What is microneedling and what are the benefits of having it done?
Does anyone like the idea of needles? Whether we’re talking about doctors using needles to give us shots to numb areas before some sort of invasive procedure, as a disease-preventative vaccination or the more recent method of dry needling used by physical therapists to repeatedly poke needles into muscle tissue to loosen it up, none of it is pleasant.
Microneedling may also sound equally off-putting, but it would be a mistake to dismiss this new and increasingly popular procedure. Also known as collagen induction therapy, microneedling is rapidly becoming one of the new superstars in the health and beauty industry, especially for those looking for innovations in anti-aging techniques that are less invasive and more natural.
How Does Microneedling Work?
One of the ways that aging takes its toll is that the body begins to slow the production of collagen, which is the protein that gives the skin its structure and elasticity. As collagen levels drop, the skin loses its firmness and wrinkles begin to take the place of what was once a smooth, firm surface. This also happens as a result of acne, scars, injuries, sun damage and stretch marks.
With microneedling, tiny needles are used to puncture the skin to cause just enough trauma that the body’s wound healing forces are called into action. This results in activating the collagen-producing process as well as the creation of new cells to replace those damaged by the needles. This may sound like a painful process but the needles are so short that the procedure is not only minimally invasive, it is also nearly pain-free.
Benefits of Microneedling
One of the most popular benefits of microneedling is that the results are noticeable in a very short amount of time, usually within days, if not hours, and downtime is minimal. This is especially attractive to those who cannot afford extended periods of leave from work or other responsibilities. Some of the more common areas that are being successfully addressed with microneedling include:
- skin pigmentation issues
- scarring, from injuries, surgical procedures, and acne
- alopecia (hair loss)
- stretch marks
- loose skin, such as after significant weight loss whether natural or from surgical procedures
Additionally, microneedling creates micro-channels in the skin that help increase the absorption of medications, supplements and skincare treatments, boosting their effectiveness.
Home Microneedling Devices
There are do-it-yourself devices available for those who want to try microneedling at home. This can be effective and is less expensive, but, as with most things, there is a cost/benefit part of the equation. The needles used in the home microneedling devices are not meant to puncture the skin, so they are shorter and much duller. While this may still increase blood flow which can be beneficial, the results will never be the same as those received when done by a trained healthcare professional. Plus, these devices can be tricky to clean, and, should one that is not adequately cleaned end up puncturing the skin, there could be a risk of infection.
Microneedling is getting a lot of attention because of its ability to stimulate the body to make repairs and reverse some of the effects of aging in a more natural and minimally invasive way. To get the most benefit from this exciting new procedure, do yourself a favor and consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has the training and experience to make sure you get the results you want.
Dr. Brian D. Cohen is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with extensive training in cosmetic/reconstructive plastic surgery and has had years of experience performing a wide array of cosmetic surgery procedures, specializing in procedures of the face, eyes, nose, breast and body and is known for his exemplary and compassionate care by his patients. Knowing that Dr. Cohen has been selected by his peers in Super Doctors for 6 years in a row in 2018 gives you the confidence that he is highly respected for his performance in his specialty.