What is microneedling?
Microneedling is a safe, minimally invasive therapeutic technique initially developed for facial rejuvenation, but now used to treat a wide range of dermatological skin conditions. It involves controlled piercing of the skin with a derma roller or more recently, automated devices with miniature fine needles. Dermal rollers are available for home use, but recently patients prefer to have their treatments done at a skin clinic with the expertise of a trained professional. Microneedling has also proven to be safe for use in all skin types, which has bolstered its popularity.
How does microneedling work?
Miniature fine needles cause superficial, controlled piercing of the skin without completely damaging the epidermis. The result is minimal bleeding and skin injury which is why it is a safe procedure with virtually no downtime from work or play.
The skin ‘injury’ leads to a wound healing cascade with the release of numerous growth factors, resulting in 2 important processes- neocollagenesis and neovascularization.
Fibroblasts lay down intracellular matrix and new collagen, elastin and blood vessels are produced. The process continues for as long as 6 months after the treatment course and the results have been confirmed with biopsies and histology of the treated skin.
What can you expect?
The skin is prepared for at least a month before treatment begins with a tailored homecare regimen, generally combining vitamin C and vitamin A to optimize the treatment results.
The process is quick and relatively painless. You will need to arrive an hour early to apply a topical anaesthetic cream to numb the skin. The skin is cleaned with an antiseptic wash before the procedure.
The treatment is generally well tolerated and post procedure there is minimal pinpoint bleeding and redness. The treated skin is then cleaned with saline, and soothed with ice packs.
There is virtually no downtime and you can expect to go back to work the next day.
Derma roller versus automated microneedling device
The home care rollers have varying angles and depth of skin penetration which could give inconsistent results. The automated devices can penetrate to a maximum of 2 mm and the depth can be adjusted to suit the area treated.
What are the uses of microneedling?
Microneedling which is also known as collagen induction therapy was initially developed for skin rejuvenation, but is proving to be effective for a range of conditions. The evidence is varying and consistent efficacy hasn’t been proven in all cases.
ANTI-AGING/ SKIN REJUVENATION
Microneedling leads to breakdown and reorganization of old collagen and production of new collagen, elastin and blood vessels. The result is decreased fine lines, wrinkles and pigment spots and an overall youthful looking skin. A minimum of 6 sessions is recommended with strict sun protection and tailored homecare combining vitamin C and vitamin A.
Microneedling has shown great results with the treatment of scarring from various causes, including acne scars, burn scars, surgical and traumatic scars as well as chicken pox scars. There are many clinical studies supporting the benefit of needling scars. It is safe to use in all skin types with minimal downtime. Again, a minimum of 4- 6 sessions is recommended with a good homecare routine, and maintenance after treatment.
Microneedling in mild to moderate acne targets sebaceous glands causing them to produce less sebum. The process helps to clear sebum and keratinocyte build up that block the sebaceous glands. Needling assists with acne scar management and has been reported to minimize the appearance of pores. Microneedling is not suitable for active, severe acne.
Microneedling has shown benefit in treating melasma and periorbital pigmentation. It enhances the penetration of topically applied skin lightening agents. For best results, it must be combined with strict sun protection and a tailored home regimen. The device can be adjusted to safely treat the eye area.
SUN DAMAGE AND ACTINIC KERATOSIS
Microneedling is beneficial in the treatment of actinic keratosis and sun damage as it can be combined with photodynamic therapy to enhance penetration of the photosensitizing cream. This improves the treatment outcomes in resistant areas.
Recently microneedling has been used to treat Alopecia Areata and Androgenetic alopecia. It can be combined with conventional treatments like topical minoxidil and topical steroids. Overall there has been some promising results.
Microneedling can be combined with various treatment modalities including chemical peels, platelet rich plasma and photodynamic therapy. It can be used to enhance penetration of topical agents during the procedure, including hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and tranexamic acid.
Combination therapy is key for best overall results and a minimum of 4-6 sessions is recommended.
Your treatment plan including homecare and maintenance is tailored for your skin condition and can be adjusted depending on your response to treatment.
Please visit our rooms or contact our medical therapist Annika for a skin consultation and treatment plan on [email protected]