For those who want smoother, tighter, and younger-looking skin, Microneedle Resurfacing may be a wonderful option. Microneedling stimulates the skin's natural ability to produce new collagen and elastin while it repairs itself.
What is Microneedle Resurfacing effective for?
It is a great treatment option for acne scars, wrinkles, sun damage, stretch marks, large pores, uneven tone or texture, and thin skin. Patients with large pores, fine lines, and uneven skin tone will typically need a series of 3 microneedling sessions, spaced every 4 weeks. Those with moderate to deep wrinkles, stretch marks, acne scars or other scars will likely need a series of 6 (or more) treatments, spaced every 4 weeks. Sessions can alternatively be spaced at every 6-8 weeks, if needed.
What areas of the body can be treated?
The face is the most popular area, for obvious reasons. However, microneedling can be performed on all parts of the body, including the neck, decolletage, arms, hands, legs, abdomen, and back.
What is the down time?
We recommend that all patients go directly home immediately after their treatment and completely avoid the sun. The skin will be red and slightly swollen right after the treatment, similar to a sunburn. The redness and swelling typically improve on the second day. On the third day, most redness and swelling have resolved, and any residual redness is easily covered with makeup. Dry skin and mild flaking may be present for several days. Patients who have this procedure on Friday should be ready to return to work with makeup on Monday.
What is the procedure like?
When you first arrive, we will remove all makeup and lotions and clean the face well. Then, a potent, prescription topical numbing ointment is applied to the area for about 40 minutes to improve the comfort of the procedure. After a second cleansing, the procedure takes 20-30 minutes with the electric microneedle device (SkinPen®). This process sounds like a small electric razor gently buzzing back and forth across the face. We will repeatedly ask you for feedback to optimize the depth of the needle and expected results while making the procedure as comfortable as possible. We have found this procedure to be much better tolerated than our traditional chemical peels.
I have heard that I can't do peels and laser if I have darker skin. What about this?
Another great benefit of this procedure is that it can be used on patients with any skin color, since it does not use strong chemicals or laser energy. Of course, strict sunscreen is always important during the healing process to prevent discoloration in all patients.
How does it work?
During the procedure, the microneedling device (SkinPen®) produces thousands of microscopic channels (up to 2.5 mm deep) in the skin from the needles. These microscopic “injuries” encourage the skin’s natural ability to rebuild collagen and elastic fibers and promotes a host of natural growth factors in the skin. This produces tissue remodeling and skin tightening as the newer, thicker collagen is formed. The result is smoother, younger-looking skin with less-visible wrinkles and scars.
How does Microneedle Resurfacing compare with Fraxel® laser?
Fraxel® laser produces thousands of microscopic columns of destruction (0.3 to 1.6 mm deep) in the skin. This also promotes collagen formation and smoother, younger skin. If performed properly, it can produce good results. However, many patients are unable to accept the longer downtime and higher cost of this procedure. For acne scarring and more aggressive wrinkle treatment, multiple treatments are required for both procedures. We have found that our patients prefer a shorter, weekend recovery period rather than a week-long healing process.
What are the possible side effects?
Since Microneedle Resurfacing uses no chemicals or laser energy, side effects are rare with this process. However, possible rare side effects include persistent redness or itching, allergic reaction to your serums, or reactivation of herpes virus or cold sores. Fortunately, Dr. Brown is always available and prepared to address any rare issues since this procedure is performed in a medical office and not a medspa. If you have a history of cold sores / fever blisters near the treated area, you will need to start an antiviral medication the day prior to your treatment.
When will I see results?
Most patients feel healthier, tighter skin immediately, but the natural repair process of the skin continues to progress over several weeks to months. Collagen formation is a slow process with any type of treatment, and your skin typically continues to improve for up to 6 months after your final Microneedling treatment.
How can I find out more?
We would love to discuss your skin issues with a cosmetic evaluation with our cosmetic consultants. If you decide that Microneedle Resurfacing is the best option for you, Dr. Brown has a specific regimen of products that she recommends before and immediately after the procedure for optimal results.
Click below for video coverage.