Beauty & Style

Understanding Microneedling

Not many people are a fan of needles, but microneedling – a minimally invasive procedure to improve a variety of skin problems – offers many benefits that far outweigh any barely noticeable discomfort.

Dating back to ancient China, microneedling involves rolling tiny needles across the skin to stimulate the growth of collagen, a protein that gives skin its texture and elasticity. Since ancient times, the deceptively low-tech cosmetic technique has been refined, with modern-day usage ramping up over the past three decades to treat a bevy of distressing skin issues.The origins of microneedling show that a simple tool can lead to dramatic changes in our skin’s firmness, smoothness and radiance. By boosting collagen production, which healthy skin contains in ample amounts, we can combat aging and other skin complaints that might otherwise sink our confidence and morale.

What skin problems can microneedling improve? 

By triggering fresh collagen generation, microneedling – also known as collagen induction therapy – can improve an array of skin concerns. These include:

  • Wrinkles
  • Loose skin
  • Scars from acne, sun exposure or other injuries
  • Dark patches called hyperpigmentation
  • Stretch marks
  • Enlarged pores
  • Rosacea

Exactly how is microneedling performed? After applying a numbing cream to the face, a clinician moves a derma roller—a rolling tool covered with many tiny, sterilized needles – over the skin over a session lasting 10 to 20 minutes. The small skin pricks may bleed slightly at first, which will be cleaned away.Because sterile needles are a must, microneedling should always be performed by a qualified clinician. Don’t do this at home. You may be tempted by do-it-yourself microneedling kits that are widely sold, but you may end up injuring your skin or causing infection, which could be dangerous.

What to expect 

One big benefit of microneedling is that you’re able to go right back to normal activities after it’s performed. Since 4 to 6 follow-up visits are typically needed for best results, it’s ideal that no downtime is needed.While skin may remain a bit red for a few days post-treatment, this is also a good sign. The redness indicates the treatment is working as intended by boosting the skin’s collagen production. Your skin will be especially sensitive to the sun during this period, so applying generous amounts of sunscreen while outdoors is crucial protection as skin repair continues.Within 6 to 8 weeks after microneedling, you should begin to see visible skin improvements, Wong says. At that point, the procedure’s benefits will come full circle. When you see how much better your skin looks, you just feel better too. It’s extremely satisfying.Compared to some other cosmetic procedures, microneedling offers less downtime while still providing amazing results. Talk to your doctor about whether microneedling can help your skin problems and how many sessions may be right for you.Jennifer M. Wong, PA-C Physician Assistant. Ms. Wong has comprehensive experience in medical and cosmetic dermatology for all ages. Advanced Dermatology P.C. and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery (New York & New Jersey) is one of the leading dermatology centers in the nation, offering highly experienced physicians in the fields of cosmetic and laser dermatology as well as plastic surgery and state-of-the-art medical technologies. 

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