Q: What is microneedling? Sylvia, Syracuse
A. Thanks for your question, Sylvia! In a nutshell, microneedling is a treatment that stimulates your collagen to give you smoother, plumper, healthier-looking skin. Who doesn’t want that? According to RealSelf, the most popular aesthetic procedure in 2016 will be microneedling.
To break it down for you, Sylvia, microneedling is an in-office medical procedure. It works by using a surgical-grade device, similar to a pen, to puncture your skin creating thousands of tiny micro injuries under the top layer of skin. They are so tiny they can’t be seen with the naked eye. This triggers your body to create new collagen and elastin to fill in those tiny controlled wounds leaving your skin plumper and healthier and erasing imperfections. It is also a great treatment for the thinner areas of skin including around the eyes, mouth and neck as well as those individuals not a candidate for laser procedures. The number of recommended treatments varies based on your skin’s needs, but an average of three to six treatments every six weeks is recommended.
Following your treatment, you may experience mild redness and swelling for 24-48 hours similar to a sunburn. It is important to use sunscreen with an SPF 30 every day. Your skin will look smoother and brighter, but full treatment results are gradual as your collagen production continues and won’t be seen for a few months. Not only will you reap anti-aging benefits from microneedling, but it also has been proven to help treat acne scarring, pore size and stretch marks.
In a medical spa, microneedling can be combined with the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP), taken from the patient’s own blood, to stimulate even more collagen and elastin. PRP takes concentrating nutrients from your own body and puts them back into your skin. Microneedling makes little channels for those nutrients to enter your skin. With just microneedling alone, you will increase your collagen production 200 percent! When you combine PRP with microneedling, that number doubles!
While the thought of having tiny needles poked all over your face may sound uncomfortable, it actually is a virtually pain-free procedure. Patients are numbed with a topical numbing cream before the treatment and often describe it feeling like they are being tickled or licked by a cat’s tongue.
I recommend consulting with a medical aesthetics professional to see if you are a good candidate for microneedling and to answer any other questions you may have. Just remember that while you will experience that initial glow from the treatment, you need to allow several months for your full results to allow the collagen to form. With little to no downtime, your skin will be radiant in no time!
Jennifer Kauffman is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner, practicing in Warsaw. She is a sought after speaker at medical conferences such as the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons. Jennifer is a member of American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and Coalition of Advance Practice Nurses of Indiana. She received her Nursing and Nurse Practitioner degrees from Goshen College, and Indiana Wesleyan University. Jennifer is a Clinical Instructor nationally to physicians and nurses on Botox, fillers and sclerotherapy.
Do you have a question for Jennifer, about this article or another cosmetic skin care issue? Please call Vein Institute & Medi Spa at 574-267-1900 to have your questions answered and considered for future columns. Questions can also be submitted online at www.veinmedicalspa.com