ, the cells of that organ can regenerate new, healthier tissues to repair and replace the damaged tissue. The skin is an organ (our largest organ) and works in the same way.
However, in this case, each small insertion of a needle causes a tiny amount of damage that helps to stimulate, repair, and regenerate the mechanisms of the skin. To be more specific, the fibroblast cells within the dermis, which has a job to generate collagen and elastin, are then stimulated by the penetration of the needle, releasing many growth factors that regulate the mechanisms of tissue repair and replacement.
During the process of microneedling, thousands of needle insertions at a time generate a greatly amplified response. After an increased amount of new collagen, elastin and other matrix components are created and the skin then goes through a natural remodeling process that renders it stronger and healthier on the inside, and more beautiful and youthful on the outside.
Other positive effects of this procedure are skin tightening, skin lifting, shrinking of pores, and overall skin rejuvenation. Many factors of aging and damaged skin improve, such as prominent fine lines, wrinkles, skin roughness, scars, and, to a lower degree, skin sagging. Essentially, microneedling is a process that stimulates the natural physiology of the skin, engaging it to rebuild itself. As mentioned previously, clinics have developed specific protocols that use microneedling for effective treatments of severe acne scarring, stretch marks, surgical scars, and traumatic scars.
Combining Microneedling with Other Methods
If you didn’t know, some clinics practice what’s known as “Integrative Medicine,” which means they integrate any viable methods for achieving the results that make their patients healthier and happier. Often, doctors consider this approach to be “holistic” and physiological, in that they utilize a combination of different methods for stimulating a patient’s natural physiology to considerably repair and regenerate newer, healthier tissue, thereby achieving the desired results.
Studies have found that the best results are achieved by comprehensive protocols which combine microneedling (CIA) with such treatments as laser skin tightening, laser skin resurfacing, dermal infusion, Platelet-Rich-Plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapies.
What You Need To Know About Microneedling Treatments
Regular microneedling treatments are one of the best ways to maximize your skincare investment in a non-surgical way by continuously nourishing and stimulating collagen production in your skin. Here are a few details regarding why microneedling is necessary for your skin and how each treatment is performed.
Before Microneedling Treatment
Before your first microneedling treatment, the treated area will be numbed with a topical anesthetic for approximately 45 – 60 minutes. After, the numbing cream will then be removed, and the skin is then disinfected to meet proper clinical standards. If the patient is allergic to the topical anesthetic that the clinic uses, other methods of ensuring the patient is comfortable will need to be executed.
If a topical formulation has been selected for infusion into the skin, it will be applied to the skin before the microneedling treatment proceeds.
During the Treatment
During the session, the microneedling treatment is administered with tiny acupuncture needles that are arranged on a pen-like device. The technician will then start treating the skin with hundreds of precise needle insertions through the epidermis (the thin top layer of the skin) into the underlying dermis where the collagen matrix is found. Typically, a grid pattern is used so that the density (spacing) of the needle insertions is even throughout the area being treated.
Several various surgical “pen-like” devices have been created that have electric reciprocating motors in them which cause and allow the needles to move up and down like a sewing machine, rapidly per-second, similar to that of a tattoo gun. These devices can also vary in the depth that the needles can penetrate into the skin. Proper insertion depth can be selected to match the varying thicknesses of skin type based on the client.
As with all medical procedures, both accuracy and precision are essential. The thickness of your skin differs on different parts of your body and can vary greatly. Thus, the depth of penetration of the microneedling should be precisely matched based on that. For instance, the skin on your cheeks is much thicker than the delicate skin that lies under your eyes, whereas a microneedling penetration depth of 2 millimeters might be the appropriate length to treat your cheeks safely. Only a 0.25 mm needle would likely be used best under a patient’s eyes.
Also, the density of the insertion of the needles should be properly matched to the skin of the patient. Some skin might benefit significantly from an increased frequency of insertions per square inch, provided by a second and third “pass” of the microneedling device. Conversely, other areas of skin would become over-stressed by a second pass, let alone a third.
It’s not uncommon that the microneedling treatment will cause pinpoint bleeding. This should be expected and is often the therapeutic end-point that needs to be achieved to ensure the best of results. As the needles are very thin, the bleeding is minuscule and stops very quickly.
After the Treatment
Typically, a patient’s face is pink or reddish after the treatment is performed. The discoloration may persist for at least 24-36 hours.
Depending on the condition of your skin, consistent treatments for skin tightening require a series of at least 3-5 microneedling sessions that are approximately 3-4 weeks apart. Protocols for scarring may require as many as eight microneedling treatments to achieve significant results.
To put it simply, microneedling treatments that are performed correctly, tend to be comfortable, quick, and safe, with healing time being very minimal. The results are long-lasting and real, with a cost that is relatively inexpensive for most patients that want to have microneedling done.
The Results of Microneedling
Microneedling has been performed many times on patients of all ages, with every conceivable skin type. Microneedling has shown significant improvements to the skin, and dramatically improves firmness, reduces the size of pores, tightens sagging skin, corrects fine lines, and smooths wrinkles. Some clinics have also developed effective microneedling methods that combat stretch marks, acne scars, and both surgical & traumatic scars.
Microneedling is a relatively inexpensive way to provide amazing results that are easy to perform, is very safe, and has no downtime.
The Cost of Microneedling
In terms of the cost for microneedling, it depends on which area you want to treat, as well as the size of that specific area. Typically, the average price can be anywhere from $100 to $700 per microneedling session. It’s recommended that you undergo at least 4 to 6 treatments depending on the condition of your skin and the age you are.
Microneedling cost can also differ based on the extent of the treatment. As an example, face treatments will usually be around $300. However, if you choose to purchase the microneedling device yourself, the Dr. Pen microneedling device will cost you nearly a third of that. Just be sure to do thorough research before using microneedling devices on your own.