With all of the focus on rejuvenating the skin and creating a youthful, glowing appearance, more and more people are turning to various cosmetic procedures to improve their faces. Some of these include microdermabrasion, facial fillers, Botox injections, and even facelifts. However, microneedling is on its way up in the cosmetic surgery world, and for several very good reasons.
What Is Microneedling, Exactly?
Microneedling is, in a nutshell, a process by which a series of very fine needles create tiny, almost unnoticeable injuries in the skin to promote natural healing processes. Your skin’s elasticity and firmness come from a substance known as collagen, and as you age, your body produces less and less of it. Microneedling creates microscopic channels in your skin, and this triggers your body to fill those injuries with collagen and elastin. Over time, patients see improvements in the overall firmness and texture of their skin.
Who Should Consider Microneedling?
Although microneedling cannot completely erase deep creases and wrinkles, it can help rejuvenate the skin and provide a youthful, healthy glow over time. Microneedling has been shown to treat all of the following:
- Lack of firmness
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Poor skin texture
- Enlarged pores
Although the technique is most commonly used on the face, doctors can also apply it to other parts of the body to treat scars and stretchmarks.
The Introduction of Medications During Microneedling
Studies are still ongoing regarding the delivery of medications and certain fillers during the microneedling process. For now, many physicians around the world precede the treatments with a serum containing growth hormone, which is thought to help stimulate the processes by which the body creates new collagen, elastin, and skin cells. Technologies allowing for the introduction of cosmeceuticals, proteins, toxins (such as Botox) and fillers are currently being studied.
What Should You Expect During and After a Treatment?
When you go in for your microneedling session, your doctor will first prepare the treatment area with a topical anesthetic. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete the session, during which you will feel only mild discomfort if anything at all. Some patients experience mild swelling after the procedure that usually lasts no longer than one or two days, and very few patients report any residual pain or discomfort once the topical anesthetic wears off.
How Many Treatments Are Necessary?
The number of microneedling sessions you will need depends on your unique condition and the results you hope to see. For example, if you want a rejuvenated, glowing complexion, you may only need one to two treatments. However, if you receive microneedling to treat acne scars, you may need four or five treatments before you see the best results. Stretchmarks that are especially severe may require more than five treatments with maintenance treatments every six to 12 months. Most physicians prefer that patients wait anywhere from four to six weeks between treatment to give the healing process time to work.
Microneedling may prove to be more beneficial than any other treatment like it. It is only minimally invasive, relatively pain-free, and requires very little (if any) recovery time. Research into the long-term effects of microneedling and the potential delivery of certain serums and fillers is ongoing.