Are Needles Good for Me?: Microneedling Demystified
From acne scars to surgical scars, microneedling is the best method for treating a range of scars. The appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores, hyperpigmentation, and other regions with uneven texture can also be lessened by microneedling. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 300 W. 41st St #100 Miami Beach, FL 33140.
“A clean slate,” a saying we hear that typically means “new beginnings.” What if we take that into the literal sense and apply that to one of our most beloved organs: our skin? There are many reasons why we want to create a clean slate or a renewed surface on our skin. Maybe we have some scarring from acne or stretch marks that we want to get camouflage. How do we do that, you’re wondering? Well, you have probably heard of microneedling. Although it sounds like death by a thousand needles, this treatment will be demystified in this article. Dr. Li is a double-board certified plastic surgeon with expertise in microneedling as part of his private practice based in San Jose and Los Gatos Bay Area California.
As it sounds, the microneedling procedure/treatment consists of using a mechanical pen with many small needles at its tip that vibrate back and forth very quickly to create“pin-prick” points on the skin. It is the collection of these micro-injuries to the skin that causes the skin to be rejuvenated or resurfaced, as new collagen and elastin form in the areas of injury. Therefore, this is why microneedling is also called Collagen Induction Therapy or CIT.
Microneedling is ideal for treating a variety of scars, from acne scars to surgery scars. Microneedling can also help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores, hyperpigmentation, and other areas with uneven texture. Suitable for all skin types (if used properly and by the right provider), microneedling can produce more youthful appearing skin. The depth of needle penetration can be adjusted to cater to different parts of your face and body, which have different thicknesses. However, it is important to keep in mind that multiple treatment sessions, typically 3-6, are recommended to see meaningful results. Just like everything else in life, no pain no gain and consistency is key.
Now that you know what microneedling is, let us go over the process of the procedure itself. First, it may be sometimes recommended by Dr. Li that your skin be pre-treated with topical hydroquinone, six weeks before a microneedling session, particularly if you have darker skin pigmentation. The purpose of this is to minimize your risk of hyperpigmentation (the skin turning darker as it heals). On the day of your treatment, your skin will first be numbed using a topical anesthetic cream. Once the skin is ready, it is cleansed and then hyaluronic acid serum is applied to the treatment areas, after which the microneedling treatment is performed. The serum helps the pen glide easier and also has moisturization and anti-inflammatory properties.
Generally, most patients tolerate the procedure well with just topical anesthetic cream and only experience a warm, scratchy sensation similar to a sunburn during the treatment. However, if it ever becomes uncomfortable, you can always tell us and we can take a break. After microneedling is completed, it is normal for inflammation to last a few hours, so your face may feel warm and appear red. Remember, your skin has undergone many micro-injuries and will reflect that! Just like skin that heals after a scratch, superficial scabbing will occur as your skin heals. In our clinic, we have a post-treatment kit that we recommend for the first 2 weeks after treatment. We do not recommend using your own products until the skin heals. It is also important to stay out of the sun as it heals.
Although each treatment session is beneficial, the greatest benefit comes from multiple treatments. It is generally recommended to space treatments about one month apart, to give your skin adequate time to heal. If you think there are areas of your skin that could benefit from microneedling, we invite you to schedule a consultation for a proper in-person assessment. Adios texture! Hello, new skin!