One of the most popular cosmetic treatments is Microneedling. It is a versatile treatment that can be used for the treatment of several skin conditions. Microneedling uses the body’s healing process to help improve the overall look of your skin, it is safe for all skin types, helpful in introducing healing serums into your skin, and the downtime is minimal. Over the past few years, it has become a favorite, but this treatment has been around for quite a while.
Acupuncture is the precursor of microneedling. It was widely used in Ancient China, and even though there’s no specific documentation that mentions microneedling, there are books that date back to 100 B.C. that talk about acupuncture. In 1905, the first recorded use of microneedling was in Germany, when Dermatologist Ernst Kromayer used various size dental burs to treat scars and hyperpigmentation. In 1996, both a Canadian Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Andre Camirand and Dr. Desmond Fernandes in Philadelphia used different type of needles and noticed the improvement in scar tissue and the breaking down of collagen. While Dr. Camirand used tattoo needles, Dr. Fernandes used hypodermic needles with a small needle stamp to induce collagen production to treat wrinkles and scars.
WHAT IS MICRONEEDLING?
Microneedling, or collagen induction therapy, is a cosmetic procedure that involves breaking the skin with tiny, sterilized needles using a handheld drum or pen-shaped device. These small wounds cause your body to produce more collagen and elastin by stimulating the skin to repair itself naturally through a process called dermal remodeling. This process heals your skin and helps you look younger.
Microneedling can be used to treat things like acne scarring, surgical scars, burns, enlarged pores, wrinkles, and stretch marks. The most common areas for treatment are the face, neck, low neckline, and arms, but really any part of your body can benefit from these treatments.
WHAT ABOUT PRP AND HOW DOES IT WORK WITH MICRONEEDLING?
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy uses injections made of a concentrate from a patient’s own platelets derived from their blood to accelerate healing in a specific area. It contains two elements – plasma, the liquid portion of the blood, and platelets which play a vital role in healing, as well as containing growth factors that can trigger cell reproduction and stimulate tissue regeneration in the treated area. To create this PRP, the blood sample is placed in a centrifuge to spin the sample, separating out the components of the blood from the platelets and concentrating them within the plasma.
Because the treatments use a patients’ own blood, PRP injections are safe and can be administered alone or in conjunction with other procedures. Which is where the microneedling comes in. First the dermatologist will use a microneedling tool to prick the skin, making tiny holes in the skin’s surface, creating “micro-channels.” They then apply the PRP to these channels to encourage collagen production and cell reproduction.
Microneedling with PRP is used to treat the conditions we mentioned earlier. It can treat acne scars, surgical scars, wrinkles and fine lines, hyperpigmentation, sun damage, large pores, uneven skin texture, and it helps to decrease the look of stretch marks. The addition of PRP to microneedling potentially produces better results than just doing microneedling alone.
ARE YOU THE IDEAL CANDIDATE FOR THIS TREATMENT?
According to the Mayo Clinic, microneedling is safe for all skin colors and types. Since it does not have the heat element that laser treatments have, it will not affect your skin’s pigmentation. People usually respond well to treatments, and it requires minimal recovery time.
This type of treatment is not recommended for anyone who has the following conditions: Hepatitis C, HIV or Aids, any type of blood cancer, skin cancer on the area to be treated, or anyone who has been using Accutane in the past six months. It is also not recommended if you have wounds or infections, undergone radiation in the past year, or if pregnant or breastfeeding.
YOUR MICRONEEDLING WITH PRP TREATMENT
Before Your Treatment
Once your Medical Provider and you decide on a course of action for your specific needs, there are some things you should avoid before going in for your treatment.
- Avoid excessive sun exposure or tanning several weeks before your appointment, and make sure you use SPF protection.
- You will need to temporarily stop using certain skin care products before and after your treatment, especially retinoids and acid-based products such as glycolic acid, and salicylic acid. These can potentially cause skin irritation or over drying with your treatment.
- Check with your Provider if you are taking blood thinning medication. You might have to stop taking it a few days before your appointment.
- If you suffer from Herpes breakouts, your Medical Provider might prescribe an antiviral medication that you will need to start taking a few days before your treatment.
Day of the Treatment
Your Provider will numb your skin before the procedure to help with any discomfort or pain. A small amount of blood is collected and processed to obtain the PRP. A microneedling device is then rolled over the area to be treated, and the PRP is applied to the skin. The procedure may take between 30 to 45 minutes. After the procedure, your Provider may apply a serum or balm to help soothe any redness and irritation and provide you with post-care instructions for your skin.
You can resume most of your normal activities the next day. You will want to avoid any sun exposure, tanning beds, swimming or any strenuous activity, as well as avoiding hot water, steam, heat, and harsh skin treatments during the first few days. Do not rub or pick at your face. You’ll want to use a gentle soap on your skin with tepid water and use a simple moisturizer. Further after care instructions will be provided at the end of your treatment.
You may have some swelling and redness, and perhaps some bruising. These usually clear within four to five days.
When will I see results?
It can take a few weeks to show results, as it takes the body time to produce collagen and heal itself. In two to three weeks, you will notice some visible improvement, and in four to six weeks you will see some marked results. People with acne scars may notice a gradual improvement in the skin in less than nine months.
Depending on the condition you are treating, you may need two to three treatments. If you have scars that are deep in your skin, you may require three to six treatments. These multiple treatments are done four weeks to six weeks apart to allow the skin to heal.
Your Provider may recommend that you use the treatment once a year for maintenance and yearly skin rejuvenation.
At Vitalogy Skincare, our top-notch team of Board-Certified Medical Providers, Certified Physician Assistants, and Licensed Aestheticians will examine your skin and work with you to help achieve your specific goals. Their priority is to provide you with the latest effective treatments, while ensuring a safe environment.
Reach out to any of our locations in the Austin area to schedule a consultation, or make an appointment online.