Should You Do Micro-needling?
It is a tale as old as time. Beauty has always mattered. In today’s age, it is more than a cultural obsession fueled by an industry that rakes in millions from products and treatments, invasive and non-invasive, fanning the irresistible compulsion to stay young and beautiful. More often than not, reality does not measure up to the hype but every once in a while, we come across breakthrough treatments like micro-needling that deliver on its promises.
It was introduced in the 90s and recently, it has become highly popular as the go-to, safe, non-invasive, and affordable skin rejuvenating treatment with immediately visible results.
Micro-needling involves the use of a mechanical, handheld drum-shaped devise with miniature fine needles that are rolled over face, neck or other target parts of the body to create controlled puncturing to induce collagen production. The end game here is to have smoother, more radiant skin for a longer period without resorting to invasive surgery that carries more risks. Those with low threshold for pain will like this as it is relatively painless other than the prickly sensation of the needles. A topical numbing cream is often applied to reduce discomfort.
The million-dollar question is, which is better: micro-needling or laser treatment? Both treatments practically address the same issues but while laser skin resurfacing seems better for skin tightening, numerous clinical studies have shown that Micro-needling can effectively and immediately reduce the appearance of scars, fine lines and wrinkles, skin discoloration, pore size with no downtime or side effects. It is also the procedure recommended for all skin types as it does not depend on skin pigment or color to work. However, you are advised to avoid if you have an active skin infection.
If cost is an issue, Micro-needling is probably one of the more affordable treatments with long-lasting results. Of course, it will depend on the gravity of the issues however if you diligently follow post-treatment protocol and take care of your skin including quarterly touch-ups as needed, the effects should last for 4-6 months. Ideally, best results are achieved after 3-5 treatments with 4-6 weeks interval between treatments.
While Micro-needling at home is said to be safe since the home device in market has smaller needles, it is better to err on the side of caution and allow a licensed professional who has had ample training to do the treatment especially if it is for your face.
Micro-needling is not an injection or a recommended do-it-yourself facial treatment. It can result in damaged capillaries if you overdo and not allow sufficient time for recovery in between treatments.
What Does Micro-Needling Target?
The principle behind Micro-needling is to stimulate the production of additional collagen by creating a controlled injury penetrating the outer layers of the skin to a depth of approximately 2mm. These small needle pinpricks can trigger the natural instinct of the body to heal and repair affected tissues. When the body recognizes trauma, it galvanizes into action and produces collagen and elastin, which tightens, plumps up and improves skin texture. There have been various literatures that showed some 400% increase in collagen and elastin production six months after completing 4 treatments.
Since it stimulates collagen and elastin production, the skin also acquires a more youthful glow and mitigates the common signs of aging like laxity, sagginess, fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and sun damaged skin.
It is highly effective for addressing enlarged pores since the additional collagen produced by Micro-needling plumps up the skin and greatly reduce the visibility of large, fibrotic pores.
A recent study also confirms that it can also stimulate hair growth far better than lotion treatments.
Micro-needling also targets mild acne scarring. It can improve the appearance of scars except for keloid scars. It has been also found to greatly help in the absorption of topical acne treatment and you can see your skin clearing up at a faster rate.
While stretch marks are harder to treat than mild scarring, Micro needling has shown good aesthetic results after several treatments within spaced intervals.
The beauty of microneedling is that it can be used on any other part of the body with virtually no side effects except for some redness that is painless and disappears after 24 hours. The procedure itself is fast so you can be in and out of the clinic without disrupting your regular routine.
Does it really work? If beauty is said to come with a price, then micro-needling is the honeyed jackpot that does not cost an arm and a leg yet brings out the glowing youthful skin and the unshakable confidence of knowing you look and feel better than you were.