The beauty industry, from products to treatments, be it invasive or non-invasive, is an industry that simply goes from strength to strength. Forbes describes its growth as defying gravity. Consumers, young and old, in whatever gender, cannot get off this seemingly endless quest for the elusive fountain of youth. In 2018, the top non-invasive beauty treatments include Laser Facial treatments, Lip Injections, Chemical Peels, Oxygen Facials, Botox, Mesotherapy, Thermage and one that has been leapfrogging in popularity is the minimally invasive skin rejuvenation procedure, microneedling, which is also referred to as collagen induction therapy.
A microneedling device creates controlled punctures in the treatment area and in response to the microtrauma, the skin reacts by producing additional collagen to repair the treated area. Collagen is essential to restoring and retaining skin elasticity and protecting the structural integrity of the face and body. Part of the aging process involves loss of collagen, which explains the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, sagginess and dryness. Microneedling jumpstarts the reproduction of collagen, which goes a long way in improving skin tone and elasticity resulting in firmer, younger-looking and smoother skin.
Microneedling is not a one-time treatment. A few more treatments are usually recommended for more dramatic and visible improvements. It’s a win-win because you get the most benefits from the persistent stimulation of the body’s natural healing process that produces additional collagen. The benefits are measurable and visible. It can reduce fine lines and wrinkles, tighten skin, reduce enlarged pores, minimize the appearance of acne scars and stretch marks, reduce effects of sun exposure and pigmentation, enhance the absorption of topical creams or serums, and strengthen hair follicles and stimulate hair growth.
Is DIY microneeding possible? Certainly it is possible since there are readily available devices flooding the market. It will also mean savings. However, before you go buy your own, do note that doctors usually do not approve of DIY because instead of rejuvenating, you may be adding injury to your skin or cause acne outbreaks. Home devices do not offer uniform application and if you are not familiar with the rolling techniques, the correct angles, the specific intensity derived from practice and proper training, you may end up doing more harm than good, spend more than less. You Tube tutorials may be helpful but it does not turn you into an overnight microneedling professional. Do you really want to take that risk for your face?
Procedure of Microneedling
Ideally, your skin needs prepping a month before you undergo Microneedling. Your skin is given Vitamins A and C formulations to prompt collagen production.
During the procedure, your doctor or aesthetician will thoroughly sanitize and clean your face with antiseptic and saline solution to prevent bacteria from entering your skin. The area to be treated is also anesthetized with topical; anesthesia or numbing cream to reduce discomfort.
Doctor will work by separating the face into four quadrants, to wit: forehead, right cheek, left cheek, and then chin and jaw area.
Skin is stretched while a derma roller is rolled over the treatment area, vertically, horizontally and diagonally for 15-20 times. A standard derma roller is a cylindrical roller studded with 192 fine microneedles that pierce the skin and create micro hotels without damaging the outer layer of the skin called epidermis. Instead, this will trigger the release of growth factors that will enervate the production of natural collagen and elastin.
Pinpoint bleeding is normal, easily controlled and to be expected since that’s approximately 250 pinpricks resulting from the rolling motion of the microneedling device. It stings but pain negligible even for people with low threshold. In scale of 1-10, discomfort level would be a low 3.
The basic procedure includes application of healing gels and serum.
After treatment, the area is again wiped with saline pads.
Microneedling takes from 20-30 minutes depending on severity of treated area.
Skin may appear a little red like sunburn but it is a natural result and the redness and sensitivity disappears after 24 hours. The skin will feel tighter.
There is no downtime unlike other procedures, which require you to take leave from work.
Adverse side effects are rare but it can happen such as infection, hyperpigmentation or darkening of skin, hypopigmentation or lightening of the skin, scarring, necrosis and herpes simplex.
For optimal results, strictly follow post care instructions of your doctor. Avoid sunscreen and make up at least 12 hours after the procedure. Wait for bedtime to wash your face to allow the treatment to sink in. Avoid sun exposure for at least a month and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Hydration helps in healing. Keep your face clean using a mild cleanser the first few days after treatment. If you can, avoid make up to give your face a breather. The doctor may even prescribe collagen cream to assist your skin in repairing itself. You can return to your normal regimen after a few days.
Beauty through microneedling may indeed be skin deep, but you do get to enjoy the rewards for a reasonably long time.