Everything To Know About Microneedling

Practice freshens skin by promoting collagen production

In explaining the skin rejuvenating practice known as microneedling, Sue Anne Pearce of Tallahassee Plastic Surgery finds it helpful to compare this highly sought-after procedure to a beautiful, well-manicured lawn.

“To achieve this end point, you aerate the lawn, perforate the soil, producing holes that allow air, water and nutrients to reach the lower layers of growth,” Pearce said. “With microneedling, we are doing much of the same thing.”

Devices with sterile cartridges containing rows of tiny needles are used to create what Pearce calls “microchannels” in the face or other areas of the body.

The needles penetrate the skin to a depth that results in microscopic bleeding. An alternative device which also contains needles is known as a dermaroller, and as the name implies, rolls across the skin to cause penetration.

“When the skin reacts to the injury, fibroblast cells are stimulated to produce collagen and elastin, which brings about a smooth, plump appearance,” Pearce said.

It takes three hours or less for the microchannels to begin repairing themselves. Products such as hyaluronic acid are applied to the skin allowing the ingredients to seep into these tiny openings, much like a sprinkler system. After completing the regimen, skin typically requires four to six months to fully rejuvenate and remodel.

Microneedling, more technically known as collagen induction therapy or transdermal therapy, is appropriate to all skin types. In younger clients, it may be used primarily to prevent a loss of elasticity and to maintain collagen levels.

In more mature patients, a series of sessions may be required to build and correct collagen levels. The technique may be used to diminish the signs of aging, reduce acne scars, improve skin discoloration and soften stretch marks. Some practitioners have found that microneedling may stimulate hair growth when used in conjunction with topical treatments.

Protocols observed nationally call for a series of six treatments, spaced four to six weeks apart. Pearce said people who are apprehensive about beginning a microneedling regimen may choose to start with three or four.

Immediately following a treatment, the skin will be pink or red with a small amount of swelling, which will dissipate within 48 hours. Care must be taken to avoid penetrating the skin too deeply or bruising may result.

“Microneedling when performed correctly is a safe procedure with a low risk of post-inflammatory problems,” said Pearce, who is a licensed cosmetologist, licensed master esthetician, board-certified laser practitioner and a cosmetic tattoo artist at Tallahassee Plastic Surgery.

Pearce said she is currently treating patients 15 to 70 years of age. “And, I am working with a 19-year-old student who has stretch marks resulting from putting on and then losing a lot of weight,” she says. “We are seeing great results. To see and hear the satisfaction from patients is incredible.

“I tell patients when starting this journey of microneedling, as a reference they are committing to a long, coast to coast road trip,” Pearce said.

“They will be resting along the way, enjoying the change of scenery, and they will be pleased with the final destination.”

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