Micro Needling is Collagen Induction Therapy which uses tiny needles to make micro-channels or injuries in the skin to then stimulate collagen and elastin formation, the building blocks of skin tissue.
The concept of Micro Needling is based on the skin’s natural ability to repair itself whenever it encounters physical injury such as cuts, burns and other abrasions. As the Micro Needling device moves across the skin, it makes pinpoint punctures to create very minor micro-“injuries.” In response to the perceived “injury,” a cascade of growth factors is released, which in turn triggers new collagen synthesis. This process has two major benefits: it effectively stimulates collagen formation and provides a clear channel for topical serums to be absorbed through the surface of the skin. While most commonly used on the face, Micro Needling can also be used to restore and regenerate the skin on the neck, chest, and hands. Micro Needling is safe for all colors of skin and all types of skin.
Micro Needling has become a popular anti-aging procedure, and some of you might be familiar with the “Vampire Facial,” which the Kardashians have made famous. The Vampire Facial is simply Micro Needling with PRP, or platelet-rich plasma. An important note: PRP is an add-on to Micro Needling where the plasma has growth factors to basically supercharge healing and collagen stimulation. The addition of PRP from the blood may make microneedling more effective. The liquid in blood is plasma, while platelets are solid. Platelets help blood clot, so they are vital for healing wounds and injuries. PRP is plasma in which the concentration of platelets is higher than that of other components of the blood. PRP contains proteins, including growth factors and cytokines. These proteins help skin tissue repair itself.
Micro Needling is performed in a safe and precise manner with the use of a sterile, disposable tip that allows effective treatment to hard-to-reach places (e.g. around the eyes, nose, and lips). Prior to the procedure, topical anesthetic cream is applied for patient comfort. The basic Micro Needling treatment includes the application of healing gels and serums during the procedure. When Micro Needling is administered as a part of the PRP Facial, the patient’s own blood-derived growth factors and platelet rich plasma (PRP) are applied during the procedure. The entire procedure is normally completed within 30-45 minutes depending on the required treatment and the anatomical site. New healthy skin appears about 4 weeks after treatment and continues to generate collagen for up to 4-6 months. When Micro Needling for acne scars, pore size and anti-aging we recommend 5-8 sessions, each about 4 weeks apart. In the case of surgical scars and stretch marks on the body, usually 8-10 sessions each 5-6 weeks apart are recommended.
Discomfort & Risks:
The sensation of Micro Needling is uncomfortable (described as a stinging sensation), particularly in areas of bony prominence and where the skin is thinner such as the neck and around the eyes. Immediately following the procedure the skin will feel tight, dry, swollen, and sensitive to the touch. It’ll also look and feel sunburned. The sensitivity and redness will diminish significantly within 24 hours. Other common short-term side effects include itching, discomfort, pinpoint bleeding or bruising, scabbing, and darkening of the treated area. Additionally, the skin may look and feel like sandpaper; these effects generally last 2-7 days as the treated skin flakes off and is replaced by new tissue. While adverse reactions are extremely rare, there is a possibility of temporary side effects including but not limited to: infection, scarring, skin and tissue necrosis, herpes simplex outbreak, hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin), and hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin). Darkening or lightening of the skin usually fades within 6 months, but in rare cases, could be permanent. This reaction is more common in patients who are tan or who have darker skin tones. It can result or worsen when treated areas are exposed to the sun too soon following treatment. This risk can be minimized by avoiding sun exposure for 4 weeks before and after treatment and by adhering to pre and post treatment instructions.
Micro Needling Care Instructions
- You will need to stop the use of Retin A, Retinols, Vitamin A creams and other topical medications for 3-5 days before your micro needling treatment.
- No sunscreen OR makeup for 12 hours following treatment.
- Wash the face a few hours after treatment or before bed time. Use a gentle cleanser such as the RPS gentle cleanser or Dove unscented bar soap. Gently massage the face with tepid water (a shower can provide an easier ability to massage the face while washing at the same time), and remove all serum and dried blood.
- 12-72 hours post-treatment mineral makeup can be applied, but continue to use a gentle cleanser, hyaluronic acid serum, and physical sunblock with an SPF of 30+. If a more aggressive treatment was performed, you may be instructed to use a more occlusive balm such as Aquaphor.
- After 48 to 72 hours following treatment you can return to your regular skin care regimen. Retinol products are strongly suggested to use for optimal results.
- Avoid alcohol-based toners for 10-14 days as well as excessive sun exposure for 10 days.
- For treatment of acne scars and skin rejuvenation usually 5-8 treatments are recommended and can be performed in sequence with other procedures including Fractora and chemical peels.
- For management of stretch marks and surgical or keloid scars usually up to 8-10 treatments are required, spaced apart every 5-6 weeks. More time in between treatments is suggested due to the aggressive trauma to the skin, allowing proper recovery time to avoid over-stimulation. If scars/stretch marks are 6 months old or younger, less time in between treatments is okay.
What to Avoid:
- For at least 2 hours post treatment, do NOT use any Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Beta Hydroxy Acid, Retinol (Vitamin A), Vitamin C (in a low pH formula) or anything perceived as ‘active’ skincare.
- Avoid intentional and direct sunlight for 24 hours. No tanning beds.
- Do not go swimming for at least 24 hours post-treatment.
- No exercising or strenuous activity for the first 24 hours post-treatment. Sweating and gym environments are harmful, rife with bacteria, and may cause adverse reactions.
Schedule My Consultation
If you’re ready to schedule your micro needling procedure or simply want to learn more about the procedure, Dr. Rowe can give you the answers and reassurance you need to make the decision that’s right for you. To schedule your private consultation, call 212-628-7300.