Microneedling - what is it really?

This is a very popular service nowadays, but what is it exactly? Is it painful? Does it draw blood on the skin?

Microneedling, also known as Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT), is a minimally invasive skin treatment where tiny needles penetrate the skin to create "micro-wounds." These wounds are miniscule and only skin-deep, but the body responds to these wounds with alarm/stimulation, sending signals to repair itself and produce more collagen and elastin and other growth factors without causing new scar tissue formation, instead boosting skin strength, radiance and health. You can see the glow on your skin with just one treatment, but the benefit continues for many months afterwards. The depth of the treatment varies by provider, for example, if an esthetician is providing the service or from a doctor's office. An esthetician is allowed to perform microneedling with shallower depths (microneedling pens used by estheticians are usually from 0.25-2.0 mm depth). Medical needling on the other hand involves deeper needle depths and may cause blood to be drawn, and the service is performed in a medical clinic. A topical numbing cream is applied prior to the procedure, but the procedure should not be painful. It is normal to see pinpoint bleeding during the process but no blood is drawn. You feel the skin tightening immediately after the procedure, but overall, the general feeling is that of a mild sunburn. The skin may be red immediately after the procedure, but not every skin is always red after the procedure. The redness is usually gone after 2 days. The feeling of tightness continues for a couple days. It is not laser treatment nor does it involve use of harsh chemicals that can cause inflammation of the skin. It also does not significantly damage the epidermis. Thus, it is safe and effective for every skin type.

The microneedling pen is NOT THE SAME as Dermaroller. Microneedling pens are motorized pen with varying depth controlled-microneedle cartridge swiped over the surface of the skin, inducing rapidly-healing micro punctures. It causes very minimal epidermal damages which means less pain and bleeding, no down time and far safer to use. A Dermaroller is more painful and involves a lot more bleeding due to the epidermal damage it causes by the flick-and-tear actions, causing longer down time due to significant epidermal damage. The roller has a fixed depth and cannot be adjusted to meet the varying depths for different parts of the skin. The roller needles can also become blunt, bent or rusted after use so there is a chance of more scarring/epidermal damage, or even infection.

How does microneedling help with skin resurfacing/cell regeneration? (From Skin Pen):

It helps to understand the phases of wound repair.

Phase 1 - Inflammation. When wound is created, this triggers the immune system to start to disinfect the wound, remove debris, increase blood flow and begin to create new tissue.

Phase 2 - Proliferation. This is when the would starts to rebuild with new cells and a new network of blood vessels are created.

Phase 3 - Remodeling. The wound is replaced with new dermal tissues and blood vessels.

Here is a list of most notable benefits from microneedling:

1) reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles;

2) scar treatment (from acne, burn or surgery);

3) sun damage/hyperpigmentation/age spots;

4) anti-aging (helps increase elasticity and fight sagging skin and brighten dull complexion);

5) shrink enlarged pores;

6) improves product penetration;

7) reducing stretch marks;

8) reduce the effects of Rosacea;

9) improves efficacy of acne products to help clear up acne;

10) hair loss;

11) fewer side effects than laser or intensive peels.

The following are contraindications to microneedling:

1) Excessive amount of active acne and/or inflammation;

2) Herpes labialis or any other local infection such as warts;

3) Moderate to severe chronic skin disease such as eczema and psoriasis;

4) Blood dyscrasias, clients on anticoagulant therapy;

5) Extreme keloidal tendency;

6) Clients on chemo/radiation therapy.

A number of microneedling sessions may be recommended depending on the individual skin condition. An interval of 4 to 6 weeks between each treatment is typically recommended. Maintenance treatments may be scheduled 2x a year.

Check out my instagram posts (@soniavskincare) for microneedling before and after photos.

If you are interested in microneedling treatment and would like to know if you are a good candidate, please call (206-488-4001) or email me (nwesthetics4u@yahoo.com).

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