What is microneedling and how does it rejuvenate the face?

Microneedling – also known as Collagen Induction Therapy - is a powerful facial rejuvenation treatment that includes the use of a mechanized device that features a cartridge containing a series of tiny needles that penetrate the top layers of the skin. The procedure is not painful because the needles are very short and only causes a mild “prickling” sensation as it superficially punctures the skin’s epidermis.

Controlled “micro-injuries” work to rejuvenate the skin by catalyzing the skin’s own natural healing response.

The “micro injuries” caused by microneedling work to rebuild the skin by encouraging the production of new collagen and skin elastin. These work to stimulate and heal the skin -- resulting in a smoother appearance and reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.

Microneedling also creates “micro-channels” for deeper absorption of topical skin care products, such as Vitamin C skin serum.

What are the benefits of microneedling?

Microneedling has several benefits to facial skin of any age. It works to:

  • Stimulate healing of acne scarring
  • Reduce fine lines and wrinkles due to aging or smoking
  • Smooth skin texture
  • Even out skin tone irregularities due to hyperpigmentation or aging
  • Reduce broken capillaries or spider veins
  • Reduce large pores, sun spots, or burn scars 
  • Rejuvenate by firming, lifting, toning and sculpting sagging skin 

IMPORTANT: Microneedling is NOT recommended for those suffering from rosacea or overly sensitive or reactive skin.

How is the microneedling procedure performed?

We start by diagnosing your skin’s condition to ensure the best result for your microneedling treatment. You will then receive a personal treatment plan along with detailed information about the procedure and product recommendations for post-procedure skin care at home.

What does microneedling feel like?

To avoid discomfort a topical anesthetic is applied to your skin. This creates a feeling of numbness and reduces any pain. Depending on your sensitivity, we may also use a dental block for additional anesthesia to the more sensitive areas of your face, such as around the mouth.

How long does it take to see results of microneedling treatment?

Post-treatment you may feel a very mild “sunburn” sensation. This will subside over the following 3-4 hours. You will be asked to go without makeup for a day or so after microneedling. The duration depends on the type and extensiveness of the treatment and your own tolerance. Usually, most patients experience mild redness and low-grade swelling for 24-48 hours after the treatment, followed by mild peeling. Unless you have very sensitive skin, you may wear makeup again after 24 hours.

Depending on your desired outcomes, your skin’s condition, and innate ability to heal, microneedling can be performed regularly for a series of treatments. Typically, you will notice some improvement after the first or second treatment, while more significant results will occur after 2-3 treatments spaced approximately 4-6 weeks apart.

Your skin will then continue to improve over the next 6 to 12 months with proper skin care regimen. Results, of course, will vary for everyone, depending on your skin’s condition. Frequently we recommend combining topical retinoid therapy with microneedling to enhance results.

Repeat treatments of up to 3-5 treatments maybe necessary for those with deep acne scarring, enlarged pores, or skin hyperpigmentation.

Is there a scientific principle behind microneedling?

Microneedling is a form of Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT). This means that it creates a controlled non-thermal injury just underneath the skin’s surface, thereby stimulating the skin to respond through the formation of new tissue layers of elastin- and collagen fibers (neo-collagenesis). This also includes new capillaries for an improved blood supply (neo-angiogenesis) in the treated area. The stimulus of microneedling plumps and thickens the dermis in response, ultimately healing and reducing the appearance of scars, fine lines and smoothing out uneven skin texture. Microneedling can also be used off-label to improve the delivery of customized topical solutions and biological materials such as Density Platelet Gel PRP.

Microneedling and PRP treatment -- a powerful combination!

Depending on your skin’s condition and desired results, we may recommend using a combination of microneedling and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment. The PRP treatment extracts platelets from your own blood and uses them as a dermal filler. The platelets are enriched and injected under your facial skin to fill out wrinkles and smooth fine lines to rejuvenate your appearance.

Along with the use of microneedling, the PRP gives your skin an added stimulus to boost collagen production along with the use of the nutrient-rich platelets -- making for a powerful combination. Read more about PRP treatments here.

Can I combine microneedling treatments with dermal filler or other injections?

We do not recommend combining too many skin treatments at once. It is important to let your skin heal. We advise scheduling filler or other injections, such as Botox® or Dysport® one week before or after your microneedling treatment.

Microneedling – Pre-Treatment Instructions:

  1. Medical history: During the course of your treatments, notify our staff of any changes to your medical history, health status, or personal activities that may be relevant to your treatment. 
  2. Waxing and/or use of chemical depilatories avoid for at least one week prior to and after microneedling treatment. Shaving is allowed immediately before treatment, and 48-72 hours after treatment as long as there is no irritation. 
  3. Sun exposure: avoid the sun and/or use of a tanning bed, including self-tanning products for a minimum of 24 hours before. Failure to avoid the sun or tanning bed may result in hypopigmentation (white spots), or hyperpigmentation (dark spots) which may not clear for several months or may even be permanent. Microneedling treatment will not be administered on sunburned skin. 
  4. Accutane: discontinue Accutane and any other photosensitizing medication for a period of at least 6 months prior to receiving treatment. Do not use any such medication during your course of treatment. 
  5. Facial chemical peels are not recommended in the treated area for at least 2 weeks. 
  6. Topical retinoids (Retin-A, Renova, and Tazorac): stop using for 1 week prior to, and after microneedlingtreatment or as recommended by your provider. 
  7. Pregnant or nursing? We recommend you avoid microneedling during this time. 
  8. Tattoos: We cannot treat over tattoos, including cosmetic tattoos such as eyebrow or eyeliner tattoos. 
  9. Cold sores: We may recommend prophylactic antiviral therapy in the form of Valtrex® or Aycylovir.

Microneedling – Post-Treatment Instructions:

  1. Sunburn-like redness is normal for 1-3 days after microneedling.The severity of redness will depend on the level of treatment and your skin’s individual tolerance. The treated area may temporarily appear darker but the darkened skin may flake off within 1 week. Avoid picking or exfoliating and allow old skin to flake off naturally.
  2. Aftercare skin care regimen and products:Cleanse gently twice daily with a gentle cleanser with lukewarm water. We will recommend a soothing, healing moisturizer that may be used as often as needed for the first 3-5 days.
  3. Sun exposure must be avoided for 4 weeks after your treatment.Wear a sunblock that contains a physical block such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide daily. Plan to wear a hat and avoid sun exposure.
  4. Avoid excessive exercisethat causes sweating. We also recommend staying away from sauna, hot tubs, or steam baths for at least a week after treatment.
  5. Exfoliation:Avoid exfoliating the skin for at least a week after treatment.
  6. Pain relief: While any pain will be minimal, Advil or Tylenol may be taken as necessary for discomfort. Ice packs may also be used to minimize swelling.
  7. Sleep on your backwith your head elevated slightly to reduce swelling.

    Want to know more about microneedling treatment?

    To make an appointment with Jennifer Fick contact our San Francisco office on (415) 624 3922 or send an email enquiry.