With a wide range of anti-aging beauty treatments available on the market, deciding which option to go for can easily become a complicated choice. From cosmetic surgery and seemingly miraculous anti-aging injectables to the latest serums and creams all which claim to knock years off your appearance, making the right choice is vital in the quest for healthier, younger-looking skin.
For many people, choosing the right balance between treatments that are non-invasive yet simultaneously effective is a prerequisite – one that several anti-aging solutions fail to meet. Thankfully, one possible option that lives up to the challenge is the microneedling procedure.
Microneedling has garnered a significant increase in popularity in recent times, despite it being around for years. From debunking myths to setting the record straight on the procedure, below you will find all the information you need to help you make an informed decision on whether microneedling is the best treatment option for you.
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What is microneedling?
Microneedling, otherwise known as Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT), is a procedure that is aimed to address numerous skin issues including fine lines, wrinkles, large pores and reduced elasticity. The process involves a multitude of microscopic needles that are used to pierce the upper layer of the skin to stimulate collagen production, resulting in firmer, even-toned and younger-looking skin. Other uses of microneedling include the treatment of hair growth, scarring and discolouration and reducing the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks.
How does microneedling work?
The skin often loses collagen due to surface injuries or as part of the natural aging process. The microneedling device is covered with miniscule needles that range in diameter from 0.5 to 2.5 millimetres. When these needles puncture the skin, it essentially induces rejuvenation by causing micro-injuries that activate and accelerate the skin’s natural healing process.
As your skin produces more collagen-rich tissue, the overall condition and appearance of the skin is noticeably more radiant and firmer. Depending on the size of the needle and how deeply it penetrates the skin, you may experience anything from a mildly ticklish sensation to a strong, pinching feeling. While the procedure overall sounds fairly brutal, it is reassuring to know that it sounds worse than it actually is.
Microneedling also improves the skin’s ability to absorb topical skincare treatments such as potent anti-aging creams and serums as the punctures allow for such solutions to better penetrate deeper layers of the skin and work more effectively in collagen building, yielding more powerful results.
How much does microneedling cost?
The cost of microneedling can range anywhere between $100 and $700 depending on the extent of the condition requiring treatment. On average, one session costs around $300 and several treatments may be needed to achieve the desired results.
As microneedling is classified as a cosmetic procedure, your health insurance is unlikely to cover the corresponding costs. Your doctor or dermatologist will be able to advise you on financing options and help you to select a suitable payment method during your initial consultation.
How many times do you need to do microneedling?
The amount of microneedling sessions you will need is dependent on the type, size and severity of your skin issue which your doctor will be able to determine through a skin analysis. It is almost certain that you will need more than a standalone treatment to obtain truly effective results. For optimum results, a minimum of four procedures are recommended with a separation time of 4 to 6 weeks to continually build collagen.
How long does it take to see results from microneedling?
Results from microneedling will develop and vary over the course of succeeding weeks and months depending on the individual. Instant results may include plump and radiant skin resulting from the superficial swelling brought about by the treatment. More long-standing effects of the treatment may not be noticeable until anywhere between 3 and 12 months, including smoother, firmer and younger-looking skin as collagen production is boosted and tissue is rejuvenated.
Can I do microneedling at home?
Microneedling is typically performed by a board-certified doctor or dermatologist; however, in recent years, due to a rise in popularity as an effective skin treatment, at-home devices known as derma rollers have gained significant prominence. While the latter is considerably less expensive than professional treatment it also produces limited response and results.
Because an at-home device contains shorter and more blunt needles than that used by a medical professional, it will not penetrate the skin as deep and therefore produce results that are not as effective. You may experience less discomfort and temporarily notice brighter-looking skin due to increased blood flow, at best. In addition, if the derma roller needles are not properly maintained, you may run the risk of infection or damaging the skin even further.
For those who are hoping to achieve more dramatic, long-term results, you may want to opt for a professional procedure performed by a qualified and experienced professional.
What can I expect after microneedling?
Although the immediate aftermath of a microneedling session includes redness, mild swelling and irritation or a tingling sensation in the treated area, the downtime is relatively minimal. You may also experience localized bleeding or bruising.
These results are a natural response to the needles creating punctures in your skin and should not be a cause for concern. Depending on your tolerance levels, the effects are fairly mild and should subside after a day or two.
Your skin will also be considerably more sensitive to the sun and harsh weather conditions following treatment. It is therefore important to give your skin adequate protection including applying an effective sunscreen on a daily basis.
- Kate Kerr London, ‘Micro-needling’, Kate Kerr London, Codesauce, 2019, https://www.katekerrlondon.co.uk/micro-needling/, (accessed 8th April 2019).
- K.Cherney, ‘Microneedling: Collagen Induction Therapy’, Healthline, Healthline Media, 2018, https://www.healthline.com/health/microneedling, (accessed 6th April 2019).
- N.Galan, ‘What is Microneedling? Benefits and Use’, Medical News Today, Healthline Media, 2019, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324138.php, (accessed 7th April 2019).
- Telegraph Beauty, ‘Why Microneedling Could Be The Key To Looking Younger for Women Over 40’, The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 2018, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/beauty/skin/micro-needling-key-looking-younger/, (accessed 9th April 2019).