Microneedling - Everything You Need to Know

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on May 21, 2024

Find out everything you wanted to know about microneedling, the ultimate facial which will improve a wide range of skin issues.

Microneedling - Effects, Risks, Cost, Pain, Recovery, Before & After

Image source: Instagram @phimaster_maja_cvijetic

Microneedling, or collagen induction therapy, is a game-changer for improving skin texture, tone, and appearance through controlled micro-injuries.

This guide covers different devices, treatment costs, healing, and aftercare. Whether you are curious or seriously considering microneedling for your skincare routine, this is your ultimate resource.

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What Is Microneedling?

Microneedling is a skin resurfacing treatment used to improve the appearance and texture of the skin and treat imperfections.

It’s minimally invasive and can be used in most areas of the skin:

  • Face
  • Scalp
  • Body

As the name suggests, it involves controlled puncturing and causing micro-traumas to the skin to trigger its regeneration.

This process is often called collagen induction therapy, the primary mechanism that improves skin structure.

Is Microneedling Worth it?

Microneedling has shown promising results as a cost-effective, minimally invasive treatment. So, yes, it is definitely worth trying for various dermatologic conditions, including:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • General loss of elasticity (sagging skin)
  • Dull skin
  • Acne scars
  • Other forms of scarring on the face and body
  • Stretch marks
  • Enlarged pores
  • Sun damage and burns
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Hair loss 

Microneedling - A Skin Treatment Used For Improving The Appearance Of The SkinImage Source: Instagram @kca_skin

What Issues Can’t Microneedling Treat?

While it is very versatile, this treatment can’t do much for, or can even worsen the following:

  • Active Rosacea (might help a bit, but it more often makes it worse)
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Perioral dermatitis
  • Acne breakouts
  • Certain types of scars (consult a dermatologist)
  • Inflamed skin
  • Discolored lips
  • Cellulite

Who Is a Candidate for Microneedling?

Anyone with skin issues who doesn’t fall into any of the contraindications listed below is safe for microneedling.

Who Isn’t a Candidate for Microneedling?

Studies suggest that contraindications for microneedling treatment include:

  • Active acne
  • Lip herpes or other local skin infections
  • Moderate/severe chronic skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis
  • Blood clotting or bleeding disorders
  • Ongoing blood-thinning medication therapy
  • Proneness to keloid scarring
  • Ongoing cancer therapy

However, it’s important to note that this list is not complete. Consultation with your esthetician and GP is recommended to assess whether you’re a suitable candidate for microneedling.

How Is Microneedling Done?

The treatment involves puncturing the skin with numerous tiny punctures, reaching live skin cells in the dermis layer, and using needle lengths for microneedling ranging from 0.1 mm up to 3 mm.

These micro-injuries heal into new, improved skin, gradually diminishing the targeted skin issues and improving the overall state of the treated area. Here are the steps of a microneedling treatment.

Step 1 – Consults and Assessment

Your esthetician will assess the skin issue, discuss expected results and treatment frequency, and inquire about your medical history for safety.

Step 2 – Cleaning

The area to be treated will be cleansed with a gentle cleaner and disinfected to prevent infection.

Step 3 – Numbing

An anesthetic gel or cream is applied to numb the skin, making the treatment painless. The duration depends on the treated area’s thickness and sensitivity.

  • Face: 15-20 minutes
  • Body: 20-30 minutes
  • Scalp: 30-40 minutes

Step 4 – Skin Needling

Once the skin is numb, the technician uses a derma pen or roller to create micro-injuries. This will result in redness and possibly pinpoint bleeding, which is normal. The procedure typically takes 10-20 minutes, but it may take longer for the scalp if there is hair.

Step 5 – Mask or Serum

After the procedure, a soothing mask or serum is applied to the treated area to calm and nourish the skin.

The micro-wounds created during the procedure allow topical medications and serums to penetrate deeply into the skin, making them highly effective post-treatment.

The serum used is often hyaluronic acid, a universally efficient ingredient. Additionally, an SPF will be applied to protect the treated area from sun radiation for the rest of the day.

How Many Sessions Will I Need?

Although a single session may improve the condition, the best results are achieved with 3-6 sessions, depending on the severity of the skin issue.

How Many Microneedling Sessions Will I Need?Image Source: Instagram @joliejoliestudio

Okay, And How Exactly Does This Work?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), when the skin is injured, the body starts a regeneration process, triggering collagen and elastin production. 

Skin needling must be repeated to achieve collagen remodeling, which can increase output by up to 400%. This process improves the skin’s structure and appearance.

Additionally, applying targeted serums onto the broken skin can have enhanced effects as the substances penetrate the skin.

NOTE

The microneedling treatment can be, and often is, combined with some other treatments like PRP, or BB glow.

There’s also a special type of microneedling called radiofrequency (RF) microneedling, which is done with a different device and in a slightly different way.

How Long Does the Microneedling Treatment Take?

An average session lasts up to 30 minutes, but numbing may prolong it if it requires 30+ minutes.

Types of Microneedling Devices

Microneedling can be done either with a derma pen or the derma roller.

Derma Roller

Derma rollers are manual tools consisting of a handle and a drum roller covered with needles. When rolled over the skin, the needles exit at an angle that widens the channel into a crater-like wound.

This causes more harm to the skin, and it takes a bit longer for the wound to heal. Plus, the needles’ length can’t be adjusted, so going over sensitive areas is slightly more unpleasant than using a derma pen.

You can learn more about microneedling with a derma roller here.

Derma Pen

The Derma pen is an electric device with a cluster of thin needles that can be adjusted for depth and speed. It reduces pain and the risk of infection. It offers more precision and can reach difficult areas.

Does Microneedling Hurt?

Microneedling on the face isn’t painful because numbing is used to eliminate the pain. However, some areas may be more sensitive than others, especially bony areas with thinner skin, so you may feel tingling, scratching, or stinging sensations.

The discomfort depends on the needle’s length and thickness. Microneedling with a derma pen is generally less uncomfortable than derma rolling.

If you experience significant pain, ask your esthetician to readjust the needle length. 

How Long Will Microneedling Effects Last?

  • Brightening, tightening and anti-aging effects can last anywhere from 4 months to a year, but can be maintained with additional sessions.
  • Scalp microneedling also needs to be maintained.
  • Scar reduction can be permanent.

How Do I Prepare for the Microneedling Treatment?

You should avoid certain things before the treatment and between sessions to make sure your skin isn’t compromised:

  • Accutane for 6 months before the treatment.
  • Avoid laser/IPL treatments for at least 2 weeks before the treatment.
  • Avoid sunlight exposure for 2 weeks before the treatment.
  • Avoid blood-thinning medications like ibuprofen or aspirin for 1 week before the treatment.
  • Avoid waxing or using hair removal creams for 5-7 days before the treatment. Refrain from using harsh skincare products for 5-7 days before the treatment.
  • Do not shave the area on the day of the treatment.
  • Avoid anti-inflammatory medications for 3 days before the treatment.

Microneedling Aftercare

After microneedling, healing is usually fast and straightforward. Depending on the treatment intensity, the micro-injuries will close within a few days. To ensure proper healing and prevent infection, follow these instructions:

  • Do not apply ice or cold compress.
  • Avoid touching the area with unclean hands.
  • No makeup for 48 hours.
  • Avoid sweating for 48 hours.
  • Cleanse your face with a mild cleanser for 3 days.
  • Use prescribed hydrating products.
  • Wear SPF as long as possible.

It’s crucial you only use products that your esthetician green-lights. Harsh products could irritate the skin or affect its natural response.

For more detailed aftercare instructions, here’s our Microneedling Aftercare Guide.

What Can I Expect During Microneedling Healing?

After microneedling, you can expect redness, which may last several hours and gradually fade over the following days. You may also experience tenderness and heat, tightness, dryness, and possible dehydration, similar to a sunburn. 

You can go back to your day right away, as long as you don’t mind the redness.

Minor swelling and bruising may occur, but these typically resolve within a few days to a week.

The micro-injuries will close up within a few days after each session depending on treatment intensity, but to make sure the skin’s internal processes have time to roll out, further sessions should be booked at least 3 weeks apart, ideally 4-6 weeks.

 

@joannawindrammua Microneedling Journey 🖊️🫶🏼 #microneedling #microneedlingbeforeandafter #microneedlingtreatment #skincare #antiaging #antiagingfacial

Is Microneedling Safe?

Yes, as long as you’re a suitable candidate and it’s performed correctly. However, there are potential side effects of microneedling, all of which can be prevented:

  • Allergies
  • Granulomatous reactions are a reaction to infections, inflammation, and irritation.
  • Infection
  • Skin damage or scarring due to improper technique
  • Hyperpigmentation

How Much Does Microneedling Cost?

A single microneedling session typically costs between $100 and $350, with the exact price depending on factors such as the treated area, location, salon exclusivity, and combination with other treatments.

Can I Do Microneedling at Home

Microneedling with derma rollers can be done, but the results are limited.

Professional equipment without training can risk skin damage, and store-bought derma rollers may not reach deep skin layers.

To learn how to perform this procedure safely at home, check out our Guide to Microneedling at Home.

Microneedling – Main Takeways

Microneedling, or collagen induction therapy, is an efficient way to treat a wide range of skin issues, from the effect of aging, to scars on the face and body, and even thinning hair.

The treatment implies skin needling to trigger the skin’s natural healing through collagen remodeling.

It’s a minimally invasive, quite safe treatment (if done right), but it takes several sessions and a few months to give the best results.

LEARN MORE ABOUT MICRONEEDLING

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