Microneedling is a dermaroller procedure that uses small needles to prick the skin. The purpose of treatment is to generate new collagen and skin tissue for smoother, firmer, more toned skin. Microneedling is mostly used on the face and may treat various scars, wrinkles, and large pores.
Micro-needling is a minimally-invasive non-surgical and nonablative procedure for facial rejuvenation that involves the use of a roller device with needles up to 2 mm in length, to create controlled skin injury.
As each fine needle punctures the skin, it creates a channel or micro-wound. The controlled injury triggers the body to fill these micro-wounds by producing new collagen and elastin in the papillary dermis. In addition, new capillaries are formed. This neovascularisation and neocollagenesis following treatment lead to a reduction of scars and skin rejuvenation, with improved skin texture, firmness and hydration.
Professional skin needling is considered to be one of the safest skin treatment procedures. Unlike chemical peels, dermabrasion and laser treatments, skin needling causes minimal damage to the skin.
What is skin needling used for?
Skin needling is effectively used for:
Reducing scars (including hypertrophic scars) caused by acne, surgery or thermal burns
Fading stretch marks
Reducing fine lines and deep wrinkles
Dyspigmentation e.g in melasma
Tightening sagging skin.
Microneedle technology also offers a minimally invasive and painless route of transdermal drug administration e.g. vaccines. This technology is currently being investigated by several research groups and companies. To enhance transdermal drug transport, microneedles can be inserted into the skin to increase its permeability, after which the drug is applied (poke with patch). Drugs could also be coated onto the microneedles and then inserted into the skin (coat and poke). Hollow microneedles are used to inject drug solutions into the skin.
Benefits of skin needling
Reduced risk of hyperpigmentation and scarring therefore safe on ethnic or dark skin.
Suitable for thin and sensitive skin
The treatment can be performed in an office setting and does not need any extensive special training or expensive instruments.
The procedure is well tolerated and well accepted by the patients,
It is cost-effective and can be done on areas of skin not suitable for peeling or laser resurfacing, such as near eyes.
As opposed to ablative laser resurfacing, the epidermis remains intact and is not damaged. For this reason, the operation can be safely repeated if needed.
Treatment does not result in a line of demarcation between treated and untreated skin, as usually occurs with other resurfacing procedures. This allows for specific areas of scarring to be treated without the need to “blend” or “feather” at the treatment edges.
The patient can resume regular activities within a few days, depending on the depth of penetration of the needles. Treatment options like laser resurfacing or dermabrasion are often associated with considerable morbidity and downtime from daily activities of the patient in the post-treatment period.
What is the skin needling procedure like?
The procedure is well tolerated. It takes a minimum of an hour to complete, depending on the area to be treated and the severity of the problem.
No lotions, makeup or other topical products are applied by the patient prior to the treatment area on the day of the procedure.
The skin is rolled in a specific pattern using a skin needling device. The device is rolled over the skin multiple times for best results.
As each fine needle punctures the skin, it creates a channel or micro-wound stimulating skin cell regeneration.
While these micro channels are open the therapist will use the opportunity to apply superfluids to also generate skin tightening, pigmentation reduction & health.
A minimum of 1-2 weeks is recommended between six - eight treatments for best results. The collagen & elastin production will be raised for up to 12months afterwards.
Skin needling is well tolerated by patients but dryness, scaling, redness and swelling may be seen after treatment, lasting for several days or longer, depending on the depth of penetration of the needles.
Sun protection for several weeks is recommended.
In the case of acne scars, after the skin needling procedure, the face should be cleaned with a gentle cleanser before bed. The next day, the face may be cleansed and makeup, lotions and other topical products applied as usual.
As the microholes close quickly, postoperative wound infection is rare.
Emollients or antibiotic creams may be prescribed if considered necessary.
Rejuvenation of skin may be seen as soon as 2 weeks and as long as 6-8 months after the medical procedure.
Burn scars are slow to respond. It can take up to 6 months to 1 year to see the final results from a single treatment.
Are there any side effects from skin needling?
Generally, the treated areas recover rapidly from skin needling. However, there are occasional side effects, which include:
Oozing and swelling during the recovery phase.
Skin infection with bacteria (rare) or herpes simplex virus (cold sores).
Milia, which can be easily removed.
Acne flare, which is usually mild.