Microneedling - Everything You Need to Know

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

A spotless complexion is everyone’s no. 1 beauty wish, so it’s no wonder there’s such a wide range of facials available, and new techniques are emerging very often. But in the sea of options, it’s hard to know what treatments actually work and which don’t.

The microneedling facial, however, is something everyone agrees works: dermatologists, estheticians, and satisfied clients.

Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, treats a number of skin issues. It’s a minimally invasive treatment and results can be slow, but they are definitely worth it. If you’re dealing with a skin imperfection you want fixed, chances are this is the treatment you need.

We’re answering all your questions about microneedling.

Click on the link to go directly to a specific step:

ABOUT MICRONEEDLING

What Is Microneedling?

A skin treatment used for improving the appearance of the skin, improving its texture and treating imperfections. It’s become a staple in the beauty industry as a very effective, yet minimally invasive and virtually painless treatment that can be used in most areas of the skin:

  • Face
  • Scalp
  • Body

As the name suggests, it’s a form of skin needling that implies controlled puncturing and affliction of micro-traumas to the skin in order to trigger its regeneration. It’s often called collagen induction therapy, as this is the primary mechanism that leads to an improvement in skin structure.

What Issues Can Microneedling Treat?

This is a multipurpose treatment that combines several beneficial mechanisms to battle:

  • 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 really 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
  • Inflamed skin
  • Discolored lips
  • Cellulite

Who Is a Candidate for Microneedling?

Anyone dealing with any issues microneedling is known to improve and is safe for, and who doesn’t fall in the category of any of the contraindications listed below.

Who Isn’t a Candidate for Microneedling?

Contraindications for the treatment are:

  • Active acne
  • Lip herpes or other local skin infection
  • 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

This list is not final. Consult your esthetician and GP if you have any conditions and let them assess whether you’re a candidate.

Who Is And Who Is Not a Candidate for Microneedling?Image source: Instagram @skinwithsierra

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.

What Does the Skin Needling Treatment Look Like Step By Step?Image source: Instagram @joanne_fuller_beauty

Does Microneedling Hurt?

Micro needling face or body isn’t really painful, since numbing is used to eliminate the pain.

Some areas might be more uncomfortable than others, though, depending on the thickness and the sensitivity of the skin. The pins that puncture the skin are very thin, but the longer they are, the more discomfort they may cause. If you feel actual pain at any moment, tell your esthetician and have them readjust the needle length.

How Many Sessions Will I Need?

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

Collagen remodeling, which is what brings about the improvement in skin texture, is achieved over time and with several sessions. Most clients get a significant improvement within 3 sessions, but some cases require even more treatments.

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

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.

MICRONEEDLING PREPARATIONS

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:

  • Avoid Accutane for 6 months before the treatment.
  • Avoid laser/IPL treatments for at least 2 weeks before the treatment.
  • Don’t expose the area to sunlight at least 2 weeks before the treatment.
  • Don’t take blood-thinning meds like ibuprofen or aspirin at least 1 week before the treatment – you’ll bleed more and you might bruise.
  • Don’t wax the area or use hair removal creams for 5-7 days before the treatment.
  • Don’t use retinol, acids, mechanical and chemical exfoliation, topical antibiotics, and similar harsh products on the area for 5-7 days before the treatment – these thin out the skin and make it more sensitive
  • Don’t shave the area on the day of the treatment.
  • Don’t take anti-inflammatory meds at least 3 days before the treatment – these can interfere with your natural inflammatory process as a response to the skin needling.

*If you’re prone to cold sores, consult your GP and have them prescribe an antiviral med before the treatment to prevent a flare-up.

MICRONEEDLING AFTERCARE

Are There Any Aftercare Tips I’ll Need to Follow?

After each microneedling session, you’ll need to pay some special attention to the treated area to make sure it heals properly and comfortably, and to prevent infection:

  • Don’t put ice or any cold compress onto the area.
  • Don’t pick at, scratch, or rub the area.
  • Don’t touch the area with unclean fingers or any other unsterile surface for as long as possible to prevent infection.
  • For at least 48 hours, don’t put any makeup on your face. After that, try not to use makeup brushes, or at least wash them before each use.
  • For at least 48 hours, try to avoid sweating, so no working out, no hot showers, jacuzzis, saunas or steam baths.
  • For 3 days, wash your face with a mild cleanser (your esthetician will probably prescribe a specific one) and warm water. Dry gently by tapping.
  • Use the hydrating products your esthetician prescribes according to the schedule they determine. These will soothe skin and aid healing, but also maximize the results of the treatment.
  • Wear SPF in the days and weeks after the procedure for 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.

MICRONEEDLING HEALING

Is There Any Serious Downtime?

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

How Long Does the Skin Need to Heal After Microneedling?

The micro-injuries will close up within 7 days after each session, but to make sure the skin is totally healed, further sessions should be booked at least 3 weeks apart, ideally 4-6 weeks.

What Can I Expect During Healing?

The skin will start turning red as soon as halfway through the session, and the healing process starts virtually right afterwards. Here’s what you can expect in the week after the procedure:

Redness

Your skin will be red for several hours after the procedure, and it will gradually fade to a pink, and finally subside. Redness is expected for about a day for the microneedling facial, but it can last up to 7 days on different areas of the body.

Tenderness

Some tenderness is expected in the hours after the procedure.

Heat

Most clients report their skin feels hot in the days after the procedure.

Tightness, Dryness and Skin Dehydration

In the days after the treatment, your skin will feel tight and dry, much like a sunburn. You can relieve this discomfort with prescribed moisturizers.

Possible Swelling

You may notice some minor swelling in the treated area, but it should subside within a day or 2.

Possible Bruising

Minor bruising may emerge, but it will go away within 5-7 days.

How Long Does the Skin Need to Heal After Microneedling?Image source: Instagram @expressionscosmeticclinic

MICRONEEDLING EFFECTS

When Can I Expect an Improvement?

It’s important to understand that the effects of microneedling don’t happen overnight. Collagen remodeling takes time, and the best results are achieved within a few months and with several sessions.

That said, you will notice your skin looking bright and radiant a few days after the treatment. But different effects show up at different times. Skin tightening happens almost immediately.

Diminishing scars takes the most time. Some improvement will happen quite soon, but the final result takes patience.

How Long Will the Effects Last?

This depends on what you want to achieve. Brightening, tightening and anti-aging effects can last anywhere from 4 months to a year, but can be maintained perpetually with additional sessions. Scalp microneedling also needs to be maintained.

Scar reduction can be permanent.

How Long Will the Microneedling Effects Last?Image source: Instagram @glowbyjulie

 

MICRONEEDLING RISKS AND SIDE EFFECTS

Is Microneedling Safe?

Yes, as long as you’re a good candidate for it and it’s done right. You should never go to an uncertified, self-taught esthetician who doesn’t have all the credentials. An improper technique could damage the skin, so do your research and find a technician you can trust.

What Are the Risks of Microneedling?

There are very few risks of microneedling, all of which can be prevented.

  • Allergies. Since serums and numbing are used during the procedure, there’s a chance of an allergic reaction. That’s why a patch test should always be done before the procedure.
  • Infection. If the treatment is done in unsterile conditions or the equipment isn’t sterilized properly, or if the area gets contaminated before it heals, you could get an infection. If you notice the area is very itchy, red for longer than 7 days, or there’s a rash, contact your esthetician or a dermatologist.
  • Skin damage or scarring. This can happen due to improper technique, or if the length of the needle isn’t suitable for the skin. That’s why you should never go to an untrained, uncertified, or inexperienced esthetician.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Your skin will go through several stages in the days after the treatment. They come down to the points described in the section Microneedling Healing above, but they are all normal responses and are no cause for concern.

What Are the Risks And Side Effects of Microneedling?Image source: Instagram @rojaveh_adabi_oman

MICRONEEDLING COST

How Much Does Microneedling Cost?

Just like it’s the case with any treatment, the microneedling price varies from one salon to another. The price depends on the area treated, location, exclusivity of the salon, whether microneedling is combined with other treatments or not, etc.

It also depends on the number of sessions you get. Estheticians either charge per treatment, or they offer package deals.

The average price of a single microneedling session is around $200, but it can vary from $100, to as much as $350 per session.

MICRONEEDLING AT HOME

Can I Do Microneedling Myself?

Microneedling at home is possible, but the results are limited. 

At-home microneedling is done with derma rollers you can get over the counter, but tools approved for at-home use have shorter needles, to prevent damage to the skin. Since you’re not trained, you can’t use professional equipment because you risk overworking the skin and causing potentially permanent damage.

Store-bough derma rollers don’t reach the dermis layer of the skin. They only pierce the dermis. So you will get some improvement, but not as much as a professional service can give you.

MICRONEEDLING – MAIN TAKEAWAYS

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.

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