When I first spoke to a specialist about microneedling, I was nervous. Maybe even a little scared. The thought of tiny needles giving my face hundreds of tiny little puncture wounds made me shudder. However, I was tired of seeing my acne scars, and that was enough to overcome my doubts.
Perhaps you are, too. Or maybe you want to get rid of some wrinkles or help even out skin damage from the sun. Maybe someone recommended microneedling to you, but like me, you still have your doubts. In this article I will elaborate on my own experience, helping you to better understand what microneedling is, what it does for you, and what you should expect during and after your first procedure.
What is Microneedling and How Does It Work?
Microneedling involves a pen or device equipped with dozens of tiny needs as small as 1mm or as long as 3mm. The size of the needles used depends on the severity or type of treatment needed.
Microneedling works by punching hundreds of tiny holes into your skin. This forces your body’s natural healing abilities to kick in, increasing the production of collagen and elastin in your skin, and giving it a more youthful look and reducing wrinkles and acne.
*Using a device called a dermaroller that uses much smaller sized needles (no longer than 1.5mm), microneedling can be done at home and are great if you only have minimal scarring or very few wrinkles. That said, for a comprehensive, no-risk treatment or to treat more severe conditions, you will need to seek out a licensed aesthetician, dermatologist, or plastic surgeon.
What are the Benefits?
The main benefits of microneedling are clearing up acne, reducing visible acne scars, and eliminating wrinkles caused by aging. Because it is minimally invasive and has so little downtime, it has become one of the most recommended anti-aging methods available.
Other benefits include:
- Reducing the visibility of post-acne scars
- Reversing sun damage, discoloration, or the effects of melasma (a chronic condition that creates dark, discolored patches of skin on the face)
- Tightening any loose skin from aging or losing weight
- Shrinking pores
- Increasing absorption of topical treatments
- Decreasing hair loss and stimulating hair growth
- Can be performed on other areas of the body, not just the face
What Should You Expect?
When you schedule your first important, the clinic will provide you with a list of things to do and expect pre- and post-treatment. To help you better understand these, I will go over them in detail.
If you use Retin A, Retinols, or Vitamin A cream, you will likely be asked to discontinue use of these products at least 3-5 days before your treatment is scheduled. Even though these products can help reduce acne, they inhibit collagen production and can decrease the effects of microneedling.
At the beginning of your treatment, your face will be cleaned, and a topical anesthetic will be applied to reduce any pain or discomfort during the procedure. Afterwards, they will rub a cool serum on the treated skin to help decrease inflammation.
After treatment you will experience some level of inflammation, soreness, peeling, dry skin, and perhaps some minor bruising around the eyes. All of this is normal, but there are a few things you can do to alleviate these after-treatment symptoms such as:
No sunscreen or makeup before treatment. Especially during the first 12 hours of so following your treatment, try to avoid applying any sunscreen or makeup. You must first allow your skin to begin the healing process, and these products will inhibit that.
Wash with a gentle cleanser. A few hours after treatment, and every night before bed, wash your face with a gentle cleanser, massaging the skin lightly. This will also help to increase your skin’s natural healing ability.
Avoid taking any pain meds. Especially pain meds that are also anti-inflammatories, as they will interfere with the healing process. Try, instead, eating foods that have natural anti-inflammatory properties.
Keep your skin moisturized. As your skin heals, you will want to make sure you keep it moisturized to avoid any excessive dryness. The skin care specialist that treats you may even give you a special moisturizer to use post-treatment.
- Avoid direct sunlight for the first 24 hours
- Avoid alcohol-based skin care products
- No swimming for the first 24 hours
- No strenuous activity or exercise for the first 24 hours
- You can start using minimal makeup roughly a day or two after treatment
Contact A Medical Spa For More Information
Being as informed as possible about what microneedling is and what it does can go along way in easing any doubts you may have.
Take it from someone who once had similar doubts and fears: while there is a small amount of discomfort during the healing process (not unlike getting a tattoo), the benefits far out-weight the cons, and have made me and many others into firm believers.
(My skin is healthier than it has been in years and my acne is all but gone.)