How Microneedling Can Help Your Skin

Microneedling, which has been around since the 1990s, has recently gained popularity for treating many different skin conditions. Compared to some treatment modalities, it may be a cheaper, safer, and more effective alternative.

Key takeaways:
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    Microneedling can treat many skin problems, such as acne, fine lines, wrinkles, stretch marks, and hair loss.
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    The most common side effects are redness, swelling, and bruising.
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    Rare potential complications include scarring, infection, hyperpigmentation, and pain.
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    Follow your doctor's preoperative and post-operative instructions to get the best results.
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    It can take 4–6 monthly treatments to achieve good results, so patience is key.

Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, uses a device that contains multiple small needles that puncture the skin to a particular depth, depending on the condition being treated. This device can be a pen or dermaroller.

The device is moved repeatedly over the treatment area to cause micro-injuries to the skin. These micro-injuries will stimulate collagen and elastin production to improve the skin, induce new blood vessel formation, and cause the release of growth factors to heal the skin.

What conditions can microneedling treat?

Microneedling can treat a variety of skin conditions, including:

  • Scars from trauma, surgery, or acne
  • Stretch marks
  • Acne
  • Enlarged pores
  • Hair loss
  • Melasma
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Sagging skin

How microneedling helps acne

Microneedling can help treat acne, as well as hyperpigmentation and scarring from acne. It can help acne by decreasing the production of sebum, which leads to fewer blackheads and whiteheads. It also shrinks pore size to prevent blackheads. It is important to note that microneedling should not be used on active acne lesions, as it can cause them to worsen.

The increase in collagen and elastin production caused by microneedling improves the appearance of acne scars and hyperpigmentation. It can take several treatments over the course of many months to see good results.

The side effects of microneedling

In the right hands, there are very few side effects or potential complications to microneedling. Most patients heal very quickly with little to no downtime. Some of the possible side effects include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Bruising
  • Scarring
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Pain
  • Allergic reaction

To ensure a low risk of complications, always follow your doctor's post-operative instructions. Make sure you tell your doctor about your complete medical history and any medications you take, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements.

Who cannot undergo microneedling?

While microneedling is safe for all skin types, certain patients may not be candidates for it. This include patient who:

  • Have a history of bleeding disorders
  • Take certain medications, such as blood thinners or immunosuppressants
  • Have suppressed immune systems from chemotherapy, radiation, HIV, or transplants
  • Have an active infection
  • Have keloids
  • Are pregnant
  • Have certain skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis
  • Have diabetes
  • Have a history of problems with wound healing

Preparing for microneedling

There is not a lot of preparation needed for microneedling treatments. Stay well hydrated and avoid tanning prior to your appointment. You should arrive at your appointment free of makeup.

Microneedling aftercare

It is critical to follow the post-operative instructions your doctor gives you if you want to have great results with no complications. These instructions typically include:

  • Do not pick at the treated area
  • Avoid direct sunlight
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid vigorous exercise for a few days
  • Do not use alcohol-based products, acids, retinoids, or exfoliants, which can irritate the skin while it is healing
  • Do not swim in pools, oceans, hot tubs, rivers, or lakes

Combining microneedling with other procedures

Microneedling is often combined with other treatments to enhance the results and healing of the skin. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) can be rubbed over the treated area after microneedling is completed. PRP and PRF can also be injected into the treated area. Vitamin C and retinoids can also be applied.

Aquagold is a microneedling device that allows the injection of serums during microneedling. Hyaluronic acid, fillers, Botox, Vitamin C, PRP/PRF, and retinoids can be delivered directly into the skin.

At-home microneedling

For the best results, microneedling should be done in a doctor's office. This ensures that the equipment is sterilized properly to prevent infections. At home, devices cannot be sterilized adequately. At-home microneedling devices will not penetrate to the depths that professional devices do, so you will not achieve the same results.

Professionals have the training to perform microneedling safely and effectively without damaging your skin. If you do not know what you are doing, you can permanently scar your skin.

Number of sessions and results

It usually takes about 4–6 sessions to achieve good results. The sessions are spaced about a month apart to give the skin a chance to heal fully. It can take up to a year to see the final results of microneedling because it takes time to produce new collagen; however, you will start to see improvements after a couple of treatments.

Microneedling is a safe and effective way to treat several skin problems, such as acne. It can take several treatments over many months to achieve good results. It is critical to follow all preoperative and post-operative instructions given by your doctor to ensure the best results. For safety and the best results, it is best to undergo microneedling at a doctor’s office.


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