What is microneedling?
Microneedling, a skin resurfacing procedure, is performed with an instrument that uses tiny needles to create invisible micro-perforations in the top layer of the skin (epidermis) and the layer immediately below (dermis).
The process causes the skin’s natural repair mechanism to shift into high gear so it starts producing collagen and elastin — both essential to skin elasticity and volume — to repair the micro-perforations. The results can include smoother, clearer skin; improvement of fine lines and wrinkles; and reduction of old scarring. Microneedling is safe for people with all levels of skin pigmentation.
How microneedling works
Microneedling is performed in your doctor’s office and requires little or no downtime. A topical anesthetic cream might be applied to your face before the procedure begins to help minimize discomfort. Your doctor will maneuver the microneedling instrument, which resembles an oversized pen, across the area to be treated, and might apply a growth-factor serum and/or cooling face mask afterward to take advantage of the skin’s heightened absorbency post-treatment. Microneedling is frequently paired with platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, which harnesses growth factors from your body’s own blood.
Which areas of the face and body are best for microneedling?
Microneedling can be performed over the entire face to enhance your skin’s texture and appearance — and can even be performed on other areas of the body to minimize the appearance of scars and stretch marks. It can help to reduce the following:
- Acne or surgical scars
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Large pores
- Patches of rough skin
- Stretch marks
- Sun damage and age spots
How soon will you see results with microneedling?
You’ll begin to see improved skin texture soon after your first microneedling, but multiple treatments are usually recommended; the number of treatments you’ll need will depend on what you’d like to treat, and your doctor will talk with you about what’s best. You can safely have microneedling done every four to six weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions About Microneedling
A. People say that it feels a little like sandpaper being gently moved over the skin. The eye area and forehead are sometimes more sensitive than other areas. Patients can be treated comfortably with a topical anesthetic.
A. The procedure is gentle enough that most people return to work or school the next day, though you may have mild swelling. It’s recommended that you stay out of the sun for a day or two after microneedling.
A. There are a number of home microneedling rollers for sale, but these devices can damage the skin and even lead to infection. It’s recommended that you have microneedling performed only by a trained provider.
A. Recent research has shown that microneedling may be able to improve the appearance and inflammation of mild to moderate rosacea.