We hear about micro-needling more and more lately. A lot of my customers ask me what it is and how it can help them. So even though as of now we do not perform it in the studio, I decided to write a blog entry about it to shine a little more light on the subject.
Micro-needling is also known as collagen induction therapy or CIT. It is a procedure used to create a controlled wound response and thus improve the appearance of the skin. It is most commonly used for fine lines, wrinkles, acne scarring, stretch marks and non-inflamed rosacea.
So basically tiny needles are used to puncture your skin, which stimulates the production of more platelets and white blood cells. That causes the skin to go into healing mode and discard damaged skin cells, while producing new ones with lots of collagen. The procedure also forms micro channels through the epidermis that allow topical products to penetrate more effectively. Terri Wojak uses a very good comparison in her book "Aesthetics Exposed" - She says micro-needling is like aerating a lawn, whereby puncturing holes into the ground provides pathways for fertilizer to enter. It's very important to apply lots of moisturizing and antioxidant agents following the procedure to help skin heal faster.
Micro-needling can be performed at grades ranging from superficial to deep. More aggressive treatment doesn't always give you a better result. This is why you need to consult with a professional about your particular skin problem skin type etc. The deeper the procedure, the more downtime you will experience. There are definitely going to be side effects such as redness, swelling, some initial micro-scabbing etc. It takes between 3-6 treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart to see results and skin should continue to improve over 2 years following the treatment.
The most popular devices nowadays are the dermaroller and the dermapen. The derma roller has slopped/ curved insertion of the needles and it is more likely to create tears in the tissue. Dermapen's needles go into the skin vertically so they are less likely to cause unnecessary injuries.
Contraindications for micro-needling are moderate to severe acne, papulopustular rosacea, presence of cold sores and infections during treatment, Accutane use within 6 month of treatments and medical conditions that can affect the healing process /diabetes, immune disorders, cancer etc./
* Sources used: "Aesthetics Exposed" by Terri A. Wojak, LE