Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy (CIT), has gained popularity over the last few years as an alternative to more invasive cosmetic procedures. Patients who undergo CIT are treated with tiny needles that pierce the skin, leaving marks that look like acne scars. Although some patients see improvement in their acne scars, others have experienced long-term damage from the procedure. Is it really worth the risk? To answer this question, let’s look at what microneedling actually is and the health benefits and risks associated with the procedure.
What is microneedling?
During microneedling, tiny needles are inserted into the skin to puncture it. The microneedling procedure is a cosmetic procedure. A small wound causes your body to produce collagen and elastin, which helps your skin heal and make you look younger. Collagen induction therapy is another name for it.
Microneedling improves your skin’s appearance after just one treatment. It continues to do so for months afterwards. Microneedling has many benefits.-
- SUNLIGHT DAMAGE
Microneedling is effective for reducing hyperpigmentation and age spots caused by sun damage. If you have blotchy, brownish skin, likely due to too many sun days spent in the sun, microneedling can rejuvenate your appearance by stimulating new collagen and skin cells.
The signs of aging aren’t only wrinkles and discoloration. Skin loses its elasticity with age, so it appears saggy. As we age, our skin may also look dull and lack a lustrous glow. Microneedling can rectify this.
Besides improving skin structure, the skin glows in just 24 hours after a treatment, due to the collagen buildup that occurs as a response to the wounds.
- REDUCES LINES AND WRINKLES
Nobody wants to look older than they are, but premature aging that appears as fine lines and wrinkles makes you look that way. By creating tiny injuries, microneedling stimulates the production of collagen and elastin to combat lines and wrinkles.
Your skin contains collagen and elastin, which add structure and strength to your skin and contribute to its youthful appearance. As a result of the wound-healing mechanisms in your body, new skin cells are produced, making fine lines, crow’s feet, and forehead wrinkles less visible.
- STRETCH MARKS
Microneedling works on any part of the body. Stretch marks can be effectively reduced after periods of rapid growth, such as during pregnancy.
- REDUCES ACNE
Through microneedling, acne treatments can be more effective as their topical applications are delivered better.
- TREATMENT OF SCAR
Microneedling stimulates collagen and elastin production, making it an excellent way to treat acne scars and other skin imperfections. There is only one type of scar that cannot be treated: keloid scars, or raised scars.
- SHRINKS PORES
It is true that microneedling involves punching holes in your skin, but it does not increase the size of your pores. In fact, it appears to reduce your pores. As your collagen around your pores is stimulated, the area around each pore plump, making the pores themselves almost disappear.
- ENHANCES THE EFFECTIVENESS OF TOPICAL PRODUCTS
Following microneedling, it is ideal to apply anti-aging creams, moisturizers, and other topical treatments to boost skin health and appearance. Micro-holes absorb creams, serums, and gels more readily and deliver them deeper into the dermis than regular application.
Compared to laser treatments, microneedling is less expensive, which can cost up to four times as much. In addition, microneedling may work better for people with darker skin, since it doesn’t involve heat as laser treatments do, which can affect your skin’s pigmentation. Talk to your dermatologist about what will work best for your skin — and your budget.
Microneedling: What it does to your skin
Microneedling can be performed by dermatologists (doctors who specialize in skin diseases and skin care). If you want to try it outside of a doctor’s office, check the person’s experience and credentials, and make sure that the equipment is sterilized. Many microneedling devices are available for do-it-yourself use. But dermatologists warn against using them because you can irritate your skin and you may not have a good way to sterilize the needles.
It usually takes 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of the area. The average person needs 4-6 treatments to see results.
You’ll first get a numbing cream applied to your face so you won’t feel the needles. The person who does the microneedling will move a pen-shaped or rolling tool with tiny needles around your face. As a result, you bleed a little when the needles cut the skin. A cream or serum may be applied to your face afterwards.
Through the procedure, collagen and elastin are sent to patch up tiny injuries in your body. The collagen in our bodies helps fill in and smooth wrinkles.
Although microneedling is commonly done on the face, it can also be used on other parts of the body, including the stomach and thighs.
The risks of microneedling
Though microneedling is a popular cosmetic procedure with few reported side effects, there are some risks to consider before booking an appointment. These include infection, scarring, and hyperpigmentation. Additionally, those with certain medical conditions should avoid microneedling altogether. If you’re considering this treatment, be sure to consult with a board-certified dermatologist first. Before undergoing any type of surgical procedure, including microneedling, it’s always important to be well informed of all possible outcomes so that one can make an educated decision.
Healing and risks associated with microneedling. Before you decide to give it a try, consider these factors:
- It takes time to see results. It can’t be done overnight. This is because your body is in the process of healing itself. Most people need a few treatments before any improvement is seen.
- The healing process may take days or weeks depending on how deeply the needles penetrate your skin.
- After the procedure, you may experience minor pain, and your skin may be a bit red for a few days.
- You may experience tight or flaky skin when your skin heals.
- Bruising and bleeding are unusual during microneedling. Deep microneedling treatments can bruise or bleed the skin.
- Those who have keloids, scars that appear as large bubbles on the surface of the skin, shouldn’t undergo microneedling. It could worsen the condition.
- Viruses can enter the body through microneedles, especially if the equipment isn’t properly cleaned. However, the risk of infection is low. If you are healthy, you are unlikely to contract an infection from microneedling.
- Because microneedling is a cosmetic procedure, insurance doesn’t cover it. Your doctor can tell you how many treatments you’ll need, and how much they’ll cost.
Safety and Costs of Microneedling
Microneedling is considered safe, but like any procedure, there are risks involved as well.
A cream or serum that is applied to your skin after microneedling may cause an allergic reaction. The wounds might get infected if your skin is not kept clean. You should avoid places with a lot of germs, like swimming pools, lakes, rivers, and oceans. Avoid irritating soaps and lotions.
If the equipment used hasn’t been cleaned properly, you may also get an infection.
Microneedling Safety and Costs
In recent years, home microneedling kits, or rollers, have become increasingly popular because they are widely available and inexpensive.
Compared to professional microneedling devices, rollers used at home use shorter, duller needles. To brighten the skin, they temporarily stimulate blood vessels. You will not usually get the same results from home rollers as you would from microneedling done by a dermatologist.
In the same way as professional microneedling devices, home rollers can spread germs if not cleaned properly. Do not use a home roller on infected skin.
Do your research before getting treated
Skin is punctured with tiny needles during microneedling, a cosmetic procedure. It’s sometimes called derma rolling, and it’s becoming increasingly popular as a way to achieve brighter, smoother skin. But is it really worth the risk?
Before getting microneedling done, it’s important to do your research and understand both the potential risks and benefits. Though it’s generally considered safe, there are some risks involved, including infection, bleeding, and scarring. And while it can provide some benefits, such as reduced wrinkles and improved skin texture, there’s no guarantee that you’ll see results.
So, what’s the bottom line? Is microneedling worth the risk? Ultimately, that decision is up to you.