Medical Microneedling, The Right Way
Microneedling is a popular anti-aging treatment that can be very effective if done properly.
There are many different devices used by practitioners – from rollers to pens. Regardless of the device, the concept is the same, small sterile needles penetrate the skin at various depths causing repeated microinjuries. The immune system responds by stimulating fibroblasts to repair itself which in turn, creates new collagen.
However, when considering microneedling, its important to understand the main differences that can make or break your results.
depth of penetration
The goal depth is to reach the papillary layer where fibroblasts and collagen fibers are located. Therefore, topical anesthetic is usually required as this level of penetration causes discomfort. Anything more superficial, only reaches the epidermis and therefore is not effective. Roller devices can adjust the depth of penetration by manual pressure delivered by the professional. However, this is not ideal because there is no way of measuring the depth of penetration to know if you are at the papillary level. Pens have gauges that can be adjusted to goal depth and changed depending upon the area or condition being treated.
The way the needles are applied to the skin by the device can also make a difference in not only results but recovery length. It is important for the needles to not scrape across the skin but rather make smooth in and out motions to avoid causing excess injury to the epidermis. We favor a stamping or touch and release technique.
proper amount of injury
One of the endpoints of treatment is pinpoint bleeding. This is one of the ways we can tell if we are at a proper depth. But, you should not have excessive bleeding or swelling. At the end of treatment, the face will be red like a sunburn which should resolve by the next morning.
You can achieve added results with the use of topical solutions. There are multiple different options available during microneedling – hyaluronic acid, growth factors, PRP, and most recently, exosomes. The most widely known is PRP, often referred to as the vampire facial. However, growth factors and exosomes are gaining popularity as the new frontier in anti-aging.