It is common knowledge that certain habits can hurt your skin. Failing to wear sunscreen and picking at acne can leave behind scars and blemishes. However, some research suggests that hurting your skin in some ways might actually make it look better. One of these trends, microneedles, may become even more popular than laser treatments.
What Is Microneedling?
During the microneedling process, a surgeon uses a tool containing tiny needles to essentially create thousands of tiny injuries to the skin. These tiny injuries are not evident to the eye, but they trigger the skin to create a substance called collagen, which plumps the skin and makes it appear firmer and more youthful. The process essentially triggers the body’s healing response by causing a tiny amount of damage. Dermatologists maintain that the treatment is safe for all skin types as long as the doctor ensures that the microneedles penetrate all the way through the top layer of skin.
Microneedling vs. Facials
A facial typically involves the topical application of a specialized product, which removes dead skin cells and reveals healthy-looking skin below. Although facials are effective, the results only last a short period of time – perhaps a few days, at most. With microneedling, the results last up to six weeks, and even longer for some patients. Although the microneedling procedure is more expensive than a traditional facial, the extended results make it more appealing to the majority of patients.
Microneedling vs. Facial Lasers
Facial lasers are currently the most popular long-term skin treatment for those who want a rejuvenated glow. Fractional lasers can produce some pretty spectacular results, but the main differences lie in the side effects, overall costs, and recovery times. Fractional lasers cause a significant amount of damage to the skin in order to stimulate the healing process, but patients often experience some pain and significant redness in the days following the treatment. While fractional lasers char the epidermis and thereby trigger necrosis, which induces swelling, microneedles do not cause any heat damage.
What to Expect During and After Treatment
Because even microneedles are invasive, your doctor will thoroughly clean your skin with an antibacterial cleanser. He or she will also apply a serum that contains human growth factor, which help stimulate the collagen growth process even further. Although you are unlikely to feel any pain at all, you will feel the sensation of pressure and vibration. The process takes about an hour to complete, and you may experience some redness for the first day or two, especially if you have a very fair complexion. Those with darker skin tones are unlikely to notice any redness at all. Swelling is typically not a major issue, although you may notice a bit of a “puffy” look for a few hours after the treatment.
Although microneedles are not yet commonplace in offices around the world, research continues to suggest that it is a great alternative to fractional lasers due to its pain-free and budget-friendly approach. Although more studies are ongoing, plastic surgeons and dermatologists are optimistic.