Microneedling has definitely become the go-to treatment for virtually all skin imperfections. It’s a very versatile technique which can help treat a whole range of skin conditions, and it does so by taking advantage of the body’s natural processes. It can achieve great results, without any major interventions or aggressive treatments.
It can be a professional service, or you can do it yourself, at home.
But which is better? There are obviously benefits to both versions of the treatment, so let’s go through the pros and cons and help you decide which is better for you, at home or professional microneedling.
Quick Recap – What Is Microneedling?
If you’re deciding whether to start your microneedling journey on your own or with a professional, you probably already know some basic facts on the treatment. But a quick reminder won’t hurt, so let’s go over them real fast.
Microneedling is a form of collagen induction therapy. It implies inflicting microtrauma to the skin affected by the condition with very thin needles attached to either a derma pen or a derma roller.
The needles create microchannels to achieve:
- Increased absorption of products
- The stimulation of collagen and elastin production
It can help treat a very wide range of issues, including, but not limited to: effects of aging, hyperpigmentation, scarring of different origins, hair loss, etc. So if you’re suffering from a skin condition on the face or body, or loss of hair on the scalp, beard or brows, there’s a high chance microneedling is just the treatment for you.
The treatment is done as a series of sessions, since you’re essentially growing new, better skin and that takes time. It takes patience and persistence, but when the results do emerge, you’ll be satisfied.
For a more detailed guide through the microneedling treatment, head over here.
Image source: Instagram @dermapen_sverige
Professional Microneedling – Pros and Cons
Getting professional microneedling implies getting the treatment with a dermatologist or an esthetician. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of professional microneedling:
- Professional microneedling is done by a trained expert, so it’s safer and the risks are minimal. The professional knows how to assess your condition and prescribe a treatment schedule that will give optimal results in as little time as possible.
- Professional microneedling can be done with either a derma roller or a derma pen. The derma pen is generally considered a better tool, since it’s gentler on the skin and has adjustable needles. Skin thickness varies and the needle length has to be adjusted to different areas.
- The needles of professional devices are longer and penetrate deeper into the skin, which triggers a more prominent reaction from the body and thus gives better, faster results.
- You need fewer sessions if you get professional microneedling.
- A professional can combine microneedling with other treatments to achieve maximum results in as little time as possible.
- Professional microneedling can improve even a severe skin issue.
- It can give an improvement after as little as 1 session.
- Since the skin is treated more aggressively than in the case of DIY microneedling, the temporary side effects (redness, irritation, itching, peeling) will be more prominent. It’s nothing too bad, though.
- You have to pay special attention to your skin for a few days to prevent infection or irritation until the microchannels close up. But it’s really nothing complex and your tech will explain it all.
- Professional microneedling is more expensive. It’s charged per session, and the average price of a session can be anywhere from $100 to $350.
- You have to stick to the schedule and visit the salon or clinic every 4-8 weeks.
Image source: Instagram @too_spoilt_laser_clinic
At Home Microneedling
Microneedling at home is called derma rolling, and it’s a part of many people’s regular skincare routine, even if they’re not dealing with a specific condition. Let’s review it.
- It’s far more affordable. You just need a derma roller (they’re usually no more than $20) and a serum suitable to the needs of your skin.
- It’s perfect if you’re just looking to improve your skin overall.
- It can also help with many particular skin conditions, although the extent of its success can be limited.
- You can do it in the comfort of your own home, with no complex preparation and the need to go all the way to a salon.
- At-home microneedling can only be done with a derma roller. A derma pen is not approved for use by a non-professional, and you can’t buy it over the counter. A derma roller inflicts more damage to the skin, but if you don’t press too hard, repeat the treatment too often, and pay attention not to overwork the skin, there’s no risk.
- The longest needles you can get for at-home microneedling is 0.5 mm, which is more than enough for most conditions, but may not be sufficient for severe cases and scarring.
- The short needles mean it will take more time and more frequent sessions to achieve results. In general, it takes 3-6 months of consistent, frequent derma rolling to see a significant difference.
- It can be tricky. Derma rollers are relatively large and can be cumbersome. Some parts of the face are difficult to roll over and you don’t really get the precision the derma pen offers. The scalp is particularly problematic if you have longer hair – you might need assistance from someone.
You can find more info on at-home derma rolling in this guide.
Image source: Freepik
At-Home VS Professional Microneedling – The Verdict
If you are dealing with a concrete skin issue (like scarring) and it’s moderate to severe, professional microneedling is definitely the way to go. It may be a greater expense, but it will give faster and more prominent results. If, however, you just want to improve the state of your skin, or you’re in very early stages of hair loss, at-home microneedling should do you just fine, just remember to be patient and persistent.
But even if you decide to go for DIY derma rolling, we advise you speak to a dermatologist first. They’ll assess your skin and advise which products to use along with derma rolling.
Cover image source: Freepik