What is Micro-Needling and how does it work?
Micro-Needling is a procedure where a small hand held pen device is passed over an area of skin; the pen has tiny needles to the tip of the device which penetrate into the underlying skin. This procedure does not remove the top layer of skin but forms a controlled injury to the skin. This initiates the skin’s natural wound healing process which works to replenish collagen and elastin fibres which may have been rendered ineffective as a result of ageing or injury to the skin. This new growth results in the formation of thicker and plumper skin which ultimately reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, scars and other prominent texture changes.
What is Micro-Needling used to treat?
This procedure increases the thickness of the dermal layer of skin as well as the epidermis which improves the skins texture and as a result limits the appearance of many skin defects. For example:
- Irregular pigment (hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation) or colour in the skin.
- Sun damaged areas of skin.
- Scars- it is particularly effective at treating acne scars it can be used to elevate the depressed scar tissue due to new blood capillary formation.
- Wrinkling and fine lines
- Stretch marks
How long does it take to work?
Depending upon the needle length used and your skins response to treatment, the results can vary. Immediately after treatment, you will experience erythema and mild swelling which will subside after approximately 1-2 days. Within the first week, you may experience a natural exfoliation or dryness. After 1 week you may notice your skin’s texture and tone has improved. Pigmented areas may show improvement from the 3rd week post treatment. From 6 weeks onwards you may experience a visible improvement in fine lines and wrinkles.
Are there any complications associated with Micro-Needling?
As with any procedure Micro-Needling carries some degree of risk, it is important that you analyse the risk compared to potential benefits before you undertake any procedure. Some potential complications could be:
- Patching, flaking or dryness- can persist for a few days after treatment
- Pin-point bleeding- there will be some slight bleeding caused by the needle penetrating the skin.
- Scab formation - it is very rare that you might form scabs in the area of treatment, if this is the case, avoid picking at them as this may cause scarring.
- Infection - The tiny channels caused by the needle usually close within minutes, there is a very small risk of infection, but provided you are in a sterile and clinical environment, this risk is extremely rare.
- Pigment changes - Some patients very rarely experience hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) in the treated area.
- Pain - You may experience some tingling or pressure sensations, but pain is usually well tolerated.
- Viral infection - if you suffer from cold sores you may have a flare up subsequent to treatment. Before you have this treatment, tell your doctor if you do and they may prescribe an appropriate antiviral medication.
What should I do after the treatment?
Your practitioner will provide you with post treatment advice which will be relevant to the treatment you have received depending upon the size of the needle and the area you are treating. You may be recommended to:
- Avoid touching the treated area and ensure your hands are always clean if you do. This should help to avoid infection.
- Do not apply make up until 12 hours post treatment.
- Avoid having a chemical peel, facial rub or massage for at least 24 hours after treatment.
- Use warm water to gently cleanse the face and pat dry for up to 48 hours post treatment.