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The Science and Power of Microneedling

March 9, 2017 • jake • Aesthetic Treatments

What is Microneedling?

Microneedling or, to use it’s technical name, percutaneous collagen induction therapy, is one of the hottest anti-aging treatments available today. The treatment works by creating tiny, controlled, micro channels of injury to the skin, which triggers the body’s natural healing response and produces collagen and elastin. And we all know that more collagen and elastin equals more youthful and rejuvenated skin (yes please!). This simple procedure evolved from its early predecessor, the dermaroller, a device that may appear to some to be a small medieval torture tool. The device consists of a roller with needles protruding from all sides, which is rolled over the skin in different directions, using only hand pressure to control the depth of the needle penetration. Now, more sophisticated and humane options are available that allow for more precise depth control using motorized needling devices. The Rejuvapen we use at the Kimmel Institute, for example, uses the power of multiple tiny surgical stainless steel needles and provides depth control as precise as 0.1 mm. Since the procedure does not risk injury with heat, unlike laser and IPL systems, it is safe and effective for all skin types in all areas of the body. Another major advantage of microneedling is that the micro channels allow for deeper product penetration and more effective treatment for conditions such as active acne and dark spots/sun damage.

What conditions does microneedling treat?

Microneedling has been shown to be effective in the rejuvenation of skin and improvement of fine lines and wrinkles. And if you are sick of early sagging neck skin or crepey skin around the eyes, microneedling is a great option to treat those sensitive areas, for which there were previously limited treatment options. Other areas of the body that can be treated with microneedling include the décolleté/chest, hands, and the neck as mentioned above. Microneedling can also reduce the size of your pores and can help to even out the tone of sun-damaged skin. Other conditions that can be treated are acne scarring, traumatic or surgical scars, and stretch marks.

Microneedling and the role of growth factors.

Now this is where the magic happens… the magic of growth factors! First, what are growth factors and what role do they play in skin rejuvenation? Growth factors are proteins secreted by all cells and they regulate cellular growth and function. They also play an important part in maintaining healthy skin structure and function. By coupling microneedling with human growth factors, the applied growth factors are able to penetrate down to the metabolically active cells of the dermis, helping to restore youthful skin function and enhanced cosmetic results. So at the Kimmel Institute, we’ll use growth factors to take it up a notch, bam!

What to expect during treatment?

We will begin your treatment by cleansing the skin then massaging a topical numbing cream into the area. After sitting for at least 10 minutes, the numbing cream is wiped off and a topical antiseptic such as alcohol or witch hazel is used to cleanse the skin. Next, depending on the goal of treatment, an appropriate serum, which helps the microneedling pen to glide, is infused into the skin. After the desired skin response is achieved throughout the entire treatment area, a copper repair cream, which aids in healing, is applied while the temporary micro channels remain open. The temporary micro channels that are created through the procedure remain open for only up to 20 minutes following the procedure. For best results we recommend a series of four treatments, spaced four to six weeks apart. It is important to remember that the effects of a microneedling treatment will take at least three to four weeks to appear, since this is the amount of time the body requires to produce collagen following a controlled injury to the skin. The positive effects can continue to increase for up to six to eight months following a microneedling procedure.

What is the recovery like?

Fortunately the down time following microneedling is quite brief and easy. Activities such as exercise are restricted for only the first 24 hours following the procedure. After 24 hours, it is business as usual. The first day, your face will be red, the same as a pretty good sunburn, and your skin may feel tight. On day two, the redness will improve to a red or pink hue, with any facial swelling being most pronounced that day. But I must say, a little mild facial swelling in the right places doesn’t hurt. By day three all redness and swelling will have subsided, leaving behind healthy skin and a collagen making machine. Want more collagen in your skin life? Call today for a free consultation!

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