What is microneedling?
Microneedling is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that’s used to treat skin concerns via collagen production. Also known as collagen induction therapy, this treatment may help those looking to reduce the appearance of acne scars and stretch marks.
You may be an ideal candidate for this procedure if you’re in good health and have certain skin concerns that haven’t responded to home treatments or other types of dermatologic procedures, such as peels.
This may also be a final step before considering cosmetic surgery for anti-aging and other concerns.
Procedure for microneedling
During the procedure, your doctor makes small pricks under the skin with a pen-like tool. The pinpricks are so small that you likely won’t notice them after the procedure. Your doctor will move the tool evenly across your skin so that the new skin that rejuvenates will be even, too.
Before getting started, your doctor will use a topical anesthetic to reduce the chances of pain. This is done about 20 minutes before your treatment
Your doctor may then apply a serum, such as vitamin C, or a calming treatment.
Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants and collagen stimulators available. It comes in many forms, with ascorbic acid being the most well-researched for its efficacy.
Vitamin C is one of the most well-researched and beneficial vitamins you can apply topically. Ongoing use has been shown to improve the look of multiple signs of aging, brighten an uneven skin tone, as well as provide skin-restoring and soothing benefits.
Targeted areas for microneedling
Microneedling is most often used on your face to target:
- acne scars
- age spots (also called “sun spots”)
- fine lines and wrinkles
- large pores
- other types of scars
- reduced skin elasticity
- uneven skin tone
In addition to facial concerns, microneedling is sometimes used to treat stretch marks in other areas of the body. One study found that microneedling was effective for stretch marks on the thighs and abdominal area when combined with fillers.
What to expect after microneedling
Microneedling isn’t invasive like plastic surgery, so the recovery time is minimal. Most people require very little downtime, if any at all.
You may notice skin irritation and redness within the first few days following the procedure. This is a natural response to the small “injuries” made by the needles in your skin.
You can go back to work or school after the procedure if you’re comfortable. Some people apply camouflaging makeup during the first few days as the redness dissipates.
Your skin will also be more sensitive to the sun, so sunscreen is a must.
After microneedling, your skin works fairly quickly to rejuvenate new tissue. In theory, you should see results within a couple of weeks.
To maintain the results of your treatment, you’ll need multiple sessions and perhaps other complementing treatments. Your doctor will advise you on the best plan of action based on your individual goals.
Microneedling vs. home rollers
Microneedling is a professional procedure that’s performed by a doctor or nurse practitioner only. In an effort to save money, some people opt for home rollers instead. Unlike professional microneedling, rollers hardly puncture the skin at all.
While this might seem a less painful option, the problem is that you won’t achieve the same results. The punctures made during professional microneedling are designed to induce skin rejuvenation.
With a roller device, you may achieve brighter skin at best, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
If you’re interested in more dramatic, long-term results, microneedling is a better option than a store-bought roller device. You may still choose to try the latter version if you want less invasive (and more temporary) results.