OK, I’ll admit it. The headline (i.e. title) of this blog post, “Micro Needling Therapy Has Finally Arrived,” is somewhat deceptive.
We have offered micro needling here at Maine Laser Skin Care for over a year now. However, we borrowed the name of this headline from the title of an article in a recent dermatology journal that reviewed how much micro needling has advanced in use and popularity over the past several years.
The theory of using very small needles to improve the skin is actually not new at all. The very idea dates back to the 1950’s.
The first studies on the use of micro needles began in 1996, and only involved treatment of wrinkles around the mouth. From there, the latest generation of microneedling devices appeared in 2013, and has expanded significantly in options since then.
As you may know, the micro needling device passes over the skin to be treated. The small needles within that device create tiny punctures in the skin surface.
While the skin naturally repairs these tiny injuries on its own, collagen and elastin begin to be stimulated within the skin, resulting in tightening of the skin and improved texture. For that reason, another term for micro needling is collagen induction therapy, or CIT.
Because micro needling does not cause significant injury, it can be used to treat multiple skin types and several areas on the face, including around the eyes. My aesthetician Denise and I have used this procedure to reduce pore size, improve facial skin texture, lessen appearance of scars and even soften and decrease stretch marks.
The amount of downtime after a micro needling procedure can depend on how aggressive the treatment is. The depth of the needles can be adjusted depending on how deep the problem is below the skin.
For example, if a mild degree of tightness and texture improvement of the skin is desired, the depth of the needle is less and the downtime is minimal. For problems such as traumatic or deeper acne scars, the needles need to go much deeper, initially resulting in a scratched-up appearance of the skin and several days of light scabbing.
Because the procedure can result in blood appearing on the skin’s surface, the soon-to-be-treated area must be cleaned properly with alcohol or similar antiseptic. The microneedling device also needs to have a sterile needle cartridge that is obviously changed with each patient. Because the needling process does involve the piercing of the skin, we also apply a topical numbing cream to assure maximal comfort during the procedure.
Following the micro needling treatment, topical agents are placed on the skin which are subsequently absorbed into the skin through the miniature punctures created. Hyaluronic acid, which is a component of collagen, is frequently used, but other growth factors and peptides can also be used.
As the technology behind micro needling becomes subject to more medical studies, more applications of this treatment will certainly be found. I have already combined the micro needling with the use of platelet rich plasma in the Vampire Facial as well as Vampire Hair Regrowth procedures.
As micro needling stands right now, it is a safe and effective procedure when in the hands of a properly trained professional in the field (such as myself). If you have interest in knowing if this technology would be appropriate for you and your skin, call us at (207) 873-2158 for a free consultation.