Microneedling: Benefits, Risks, and What to Expect
Microneedling is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure, also referred to as collagen induction therapy. Microneedling is done using a device containing sterile needles that make tiny, precise micro-injuries in the skin.
These controlled micro-injuries trigger our body to produce collagen and elasticity to heal. Collagen and elastin are proteins in our skin, contributing to plump and hydrated skin. As we get older, we lose collagen. After age 25, collagen production decreases by about 1 percent per year; microneedling can help replace that loss of collagen.
Benefits of Microneedling
Microneedling offers numerous benefits, including:
- Hyperpigmentation and acne scar reduction
- Minimization of wrinkles and uneven skin tone
- Collagen induction
- Enlarged pore reduction
While the face is the most common area for microneedling, it can be performed on other body parts such as the scalp to promote hair growth. Additionally, it can be done on the legs, abdomen, back, and décolletage to boost collagen production. Microneedling is also effective for reducing stretch marks.
The Difference between Microneedling and Microdermabrasion
A common question is the difference between microneedling and microdermabrasion. While both are excellent skin treatments, they have their differences. Microdermabrasion is a more superficial treatment that exfoliates the skin’s top layer for a brighter appearance. On the other hand, microneedling stimulates collagen production and can be used on various body areas, including the scalp.
Risks of Microneedling
Microneedling is safe for all skin tones; however, there is always a minimal risk with any procedure. Microneedling can cause bruising and redness, but this should subside within a few days after treatment. Individuals may experience itchiness and dryness of the skin but staying hydrated and using hydrating serums such as hyaluronic acid or products from the DP4 Dermaceuticals line, which consists of products meant to be used after microneedling to help reach skin goals quicker.
The risk of infection from microneedling is very low because the needle cartridge is changed each time and is sterile. ‘’Home derma rollers” have increased in popularity over the years, and some may refer to it as ‘’at-home microneedling”.
At-home microneedling with a dermal roller has risks because many of these tools do not have sterile needles; these devices also do not allow for controlled depth which means these tools do not go as deep as microneedling devices such as the DP4 used in-office treatments. This means that the benefits will not be exhibited to their full extent and less collagen is induced.
As mentioned, microneedling has countless benefits for the skin but is also great for promoting hair growth. During microneedling for hair growth, there are little controlled wounds made onto the scalp, like the process for microneedling for the face; during this process, there is increased blood flow to the area, stimulating hair growth. The wound healing and collagen also enable hair follicles to produce thicker hair.
What to Know Before Your Microneedling Appointment
With any cosmetic procedure, it is essential to have a consultation first to ensure that microneedling is the proper treatment for a client’s concerns. During the consultation process, the Jack Nathan medical consultant will tell you about microneedling, listen to your concerns and goals for your skin or hair, and answer any questions you may have.
Preparing for microneedling is important; carefully preparing for microneedling reduces the risk of irritation and allows for better healing. Some pre-treatment instructions include avoiding topical agents that may increase your skin’s sensitivity, such as retinoids, exfoliants, topical antibiotics or acids, 5-7 days before your treatment.
Avoid IPL/Laser procedures, unprotected sun exposure, or sunburnt skin for at least two weeks before your appointment. Avoid waxing depilatory creams or electrolysis 5-7 days before the appointment. Do not shave the day of your treatment; this is important to avoid skin irritation; If there’s dense hair present in the treatment area, shave the day before you arrive for your appointment.
What to Expect During the Microneedling Appointment
During the appointment, the provider will cleanse the skin with a gentle cleanser to remove makeup, dirt, oil, debris, and sunscreen on the face. They will then provide topical numbing cream to avoid pain during microneedling, making the procedure comfortable.
The numbing cream typically stays on for 20 minutes. The cream is then wiped off, and the microneedling process begins. The procedure normally takes about 30-45 minutes for the entire face.
What to Expect After the Microneedling Appointment
After the appointment, avoiding saunas, the gym, and steam for at least 48 hours is essential to prevent infection. It is also necessary to wear SPF since your skin is extra sensitive during this time to the sun.
We always recommend that clients change their pillowcases at night after their microneedling appointment to prevent any bacteria, oil, or dirt on the face. Your skin is extra sensitive during this time, and we want to minimize risk. Avoid topic agents like acids (AHA, BHA etc.) for 5-7 days, and avoid waxing and shaving for at least a week.
Although microneedling is a fantastic procedure, it is only for some, those who have recently been on Accutane should wait at least six months after getting off Accutane to begin microneedling. Those with blood disorders or immune systems should avoid this treatment and ask the medical consultant any questions.
Cost of Microneedling
Each microneedling session typically starts at $300-400 per treatment; the number of treatments varies for everyone; however, three treatments spaced approximately four weeks apart produce excellent results in many people for hyperpigmentation treatment, acne scars, and collagen production.
After multiple sessions, it is essential to keep up with the treatments; you may need less as you reach your results, but keeping up with the treatments ensures that you maintain your results and benefits. Due to microneedling being a cosmetic procedure, it is not covered by insurance companies.
Does Microneedling Hurt?
A common question is ‘’does microneedling hurt”? No, it does not because you are topically numbed; therefore, you will not feel it or feel it minimally. Another question is ‘’how much downtime will I need?’’ There is not much downtime with the procedure; you may be red for a few days, but it will look more like a minor sunburn, hydrating products can help with this.
Overall, microneedling is an excellent procedure, and when researching a cosmetic procedure, it is essential to seek a medical consultant and reliable sources.
Microneedling is an effective treatment for various skin concerns, including hyperpigmentation, acne scars, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, collagen induction, and enlarged pores. At Jack Nathan MedSpa, we offer the latest Health Canada-approved microneedling device, DermaPen – Dp4™. Achieve smooth, glowing skin by booking your appointment with us today!