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What is Microneedling?
Microneedling, also know as Collagen Induction Therapy is a medical aesthetic procedure that uses very small needles to repeatedly penetrate layers of the skin in order to create a wound healing cascade.
This results in microscopic holes or microchannels in the dermis.
This treatment improves the appearance of acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, skin tone and texture.
History of Microneedling:
In the 1950’s mesotherapy was discovered by Dr. Michel Pistor. He used a meso device with one needle.
He came up with the concept that pricking the skin would promote collagen formation.
Then in 1995, subcision came around which was a new method of treating depressed scars and wrinkles.
Following subcision, came needle dermabrasion in 1997.
This treatment involved using a tattoo pistol to treat scars.
Patients saw improvement in scar texture, appearance and color, however this treatment was very time and labor intensive due to use of only one needle.
In 1998, Dr. Des Fernandes from South Africa developed a small needling stamping device and presented his study on needling at a conference in San Francisco.
By the year 2000, the first medical Microneedling device called the Dermaroller was invented by Horst Liebl.
This device consisted of many fine needles on a drum shaped roller.
By the mid-2000’s, Microneedling grew popular in medical offices, medspas, and with patients.
In 2018, the SkinPen Microneedling device was FDA cleared to improve the appearance of acne scars of adults 22 years of age and older.
It was designed for use by licensed healthcare practitioners or individuals directed by practitioners.
The science behind the Microneedling treatment
The skin goes through three phases of wound healing.
First the skin is injured which causes inflammation and releases growth factors.
Then the tissue goes into the proliferation phase where the fibroblasts release growth factors, glycoproteins, and collagen causing the epidermal cells to migrate to the wound.
Then tissue and capillaries form, and fibroblasts continue to proliferate.
In this phase, the dermal thickness increases.
In the last phase of microneedling wound healing, the tissue is remodeled which causes a skin tightening effect by promoting fresh new collagen.
Complete tissue remodeling can take place from 3 weeks to 1 year.
Most remodeling completes after 6 months.
A study by Fernandes, D. Oral showed 400% more collagen was produced after 6 months following a Microneedling treatment.
Microneedling for Wrinkles & Acne Scars
As we age, our skin thins and our epidermal layer of skin thickness decreases.
One study showed that the thickness of collagen in a 2 year old dermis is about 1.37 um vs. the thickness of collagen in a 90 year old has an average of .52 um.
The collagen loss surrounding the scar creates a cave like and shadowing appearance
When combining the effects of aging skin with uneven acne scars, the result is a more prominent appearance of acne scars.
With Microneedling, the wound healing process creates collagen and increases the thickness of the dermis to create a more a youthful appearance as well as helps to repair acne scars.
To reduce the appearance of acne scars in adults and improve the appearance of surrounding skin, you must treat both effectively.
Frequently Asked Microneedling Treatment Questions:
The SkinPen is the only FDA cleared and legally marketed automated, non-surgical Microneedling device on the market. It is proven safe and effective to treat and improve the appearance of acne scars in adults aged 22 and older.
Dryness, rough skin, tightness, redness, itching, peeling, discomfort, tenderness and burning are some of the side effects that some patients have seen last from 1 to 6 days post Microneedling.
Your skin may have an appearance of a mild sunburn to moderate sunburn.
Patients who have the following should not receive Microneedling:
– Have active skin cancer in the treatment area
– Have open wounds, sore, or irritated skin in the treatment area
– Have an allergy to stainless steel or anesthetic
– Have a hemorrhagic bleeding disorder or a hemostatic bleeding dysfunction.
– Are pregnant or nursing
– Are currently taking drugs with ingredients of isotretinoin such as Accutane.
Microneedling should not be done around the orbital rim such as the eye lids.
Avoid excessive sun exposure. No sunburn.
Discontinue to use topical retinoids 24 hours prior to Microneedling.
Avoid treatment if you have active breakouts or open lesions.
Allow 24 hours after auto immune therapy.
Wait at least 6 months before oral isotretinoin use.
You should avoid sweaty exercise and sun exposure 72 hours post your Microneedling treatment.
In addition, you should avoid other facial treatments for a month after Microneedling.
You should use Vitamin C as it is a great antioxidant and helps with rebuilding collagen. Vitamin A is also recommended to use after Microneedling as it promotes cell turnover, decreases collagen degradation, and helps to thicken the dermal layer. Also, copper with peptides as it plays a role in the production of collagen and elastin that the body is not able to produce by itself.
Other products that would benefit are Magnesium, as it is a great atioxidant, Zinc because it helps to reduce inflammation and promotes collagen production, and Ginger Extact because it prevents further damage to the skin caused by UV exposure.
They can help reduce inflammation, provide moisture, aid in wound healing, improve and maintain aesthetic procedure outcomes, and reduce the risk of potential complications.
Ingredients known to increase inflammation should be avoided as well as those that hinder the skin’s ability to repair and remodel.
– Formaldehyde releasing preservatives
– Mineral Oil
– Citrus derived preservatives
It is best to follow the post treatment instructions and products recommended to you by your medical aesthetic provider.
A Dermaroller is an over the counter needling device and Microneedling pen is a medical aesthetic device only allowed to be used in medical aesthetic practices.
Mechanical microneedling with an FDA cleared Microneedling device such as the SkinPen produces more microchannels with one pass than created by a Dermaroller with many passes.
One study showed that microchannels created during Microneedling close after 24 hours.
The SkinPen microneedling device is able to go up to 2.5 mm which is the highest depth of penetration that is proven safe for patients.
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