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What Is Microneedling? Risks, Benefits, and the Procedure Explained

Kristina Cadwell  
April 28, 2021  

Technological advancement has brought new ways to tweak our appearance. People are showing increasing interest in minimally invasive cosmetic treatments because the risks are much lower than with surgery. Microneedling is especially popular because it treats various skin conditions.

Let’s see how microneedling works and what benefits it provides.  

Microneedling treatment for improving skin tone and texture.

What is Microneedling?

Microneedling is a cosmetic treatment that uses a FDA-approved medical device with small needles to puncture the top layer of the skin. It boosts collagen and elastin production, rebuilding the skin and making it plumper, tighter, and smoother. It can be used on the face, hair, and body.

What Is Microneedling Good For?

Microneedling is touted as a multi-purpose treatment because it improves several cosmetic issues.

The FDA approves the use of microneedling devices to heal or reduce the appearance of:

  • Acne
  • Acne scars
  • Wounds
  • Wrinkles and deep facial lines
  • Dermatoses
  • Cellulite and stretch marks
  • Hair loss

How Does Microneedling Work?

The needles in a medical microneedling device make tiny, controlled puncture holes into the skin’s surface without damaging the epidermis.

The controlled wounds stimulate the body’s natural healing response to injury and increase collagen and elastin production in the deeper layers of the skin. In other words, microneedling creates a new layer of fresh, smoother-looking skin and reduces scars, wrinkles, and blemishes.

Microneedling Benefits

Microneedling improves existing cosmetic issues by stimulating collagen and elastin production and angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels from old ones). The resulting benefits of the treatment are:

  • Wound healing
  • Tissue remodeling
  • Skin tightening that persists for up to seven years
  • Reduced hyperpigmentation and brighter skin
  • Reduction of acne scars, burn scars, and blemishes
  • Enhanced delivery of active ingredients (from creams, serums, drugs) into deeper skin layers
  • Skin rejuvenation

Combining microneedling with other cosmetic treatments like radiofrequency and LED light therapy provides quicker and more powerful results.

Microneedling Risks and Side Effects

No serious risks are associated with microneedling and the procedure is considered safe for people of good health when performed by licensed medical professionals using FDA-approved medical devices.

The most common side effects of microneedling are mild and include redness, bruising, swelling, and inflammation. The side effects usually go away after two or three days, but may persist for up to two weeks.

What Does the Microneedling Procedure Look Like?

What is Microneedling and how does the procedure look like

The first step of the microneedling treatment is a consultation with your medical practitioner. They will evaluate your eligibility for the treatment. If you’re pregnant or taking certain acne medication, you may not be eligible.

The microneedling specialist first applies topical anesthesia to the treatment area. The cream can take up to one hour to become effective.

The specialist then rolls the microneedling device over the patient’s numbed skin several times in each direction. The device has tiny, short needles that puncture the skin, creating superficial wounds. The process lasts for about 10-20 minutes.

Your skincare specialist may apply a serum right after microneedling to utilize your skin’s enhanced receptiveness to rejuvenating ingredients.

Microneedling at Home

Microneedling devices for home use are available. They are less expensive than professional microneedling sessions and you save time by skipping the medical spa or clinic.

However, at-home derma rollers aren’t as effective as professional treatments. For safety reasons, the DIY devices have shorter needles that don’t penetrate as deeply, so the results are less noticeable. Most of the at-home devices don’t allow you to change out the needles for each treatment session, so your risk of scarring and infection are much greater.

Even with less invasive needles, the risk of damaging the skin exists. A trained professional knows how to properly switch the needle size depending on the area being treated. At home, you may press the skin too hard and cause more harm than good.

FAQ about Microneedling

Does Microneedling Hurt?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the pain level ranges from completely painless to painful but tolerable. In many cases, the pain is described as a mild tingling sensation. The pain level depends on the individual’s pain threshold and the needle size.

How Much Does Microneedling Cost?

The price of a microneedling treatment depends on the required number of sessions. At Vibrant Skin Bar, one microneedling session costs $250.

How Long Does Microneedling Last?

The whole microneedling treatment session may take up to 90 minutes. First a topical numbing cream is applied for 30-45 minutes. After the skin is numb, the microneedling session begins and takes approximately 20 minutes. Finally, your medical practitioner will use a variety of topical post-treatment serums such as PRP, hyaluronic acid, growth factor serum and/or lightening serum to enhance desired results.

What to Expect After Microneedling?

Microneedling has a delayed effect because it takes time for the new collagen to form. The results appear gradually three to six months after the final procedure. During that time, you will notice a reduction in wrinkles, scars, and blemishes and an overall improvement in skin tone and texture.

How Often to Microneedle?

The optimal period between treatments is one month. The number of treatments depends on the issue you want to treat and desired effects.

Conclusion

Microneedling is a quick, safe, and often painless way to improve skin issues that don’t respond to topical treatments. It’s important to understand that the treatment provides a delayed response and improvements over time. For best results, opt for professional microneedling services performed by experienced medical practitioners.

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