Microneedling is a procedure where thousands of tiny holes are punctured in the skin using the process of ‘controlled skin injury.’ These holes or ‘micro-wounds’ trigger the body to fill in these holes by producing new collagen and elastin in the dermis along with new capillaries. The new blood flow and collagen production results in improvement of scars and rejuvenation of the skin with resulting improvement in the texture, firmness and hydration of the skin. Microneedling is also referred to as collagen induction therapy (CIT), which is a very accurate description of what is actually happening. The depth of the needle penetration dictates the level of injury to the skin and the potential results to be achieved.
Plastic surgeon Des Fernandez, MD introduced a microneedling roller back in 1996. 20 years later, improvements in his original concept led to this becoming a very popular cosmetic procedure by 2016. Simply put, newer microneedling devices work better and are more effective. Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Sheila Nazarian agrees stating that the roller devices are, “...sending needles in and out of your skin at an angle, actually nicking the skin as they come out, so it’s causing more damage that you want.”
The newer battery powered or electrical devices are able to penetrate more deeply (and vertically) into the dermis producing a nice boost in collagen and elastin formation. So the quality of the device used is important and are generally the ones used in medi-spas and dermatology/cosmetic surgery practices as compared to those offered for home use. Medical devices have between 9 and 12 needles, smooth or beveled tips, and the ability to change needle depth from 0.25-3.0 mm.
Microneedling can treat many MANY skin conditions and has become a hot topic on consumer medical sites such as RealSelf. The benefits of microneedling keep growing making this procedure even more popular today and include some of the following:
Microneedling is an effective means to treat fine lines, wrinkles, loose skin, acne or other scarring, stretch marks, melasma or hyperpigmentation.
Microneedling is less expensive than laser skin resurfacing procedures such as Fraxel and arguably equally as effective.
There is far less downtime with microneedling vs. laser skin resurfacing.
Microneedling can be safely used for most types of skin but should be avoided in the presence of active acne breakouts or herpetic lesions
Unlike some laser procedures, microneedling can be safely used for all skin types (Fitzpatrick Type I-VI) and complexions