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When it comes to a procedure that delivers, microneedling (also known as collagen induction therapy (CIT)), stands at the top of our favorite rejuvenation treatments. Microneedling has been around awhile. It has been used in Europe for decades and is finally gaining well-deserved popularity here in the United States. It’s is a great alternative to lasers or chemicals.
Microneedling is a technique where tiny holes are made in the skin with a specialized tool. This controlled microtrauma stimulates an inflammatory and healing response that signals your body to repair the skin, growing new collagen and resurfacing the skin. New collagen formation helps your skin smooth and tighten. The rapid turn over in skin production helps skin tone and texture. Microneedling can also be used in combination with specialized products targeted to your needs. These products are driven into the skin where they are needed to maximize your results. For example, hyaluronic acid can be used to maximize hydration and is needed for collagen synthesis.
The problems best treated by microneedling are fine lines, wrinkles, scars, acne scars, large pore size, hyperpigmentation or discoloration, and rough or bumpy skin.
Microneedling depth can be adjusted depending on the area treated and the desired outcome. For example, deeper needling can be done over scar tissue to soften the appearance of scars. For topical or shallow depth treatments, the procedure can be done by a trained aesthetician. However, for deeper depths or in combination with mesotherapy (where a product is injected into the skin) or PRF, microneedling can only be done by a licensed and trained practitioner.
The procedure is quick and relatively pain free. First, your skin will be numbed for about 30 minutes and then the procedure itself takes about 30 minutes. With numbing the most you will feel is a mild prickly sensation if anything at all. After the procedure your skin will be red and possibly lightly swollen. This fades quickly and by the next day you may look like you have a light sunburn. Some people notice some light peeling or flaking. By the next day you can wear a mineral makeup. Overall there is no significant down time past 1-2 days. It is important that before and after treatment you do not expose yourself to sun or tanning beds. To minimize the risk of bruising, do not to take any blood thinning medications or supplements 3-7 days prior and no alcohol 2 days prior.
Collagen synthesis takes about 6-8 weeks to begin and will continue for up to a year. Most people notice fresh glowing skin within a month. It is recommended that you get treated every 6 weeks 2-3 times for minor correction and 4-5 times for moderate correction. Deep scars may take up to 6 treatments. Maintenance treatments can be done every 6 months to a year, keeping your skin looking young.