What is Micro-Needling?
Micro-needling 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.
It’s also used in certain anti-aging procedures, such as eyelid surgery and sun spots. Micro-needling isn’t effective for hair loss, despite the possible role of collagen in hair growth.
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. Learn more about micro-needling and talk to your dermatologist to see if this is the right option for your skin.
Preparing for Micro-Needling
Before the procedure, talk to your doctor about ways you can prepare so you have the best possible outcome. You may need to stop taking certain medications, such as ibuprofen and those for acne treatment, well in advance of the procedure.
Your doctor may also recommend that you stop using topical retinoids beforehand too. Doing so may reduce the risk of certain side effects.
The Micro-Needling Procedure
During the procedure, small pricks under the skin are made with a fine needle. 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.
Areas for Micro-Needling
Microneedling is most often used on your face to target:
age spots (also called “sun spots”)
fine lines and wrinkles
other types of scars
reduced skin elasticity
uneven skin tone
In addition to facial concerns, micro-needling is sometimes used to treat stretch marks in other areas of the body.
Scarring on other body parts may also be treated with this procedure. However, micro-needling is primarily used on the face.
Risks and Side Effects
Like all cosmetic procedures, microneedling isn’t without risk. The most common side effect is minor skin irritation immediately following the procedure. You may also see redness for a few days. Call your doctor if you notice more severe side effects, such as:
You may not be an ideal candidate for microneedling if you:
have certain skin diseases, such as psoriasis or eczema
have open wounds
have had radiation therapy recently
have a history of skin scars
What to Expect After Procedure
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.
Your skin will also be more sensitive to the sun, so sunscreen is a must.
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. 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.