Balshi Blog

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Medical Micro-Needling

What would you do for better, smoother skin? There are hundreds of cosmetic procedures that promise a new look and a new life for your skin. Chemical peels, microdermabrasions, photofacials, and now… micro needles. 

Maybe a face lift or facial rejuvenation are long-term and deep commitments that you’re not ready for. 

Micro-needling might be the answer for you. 

Minus the heavy commitment. 

Minus the downtime. 

With all the possibilities for the ideal skin aesthetic.

For a majority of patients, needles may sound scary. And a lot of you might wonder… Is this safe? Does it hurt? How is this effective?

We’re here to answer all your questions with what is… 

The Ultimate Guide To Understanding Medical Micro-Needling.

So, How Does It Work? What Does Micro-Needling Do For Your Skin?

It’s a minimally invasive, yet nonsurgical skin rejuvenation treatment. A clinical professional will use a wand studded with needles, called the dermaroller. The dermaroller needles are completely customizable with proper depth for your skin and condition. 

During treatment, your skin will be cleansed or cleaned with alcohol. Then protected with a Vitamin C topical to help hydrate and heal the skin. Skin lightener may also be applied to help with an even tone.

The dermaroller is then rolled over the face or other parts of the body to try and achieve improved skin aesthetics. 

These needles create small wounds within the outermost layers of your skin. Which triggers the production and the turnover of new skin cells through the body’s wound-healing process. Micro-needling promotes not only new skin but the production of your body’s natural collagen. This has been known to even out texture, wrinkles, and even scarring.

This is also known as collagen induction therapy. 

Before your appointment and treatment, avoid any exfoliants that may increase skin sensitivity. Avoid lasers or over exposure to the sun. Do not wax or shave and make sure to prepare your skin with vitamin A and C to help promote the production of collagen. This could also be prepped by your licensed professional before your treatment. 

How Effective Is It?

Medical grade needles are usually about 2 millimeters long. Used to penetrate the upper layers of the skin and trigger the production of collagen and elastin. 

  • Elastin is a fiber that is necessary for the health of your skin and a huge promotor of cellular turnover. 
  • Collagen is responsible for keeping your skin tight and plump. 

There are studies that suggest micro-needling may be as effective for skin resurfacing as lasers. 

When stimulating these essentials for the skin, it is natural for the skin to recontour itself and fill in fine lines and wrinkles. This has been known to improve the color of the skin even with stretch marks. 

Tiny pinhole injuries cause the skin to start a new production of collagen to fill in the broken layers. The skin thickens as the dermal layer expands and allows discoloration to fade. 

When micro-needling the skin, this also allows for better absorption of additional skincare products like moisturizers or anti-aging creams. 

What Conditions Can Micro-Needling Treat?

Micro-needling is used to treat an array of skin conditions. Mostly on the face. It also has been known to treat other areas of the body for stretch marks and scars. 

Facial concerns used for micro-needling range to target:

What Are The Benefits?

With almost no recovery time, and minimal to no pain, micro-needling is worth the cost and effectiveness. It’s been used to treat a variety of skin conditions and improve others. In 2018, a study of 48 participants received four micro-needling sessions every 30 days. Researchers noticed a significant improvement in targeted areas for micro-needling when it came to skin texture, wrinkles / fine lines, and loose skin. 

In addition, it improves the appearance of stretch marks, reduces pore size, quality and texture, and improves the look of scar tissue. 

Does It Hurt?

Depending on the type and length of the micro-needles used for your skin conditions, pain and discomfort may vary during the experience. If you are sensitive to needles, numbing cream can be applied to minimize discomfort or eliminate pain altogether. 

Are There Any Risks?

Although micro-needling is a safe and effective procedure, there are always potential risks even with the most minimally invasive treatments. The micro-needle tiny prick channels close within an hour of the treatment for most patients. Considering this procedure is normally done by a clinical professional, the likelihood of side effects would be extremely low. However, not entirely eliminated: these side effects could range from skin irritation, and inflammation, acne and herpes complex flare ups, sensitivity, dry or red skin, infections, and hyper-pigmentation. 

When breaking the skin into microscopic wounds, it is normal to experience redness and inflammation. However, it is uncommon to find any serious side effects after a micro-needling procedure. None have been reported in over 150,000 procedures worldwide. 

And although rare, seeking medical attention should be considered if you’re experiencing swelling, bruising, peeling, and/or bleeding. These signs could be the result of a reaction or potential skin infection.

How Long Does It Take To See Results?

You may experience some redness post-treatment. However, results do normally to show immediately. You will feel your skin already tighter and smoother. 

How Often Do I Need Treatments?

Micro-needling can be performed until you achieve your desired result. Normally procedures are scheduled every or within 4 to 6 weeks of each other. To start, three treatments are recommended in that time frame for a general, not specified treatment. Depending on the extent of the damage and the condition that is being treated. This can be the determining factor for how long it takes to reach the ideal aesthetics. Burn scars can be about five treatments, wrinkles could be one to two treatments and a year of maintenance. And for scarring, three to six within the 3 to 4 weeks treatment time. 

However, the results depend on the individual and their response to treatment and the extent of the damage trying to be remedied. 

How Do I Care for My Skin After Treatment?

Treating your skin carefully on a regular basis, is extremely important. After treatment, there aren’t any special protocols to follow other than applying sunscreen daily. Depending on the conditions you’re trying to treat, avoiding harsh cleansers help and making sure to clean your face, morning and night. Otherwise, normal skincare routines can be continued immediately after treatment. 

To minimize any additional pain after the procedure, follow post-treatment instructions given to you by your provider. Avoid trying to use make-up 48 to 72 hours after your treatment, washing your face with anything, besides lukewarm water, and a gentle face wash. Avoid direct sunlight for up to 72 hours, and apply any topical creams prescribed by your doctor. 

Don’t Get Micro-Needling Treatment If:

Micro-needling can be helpful but there are situations where it should be avoided or heavily monitored. Micro-needling should still be taken with precaution especially when dealing with your skin’s natural ability to heal itself. 

Talk to your doctor if you have the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Active acne or local infection such as herpes or warts
  • Keloid scarring
  • Patients on anticoagulant therapy
  • Cancer patients on chemo/radiotherapy 
  • Imparied skin
  • Autoimmune problems 
  • Topical treatments like peels or laser
  • Active infection
  • Eczema or dermatitis
  • Very dark or unstable skin
  • Cigarette smoker
  • Prior Roaccutane user
  • Sunburn

Irritated or inflamed skin that has acne or eczema means that skin needling could further ruin your skin and cause traumatic effects in the long run. If there is bacteria around your face, micro-needling could increase the spread of the bacteria and cause serious infection. That includes acne that is cystic. Waiting until your acne or breakouts are 100% clear is necessary or that area should be avoided entirely. 

If you have sensitive skin, opening your skin up to more penetration of products can cause irritation. Especially if your skin doesn’t tolerate skin care products well. This can cause additional irritability and itchiness.

Consulting with a dermatologist or skin care professional can help minimize the risks and customize your results. 

Contact Balshi Dermatology in Delray Beach For An Initial Consultation

For more questions about micro-needling or to learn how to better treat skin conditions, contact a board-certified dermatologist in Delray Beach, contact Balshi Dermatology at (561) 272-6000 or send us a message on our Contact Page to set up your appointment.