Microneedling While Pregnant – Is It Safe?

By Emily M.| Last updated on March 31, 2023
microneedling while pregnant
⏱️ 6 min read

Throughout their pregnancy, many women experience sudden skin changes – acne, melasma, and changes in skin texture – all of which can usually be resolved with microneedling. But is microneedling safe during pregnancy?

Let’s discuss the possible risks of undergoing microneedling during pregnancy and help you decide if booking an appointment is safe.

Let’s Explain Microneedling…

Microneedling is a skin resurfacing treatment that is done either with a dermaroller (a manual tool that consists of a handle and a drum roller that is covered with needles) or a dermapen (a pen-shaped electric device that ends in a cluster of needles).

Either way, the device is moved over the skin, creating small punctures in the skin and causing controlled micro-injuries that trigger the body’s natural healing process.

During recovery, the body starts releasing various growth factors and producing more proteins – namely, collagen and elastin. This is why microneedling also goes by the name collagen induction therapy.

Collagen and elastin help plump up the skin, which reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and scars and improves skin texture and tone. You can read more about the procedure here.

microneedling
Image source: Freepik

So, Can You Get Microneedling While Pregnant?

It’s not a good idea.

While some technicians consider microneedling safe even during pregnancy and breastfeeding since there are no chemicals involved during the procedure (usually), microneedling is not recommended for pregnant women due to the potential risks involved.

While there is limited research on the safety of microneedling during pregnancy, it’s generally recommended to avoid this procedure while pregnant.

If you are considering getting microneedling while pregnant, it’s important to consult your healthcare provider and discuss any potential harm for you or your baby.

Especially when it comes to PRP microneedling and at home microneedling.

Why You Should Avoid PRP Microneedling

PRP microneedling, otherwise known as the vampire facial, is a treatment that uses the client’s own blood to stimulate the skin’s natural recovery processes. But introducing any substance to a cosmetic procedure poses a risk of infection and allergy.

There’s also the possibility of a blood-borne infection, sepsis.

All this makes PRP microneedling while pregnant unsafe as if any of this happens, it’ll endanger the health of the baby.

Why You Should Avoid At Home Microneedling While Pregnant

Microneedling at home carries even more risks – whether you are pregnant or not.

Non-professionals are more likely to make mistakes and puncture the skin too deep or improperly sanitize equipment, which leads to infection, skin damage, and possibly other health complications.

Why Isn’t Microneedling Safe During Pregnancy?

Some of the specific factors that make microneedling unsafe during pregnancy include:

Increased Risk of Infection

Since microneedling involves creating small wounds, it can increase the risk of infection – which endangers the health of both mother and the baby.

And seeing as the immune system is already weakened during pregnancy, the risk of infection is even higher.

Why Isn’t Microneedling Safe During Pregnancy?
Image source: Freepik

May Trigger Herpes

After this treatment, some clients can potentially develop a viral infection like herpes since this virus can be spread from the infected area all over your face if the device is contaminated.

The potential triggering is more likely to happen to those that already have a history of herpes outbreaks.

Viral infections can result in further issues that could endanger you or your baby.

Increased Skin Sensitivity

Pregnancy can cause changes in the skin, making it more sensitive and prone to irritation. Microneedling may also cause inflammation or other negative reactions in the skin, which can be worsened by pregnancy-related hormonal changes.

Discoloration

During pregnancy, microchimerism alters your ability to recover when injured (generally for the better). But due to this, recovering from microneedling while pregnant can be quite unpredictable.

It can lead to discoloration as your body starts overproducing melanin in order to defend itself from harm.

Absorption of Chemicals

Microneedling can increase the absorption of chemicals from skincare products, which can be potentially harmful to the developing fetus. During pregnancy, it is important to be cautious about the products that are used on the skin.

Is Microneedling While Trying to Conceive Safe?

There is a theoretical risk that microneedling could affect fertility or harm a developing fetus, as the procedure involves creating small punctures in the skin and may cause an immune response.

However, the topic of the safety of microneedling while trying to conceive has not been studied well so it’s generally recommended to avoid microneedling as a safety precaution.

NOTE

It is important to talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new skincare or cosmetic regimen while trying to conceive to ensure that it is safe for you and your potential pregnancy.

I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant and I Got Microneedling – Now What?

In the case of I did microneedling while pregnant without knowing I was pregnant at the time situation, it’s important to talk to a healthcare provider as soon as possible.

While the risks associated with microneedling during pregnancy are speculative and may not affect the pregnancy at all, there is still a potential for harm depending on the timing of the microneedling and the stage of the pregnancy.

This risk is particularly concerning during the first trimester when the fetus is still developing and is most vulnerable to damage.

If the microneedling was done later in the pregnancy, during the second or third trimester, there may be less risk to the fetus as it has already developed significantly.

A medical professional can evaluate the situation and offer advice on any necessary monitoring or interventions to ensure the safety of the pregnancy.

Even if the cosmetic procedure was done before the pregnancy was known, it is crucial to inform your healthcare practitioners about them.

Can You Get Microneedling While Breastfeeding?

There is limited information available on the safety of microneedling while breastfeeding, but it’s generally recommended to avoid it during this time to reduce the potential risks.

One concern with microneedling while breastfeeding is the possibility of infection since the skin there is a risk of introducing bacteria into the body through micro-wounds. This can potentially cause an infection that could be passed to the baby through breast milk.

Additionally, there is a risk of bleeding during the procedure, which could lead to a decrease in milk production.

Keep in mind that microneedling also increases the absorption of chemicals from skincare products, some of which are known to be harmful to infants (like retinoids and salicylic acid).

When these ingredients get absorbed, they can be passed through breast milk and lead to complications.

Safer Alternatives to Microneedling During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant and looking to improve the appearance of your skin, there are safer alternatives to microneedling that you can consider. Some of these alternatives include:

Gentle Facials

Getting safe for use during pregnancy facials, like a gentle exfoliating or collagen boosting facial is a good alternative to avoid using dermapen while pregnant.

Exfoliating your skin can help remove dead skin cells and promote cell turnover, which can help improve the appearance of your skin.

Even very superficial pregnancy-safe chemical peels or extractions work just as well!

Hydrating Facials

If your goal is getting plump and radiant skin, look into hydrating facial treatments that provide moisture and nutrients to your skin.

These facials are free of potentially harmful ingredients, such as retinoids and salicylic acid. Most of them are based on components like vitamin C serums, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and a combination of clay and sheet masks.

hydrating facials
Image source: Freepik

LED Facials

LED facials, which use light-emitting diode technology to stimulate collagen production and reduce inflammation in the skin, are generally considered safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

LED lights can kill bacteria, reduce inflammation and keep your skin plump and radiant.

You can learn more about led light treatment here.

led facials
Image source: Freepik

So, Can You Do Microneedling While Pregnant?

Since there isn’t enough research done to confidently say this procedure is safe, you should err on the side of caution and wait.

The risks are heightened so this procedure is generally not recommended. Still, some claim it’s as safe to do microneedling while pregnant just the same as it is while you’re not.

The best option is to consult your doctor and discuss any concerns and questions you might have.

Cover image source: Freepik

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