Micro-needling 101

Introduction

Micro-needling has become a popular treatment and a lot of people are familiar with the “Vampire Facial” thanks to Kim Kardashian. A vampire facial, or PRP/PRF facial is simply micro-needling with platelet rich plasma (PRP) or platelet rich fibrin (PRF) from the patient’s blood applied to the skin during and after the procedure. The platelet rich fluid enhances the healing process and the stimulation of collagen.

What is micro-needling and how does it work?

Photo credit:Procell

Micro-needling is a cosmetic skin-care treatment that creates microscopic punctures in the skin to stimulate collagen. The process works by causing low-grade inflammation that stimulates the body’s own healing mechanisms (proliferation) which leads to remodeling of skin cells by stimulating collagen and elastin (the building blocks of skin).

The most effective microneedling devices are small electrically powered machines that use tiny sharp needles to evenly pierce the skin without pulling or dragging.  These machines use cause minimal disruption to surrounding tissue for increased collagen without the formation of scar tissue. We currently use Skinpen and Procell and both are only sold to medical professionals.

What are the benefits of micro-needling?

  • Reduces the appearance of acne scars
  • Diminishes fine lines and wrinkles
  • Softens stretch marks
  • Heals scars, including keloids
  • Reduces pore size
  • Clear, even complexion
  • Reduces spider veins and broken capillaries
  • Assists with hair growth (scalp, eye brows)
  • Can be used all over the face, neck and body

Does micro-needling hurt?

It can be uncomfortable if no numbing cream is used but the depth can also be adjusted for the patient’s comfort level.

We recommend using a numbing cream for every session for the most comfortable experience.

Can I get microneedling if I am Pregnant?

It is not generally recommended, not because it is not safe, but because there is limited research on the procedure during pregnancy. Because it is a local non-invasive procedure that does not use harmful chemicals we do offer it to our pregnant clients with certain modifications. Each person should use their own judgement to decide if it right for them during pregnancy and preferably talk to their OB-GYN or Midwife.

Numbing cream used during the procedure is considered a category B “relatively safe” during pregnancy so there is no absolute reason to forgo this part of the procedure as Kim Kardashian did.

How much does each session cost?

Cost varies per clinic as well as by the experience and expertise of the clinician administering the procedure.

A basic spot treatment at Elite Medical & Aesthetics starts as low as $200/session and may go as high as $1100/session if combined with a photo facial treatments and/or PRP/PRF.

Everyone’s needs are different, schedule a free consult for an individualized quote.

How many treatments are needed to see results?

This also varies per patient but the minimum recommended to see results is 3 with an average of 3-6 treatments needed for optimal correction.

In clinical trials for Skinpen there was a 25% increase in dermal thickness 5 months post micro-needling. So you will continue to see changes even months after your last session with remodeling of skin being seen for up to 1-year.

Is micro-needling safe?

Micro-needling with SkinPen is proven to be safe and is FDA approved. There have been a few, very rare, instances where patients contracted blood-borne illnesses, such as HIV, from clinics that were using devices that have not been cleared by the FDA and also not using safe needle practices (i.e. reusing needles).

To ensure safety of every patient very specific protocols are used at Elite Medical & Aesthetics to prevent adverse effects. SkinPen also has disposable cartridges that can only be used 1 time so there is no risk of dirty needles or contamination of the device.

We also use Procell for our body treatments and it also utilizes 1-time use disposable tips to ensure patient safety.

What are the side effects of micro-needling?

Most people experience redness during and after the procedure, like a mild sunburn. This is expected and encouraged because it means inflammation has occurred and the healing process is initiated.

Dry skin is common for several days to 1-2 weeks post procedure and frequent moisturizer 24 hours post procedure is encouraged.

Burning, itching, peeling and tenderness are also possible post-procedure.

If non-approved products are used within 24 hours post procedure then foreign body granulomas can form as seen below. These look like hardened red areas all over the section of the face/body treated. In the Skinpen clinical trials some clients that used Vitamin C or Hyaluronic acid post-procedure experienced adverse reactions as these solutions are not meant to be used on open skin (i.e. first 24 hours post procedure).

Please talk to your provider and read the pre/post treatment instructions thoroughly to avoid any negative reactions.

Photo credit:Skinpen

Can I do treatments at home?

There are multiple products available for home use including rollers and low-grade electrically powered machines. These devices have not been clinically tested and can cause damage to the skin by pulling or dragging. They also don’t have disposable tips and can increase the risk of infection with multiple uses.

They are also not as effective; it would take around 12 passes of a dermal roller to equal 1 pass of a medical grade electrically powered machine.

How do I get started with treatments?

You can start by booking a consultation or treatment below or getting in contact with us if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

Get in touch or book now!