Microneedling or collagen induction therapy is not new but in the non-surgical skin care arena, it is definitely on trend and fast becoming the ‘sharpest tool in the skin care shed’ for 2015 !
Microneedling is not only reserved for the rich and famous. Approximately $400 per treatment for the face makes it affordable. Microneedling’s claims of skin rejuvenation, scar reduction and antiaging, together with the advantages of less pain and downtime than light based therapies, has the masses ‘signing up’ with/for a ‘Dermapen®’ treatment.
Kim K’s famous ‘Vampire Facial’ threw microneedling into the spotlight when she combined the treatment with her own platelet rich plasma (PRP), which was reinfused back into her skin via the micro columns created by the microneedles, to enhance collagen production.
Breaking down the barriers….
The penetration of topical skin care has always been up for debate; it argues against the primary function of the skin as a barrier which prevents skin care from being readily absorbed. Microneedling offers a solution. Topical agents may be better absorbed through the micro channels created by the needles into the skin, targeting specific skin care needs with greater results.
What you need to know if you’re microneedlephobic !
Microneedling systems are simply hand held devices which are either battery or cord operated with stainless steel needles embedded in their tip. The microneedles range in length between 0.5 – 3.0 mm with bevelled or flat edged tips.
All microneedling devices work on the same principal; puncturing the skin with micro needles.
Dermapen®, Dermastamp® and Dermaroller® are a few of the brands which produce microneedling devices, and systems. These devices are designed to puncture the skin, without injuring the epidermis, producing microchannels of trauma. These microchannels induce a wound healing cascade.
Part of the ‘healing cascade’ involves the body filling these microscopic wounds with cells which produce collagen and elastin, resulting in improved skin texture, firmness as well as a reduction in pore size and scars.
Dr Tina Alster,clinical professor of dermatology, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington DC says ‘it is both affordable for dermatologists and patients’ and is seeing impressive results, similar to those seen with fractionated lasers when treating wrinkles and ‘without the heat and risk of post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation’.
The Dermaroller® has tiny needles embedded into a roller device which is rolled over the skin in varying angles and are commonly sold as in-home devices.
The problem with in- home roller devices are, they have needles 1/3 length of professional use systems, penetrating the skin at an angle and if not used carefully, create unwanted trauma by nicking the skin with the rolling action, increasing the risk of infection. Improper cleaning and sterilising of in home devices contributes to an increased risk of infection.
Application of skin care after in-home microneedling treatments may also carry an increased risk of irritation or ‘foreign body reaction’ created by ingredients in skincare, which may take a long time to resolve.
but wait there’s more…
Healthy skin requires a balance of 2 types of collagen – type 1 and 3 . The repetitive injury caused by an in home Dermaroller® used 2-3 times a week can lead to an inbalance and an over production in type 1 collagen, resulting in unhealthy looking skin; as it never gets an opportunity to complete the healing process.
The Dermapen® looks like a motorised pen with a circular head, embedded with adjustable and single use surgical steel needles.
The Dermastamp® looks and works like a Dermapen® but with a larger head, with more needles protruding. Like a tattoo gun without ink the many needles of the dermastamp are stamped into the skin.®
the treatment….what to expect !
A topical numbing agent is first applied and will take 30-45 mins to take effect.
An applicaton of an antioxidant, human growth factor serum or topical agent tailored specifically to the skin’s needs is applied before a non-conductive gel or hyularonic acid which assists the device to glide over the skin in multiple passes. The multiple passes may result in some easily controllable pinpoint bleeding.
Post treatment the micro channels will close within 60-90 mins and skin will feel warm, tight, itchy with some redness. The redness generally subsides within 3 days.
Adhering to the after care instructions will reduce the risk of complications and optimise the treatment’s results.
- Cost effective
- Little or no downtime
- Able to be used in conjunction with other treatments such as peels, microdermabrasion and resurfacing modalities
- Effective treatment option for acne scars, skin rejuvenation and anti-aging
- Able to treat areas which are unable to be treated by lasers and peels, such as around the eyes
- No heat cialis dapoxetine – reducing the risk of post inflammatory hyper pigmentation
- Can be performed on all skin types
- Can be used all over the body
- Best results are seen after 2 – 4 treatments at 4 – 6 week intervals
What can go wrong ?
Overzealous treatments may result in scarring, hyper-pigmentation,infection and skin irritation.
Who isn’t a candidate for microneedling ?
Whilst most skin types are suitable for microneedling, people suffering skin infections, recent outbreak of herpes simplex, active acne, eczema, rosacea psoriasis or warts are not candidates for microneedling.
The verdict ?
Even with the current lack of evidence and studies supporting microneedling’s claims of skin rejuvenation, scar reduction and antiaging I can certainly understand the popularity of microneedling and anticipate future studies proving its benefits.
Have you had a micro needling treatment, i’d love to hear from you?