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Microneedling. What is it?

Micro-Needling. What Is It? And Is It For You?

Microneedling is a skin treatment to help get rid of fine lines, wrinkles, acne scarring and it improves the overall texture and tone of the skin. There are different manufacturers of microneedling devices, such as SkinPen, Derma Pen, Meso Pen that you may have heard; the name of the actual treatment is micro-needling, or collagen induction therapy (CIT).

The treatment is done using a little battery operated thing shaped like a pen, that has 12 micro (very tiny) needles that move in and out at a very fast rate. These micro needles create little channels, or holes, in the skin. It sounds a little intense, but most places that offer this treatment will give you a numbing gel to put on first. When I had it done the gel worked SO well, most of the time I didn’t feel a thing; the worst was when it vibrated around my nose. It felt a little funky, but that’s it.

By the time the treatment is done there will be tiny channels all over your face, and your skin will be red or look sunburned, but that’s it. I’ve seen pictures of celebrities like Kim Kardashian after this. If you haven’t seen it, it looks a little freaky….

kim k vampire facial
What she had was called the Vampire Facial, which is when they put plasma from your own blood back on your skin AFTER the SkinPen treatment. Don’t worry….

THIS IS NOT WHAT A BASIC MICRONEEDLING TREATMENT WILL DO TO YOU!! You can choose the option of plasma being put on after, but it’s not a necessity.  You should NOT be a bloody mess afterward microneedling!!

(I’ll talk about why in my opinion you don’t have to get this crazy later)

So all of these channels in your skin will start a natural healing process in the body. Part of that process is your body will start producing lots of collagen in that area to help it heal.

Collagen plays a major part in the structure, health, and appearance in our skin. Less collagen in our skin leads to SAGGING SKIN and the formation of LINES AND WRINKLES, and as we age one of the things that happens is we lose collagen!

Our body’s own stem cells are also called to action as a part of this healing process. Stem cells are very cool little powerhouses that help our body repair itself when it’s damaged; an example of damage is fine lines and wrinkles! These stem cells also restore firmness and elasticity to our skin; firmness and elasticity is what we need to have our skin not only look young, but BEHAVE LIKE YOUNG SKIN too. Bonus!!

These stem cells live in our plasma; that is why the Vampire Facial was born, they wanted to add stem cells to the skin. You don’t have to do that; we are triggering them to start working their magic from the inside; that’s the purpose of the treatment. No need to try and add them to your skin after.
So getting collagen and stem cells on the scene are the key parts of microneedling and what makes it such an awesome and effective treatment.
We use our own collagen and our own stem cells to help our skin repair itself, including repairing fine lines and wrinkles, and it restores firmness and elasticity to our skin.

Microneedling treatments should ALWAYS be done by a trained skin care professional with a medical background. That means a doctor, nurse,or aesthetician. If the treatment is not being performed by a doctor it should also be done under the supervision of a doctor; preferably a dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or a doctor with a background and training in facial procedures and skin treatments.

So what if you aren’t sure about microneedling, but you want the results it gives; what are the alternatives? The closest treatment comes from a laser, probably Fraxel or fractionated CO2 laser treatments. No doubt about it, lasers give amazing results; they can re-texturize the skin better than most chemical peels and products that are out there. Lasers do have some pretty serious potential risks. They are very powerful, and when used by someone who is not properly trained can cause serious burns and scarring. Also, because of the heat and the way lasers work, downtime is usually longer, and the chance of causing hyperpigmentation, or dark spots in the skin, is greater. Unlike lasers and some chemical peels, microneedling treatments are great for all skin types, and although there is always a risk for sun damage leading to dark spots, you are not at greater risk after this treatment.

As with everything, there is some risk with microneedling, although it is minimal. If you have had cold sores in the past be sure to let your skin guru know before your treatment; you should be on a medication (an anti-viral medicine, like Valtrex) to prevent breakouts or flareups (this is true with pretty much all skin procedures, like chemical peels, laser treatments, or even dermal filler injections). Also, if there are tiny channels created in the skin, there is a possibility of infection. A couple factors help prevent this from happening: each treatment is done using a new sterile tip on the pen, which means everything is nice and clean; also, medical professionals are trained in procedures like this, and they have the knowledge and the proper equipment to keep everything clean and sterile.

They also know what to watch for if there are complications.

This is another reason why it’s really important to go to someone who knows what they are doing.
If you are trying to get rid of acne scars you’ll need possibly up to 6 treatments, then once a year maintenance. If you are going after fine lines and wrinkles probably closer to 4 treatments, with once a year maintenance. Make sure you wait about 6 weeks between each one to let you skin heal and do it’s thing.

So microneedling. I personally loved the treatment, and there is no question, I will do more! My skin had a great glow, and the texture was amazing. Makeup glides on, and I didn’t feel like I needed as much makeup. I highly recommend it, make sure you go to a pro, and come see me if you have questions or want a consult to find out what will be best for you.

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Photo via Instagram.

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