Micro-needling also known as collagen induction therapy, is an innovative beauty treatment growing in popularity. A pen-like device that contains fine, sterile needles at the end, is used to create tiny perforations in the epidermis. By creating “controlled” wounds you are tricking your body to send fibroblast to all the tiny perforations and create more collagen. This safe and effective procedure is great for all skin types and all skin Fitzpatricks. Some patients get micro-needling as maintenance to promote collagen production and be proactive. Micro-needling can also be used to treat stretch marks, acne scars, fine lines, wrinkles, big pores, tiny bumps, rough texture, and poor tone. Overall, a brighter and healthier looking complexion can be expected.
Before the procedure it is important that harsh topical creams, such as retinols, exfoliates, or hydroquinones are avoided. You may need to postpone your appointment in the case of compromised skin such as an acne outbreak, open sores, or sun burn. Blood thinning medication such as Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Vitamin E, and Ginkgo biloba should be avoided for 7 days prior. Thinner blood can result in bleeding during the procedure.
Despite the name, micro-needling is not a painful procedure. A topical numbing agent is applied for about 10-20 minutes to further increase comfort. The treatment is started by cleansing the face with a gentle cleanser, applying a growth hormone serum called Tensage, and using different patterns and settings based on what the patient’s goal is. The procedure takes about 40 minutes for full face to 60 minutes for full face, neck, and décolletage. At the end, growth serum and sunscreen are applied to the treated areas. At Coastal Plastic Surgery we use the Tensage growth serum to micro-needle into the skin because it promotes healing and helps jumpstart the collagen production process to optimize the results.
After the procedure, the treatment area can be red and swollen, similar to a mild sunburn. The redness subsides, however social plans are not recommended for the rest of the day. For the following couple of days, patients are recommended to use the growth serum they were given. During this time, there is no need for patients to do their regular skin care routine.
Treatment frequency depends on your skin and your end goals. If you come in and your skin is in good condition, then treatment every 3-6 months or when your skin needs a refresh/reboot is sufficient. On the other hand, if you are coming in to correct something (i.e. acne scars, fine lines/wrinkles) then 3-4 treatments every 4-6 weeks is recommended, following by every 3-6 months for maintenance.
In as little as a few days the skin treated will be tighter and brighter. Your skin care products will be able to penetrate better into your skin (and not just sit on the surface.) Your foundation will go on smoothly, and overall your skin will look and actually be healthier. On a short-term basis your skin will be plumper, more radiant, and your pores will appear smaller. Long term, your skin will build collagen resulting in thicker and smoother skin.