Are you intrigued by what you’ve heard lately about the benefits of directly applying collagen to the skin? If so, you probably already know that collagen promotes a firmer, smoother skin surface and that it’s produced naturally by connective tissue cells. Collagen production tends to wane a part of the aging process, and existing collagen begins to break down, resulting in dry, sagging skin. Topical collagen creams and serums have been shown to provide some benefit, and a process known as microneedling has become increasingly popular recently among those who desire to replenish the collagen in their skin at more than a topical level. Here’s what you need to know about the procedure.
What Does Microneedling Entail?
Microneedling is an in-office procedure performed by a licensed esthetician, nurse, or NP. As its name implies, the process uses small, sterile needles. These needles prick the skin and cause it to experience physical trauma, which in turn, causes the skin to increase its production of collagen as a natural defense mechanism. Your esthetician will apply a topical anesthetic to minimize any discomfort on your part, and because the needles are so small, they won’t leave telltale prick marks on your skin’s surface.
Microneedling is used in some cases to deposit Platelet Rich Plasma, PRP, below the surface of the skin.
The overall office time will generally take about one hour from start to finish, although the actual procedure itself lasts no longer than 30 minutes. Although patients may experience redness and swelling of the affected areas for up to 1-12 hours after the procedure is performed, microneedling involves no downtime. Your esthetician will probably apply a soothing serum designed to keep redness and inflammation to a minimum.
What Conditions Does Microneedling Treat?
This procedure is primarily used to treat acne scars, wrinkles, and overall skin appearance. Skin becomes smoother on the surface as well as firmer and presents an overall brighter appearance. It may also have beneficial effects on other types of scars as well as reduce the appearance of large pores, age spots, uneven skin tone, sagging skin, and fine lines. Typical targeted areas include the face and neck, although it’s also been found to be effective on stretch marks on the thighs and abdomen.
Is Microneedling Safe?
Microneedling is safe for almost anyone who is in relatively good health. However, those who are pregnant or people who are currently using certain types of medication for acne shouldn’t have this procedure performed. Your provider will be able to provide you with more information on whether the procedure is right for you.
Does the Procedure Have Side Effects?
As mentioned previously, patients can expect to experience topical redness and irritation for 1 to 12 hours following the procedure. You should contact your provider immediately if you notice any unusual side effects such as peeling, bruising, bleeding, or infection.