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Also known as collagen induction therapy, microneedling has been used for more than a century. Modern hypodermic needle-based microneedling is based on techniques developed in the mid-1990s, and it continues to be refined today. Microneedling works by creating tiny punctures in the skin to stimulate the body’s natural healing response. Although it sounds intimidating, microneedling is a popular and effective way to treat scars, wrinkles, birthmarks, hyperpigmentation, and other common skin imperfections.
What to Expect
First, we will cover your face in a topical anesthetic, or numbing cream. This ensures that your procedure will be pain-free. After letting the medication work for approximately 30 minutes, we will carefully remove the cream with an antiseptic, and then apply a lubricating skin serum. Next, we will use a handheld tool contain 11 tiny needles to create tiny puncture wounds that trigger your body to produce new collagen. We will then apply other facial serums, depending on your individual skincare needs.
How It Works
Immediately following the microtrauma caused by the needles, your body will form clots to close and protect the wounds, followed by immune cells known as neutrophils that begin the healing process.
You will then move into the inflammatory phase, in which your body starts to heal the damage by releasing chemicals that kill bacteria, clean damaged tissue, and encourage the growth of healthy new cells. In the next stage, known as the proliferative phase, new granulation tissue is formed at the borders of the injury. As it moves toward the center of the wound, it produces new, healthy collagen.
The final stage is maturation, which occurs as the new collagen strengthens and realigns, creating plumper, healthier, and younger-looking skin. The results can last for a year or more, although maintenance treatments may be recommended two to three times per year, depending on skin condition.
Preparing for Your Procedure
It is important to ensure that your skin is healthy and ready for microneedling. At your consultation, we may recommend specific skincare products to precondition your skin. Additionally, we suggest that you:
- Avoid laser procedures or unprotected sun exposure beginning 2 weeks before
- Talk to your prescribing physician about discontinuing blood thinners 1 week before (but do not stop taking them without your physician’s approval)
- Discontinue drying or irritating skin products 1 week before, including exfoliants and skin masks
- Avoid electrolysis, depilatory creams, or waxing starting 1 week before
- Discontinue anti-inflammatory medications such as NSAIDs 3 days before
- Begin antiviral medication 2 days before if you are prone to cold sores
- Avoid shaving on the day of your procedure
Immediately after microneedling, you will look and feel as if you have a moderate sunburn. This typically subsides within a few hours, but it may take two days to fully resolve. Aftercare focuses on keeping your skin clean and well hydrated, and helping it heal.
For the first 72 hours, clean your face regularly with a mild, non-drying cleanser and lukewarm water. Pat your face dry afterward. Do not use any harsh cleansers or powered cleansing tools for at least a week. Hydrate your skin with a gentle moisturizer that includes hyaluronic acid, and consider using an antioxidant serum to promote healing.
Your skin will be more sensitive than usual, so avoid wearing makeup, sunbathing, tanning, swimming, working out, or excessive sweating for the first 72 hours. Use a high-SPF, chemical-free sunscreen for all sun exposure in the first week after the procedure.
Microneedling is not recommended for those with active acne, bleeding disorders, active herpes simplex, eczema, psoriasis, severe rosacea, or any type of skin infection. Those who have been on Accutane should not have microneedling until at least 6 months after their last dose. Those aged 65 or over with very thin skin will need special skin preparation. We will provide specific recommendations at your consultation.
Ready to Get Started?
If you are ready for a new, fully integrated approach to health and wellness, contact CORE Medical & Wellness today at 888-521-0688 to learn more or schedule your appointment!
Kristin Freda is our medical aesthetician at CORE Medical & Wellness. Kristin has been in the skincare industry for 13+ years, and has worked at some of the most prestigious day spas and medical spas in New Jersey. Read her full bio here.