If you’re on the fence about scheduling a microneedling treatment because you’re not sure what to expect, we’re here for you!
We want to provide you with a primer to help you feel more confident in booking that appointment.
Skin Pharm has all the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, like “does microneedling hurt?” and “what benefits does microneedling provide?”
First thing’s first. Why’s it called microneedling?
If you’re unfamiliar with microneedling, you may have painted some very vivid pictures in your head. That can be especially true if you’re one of the many people dealing with a fear of needles. So, what exactly is microneedling?
Microneedling is what it sounds like, but it’s probably administered much differently than you think. (Yes, microneedling does use tiny 'micro' needles.)
However, these aren’t just hundreds of tiny needles manually injected into your face. These needles are applied to the skin using a device, either “stamped” into the skin or rolled across it.
And yes, there are a few different microneedling devices that are available for purchase over the counter. However, the risk of using them yourself is far greater than the reward. You can not only damage your skin, but you also will not be able to get the same results as a professional can.
Okay, so how does microneedling work?
Microneedling works because it uses the skin’s natural ability to produce collagen, kind of like a “life hack.” It can tap into that ability by creating those minor, invisible wounds on the skin, which the body views no differently than any other wound or injury.
When our body receives an injury of any kind, it reacts predictably. Its first concern is stopping the bleeding, if any, through a process known as hemostasis, which uses platelets.
The area also starts to swell as it sends monocytes and macrophages to the site of the wound. Macrophages, in particular, are often known as the body’s “construction workers,” because they begin the physical repair of the injury.
Macrophages are also the cells directly responsible for the collagen production that happens in response to a wound. That’s because they secrete something known as the fibroblast growth factor.
Fibroblasts are the cell type responsible for producing collagen. Triggering an increase in the production of this protein is the real goal of microneedling. As the microneedling device is stamped or rolled across your face, it creates tiny wounds that spur that process into immediate action. It’s this “trick” that makes the treatment so effective.
What are the benefits of microneedling?
Does microneedling hurt? You’re probably planning on weighing the answer against the potential benefits of the procedure. We can all deal with a little bit of discomfort if the reward is more significant, right?
The good news is that the benefits of microneedling outweigh the potential pain!
They include reducing the appearance of scarring, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. Microneedling may also be able to stimulate hair production in those suffering from alopecia.
Depending on your goals, your provider will likely adjust the depth that the needle penetrates your skin. At Skin Pharm, our microneedling devices can go anywhere between 0.1mm to 2.5mm deep into the skin. (Letting the microneedling device get deeper can be beneficial for more set wrinkles and scars.)
Does microneedling hurt?
So, microneedling is likely worth any discomfort you may experience. But does microneedling hurt?
Luckily, not so much.
To help reduce the risk of discomfort or discomfort during your treatment, we always apply a topical numbing cream before we begin.
While you may still feel pressure or a sensation similar to scratching during your procedure, you shouldn’t experience any actual discomfort.
If you do experience any discomfort with your microneedling procedure, it’s likely to happen on the more bony areas of your face – your jawline, forehead and hairline.
To help minimize any potential discomfort, we recommend that you stop using any skin care products that can irritate the skin, like retinol and other exfoliants, prior to treatment.
If you shave or microblade your face, stop doing that a few days ahead of time, too. The same goes for waxing or chemical depilatories.
How does the microneedling process actually work?
From start to finish, microneedling usually takes around an hour to perform. Not all of that time is spent having the microneedling device applied to your face, however. Most of the hour involves cleansing and preparing your face for treatment.
This is possibly one of the most critical parts of the microneedling process, though. If you don’t cleanse the skin, there is a much greater risk of infection during the procedure. If you think about it, introducing any potential bacteria or germs into the skin is dangerous.
We then apply a hydrating, antioxidant-rich serum, followed by that topical numbing cream to your freshly cleansed face, giving it time to absorb thoroughly. We want the process to be as easy and painless as it can be so that you can enjoy the benefits without the worry of discomfort. The serum boosts your results even further, allowing serum further into your pores than ever before.
It’s then time for the microneedling device! We target your specific areas of concern and use a needle depth that aligns with your specific skin care goals. You may notice some bleeding, mainly if longer needles are used. That is because they can penetrate through the epidermis into the dermis, where the skin’s blood vessels are found.
What about afterward, does microneedling hurt after the fact?
After your procedure is over and you’re heading home, will there be any discomfort then?
Most people don’t experience any discomfort after microneedling. However, there may be some sensitivity or tenderness in the treated areas.
In most cases, this only lasts for 24-48 hours. It’s recommended that you avoid wearing makeup or working out for at least that period of time, too. Give your skin as much time as it needs to rest and recover, and your side effects will fade much quicker.
It’s also a good idea to avoid direct sunlight for a few days as well. Similar to how retinol can make your skin more susceptible to UV radiation and damage, microneedling can do the same. When your skin is already vulnerable and irritated, the sun can only make it more so.
How should I treat my skin after microneedling?
Your skin will require special care after your treatment is finished. As it works to heal itself and produce more collagen, it isn’t able to protect itself from irritation and environmental impact. That’s where we come in.
After every microneedling treatment, we send you home with a post-procedure skin care kit. This kit includes a gentle cleanser to help you keep your skin clean without adding irritation, as well as our special Recovery Lotion.
The lotion is formulated to help deliver more oxygen to the skin cells that need it and keep it hydrated.
Hydration is essential to the health and resiliency of your skin, especially while it is working hard to heal itself from the controlled damage of microneedling.
It’s a good idea to drink more water while your skin is healing, as well. It’s not only good for your own body, but it helps give the skin what it needs to heal more quickly.
When will I notice results from microneedling?
Results of the microneedling process usually start to become visible after about a week. You’ll likely notice that your skin is more radiant and dewy first and that it is more smooth to the touch.
A few weeks later, you’ll reach your peak results. The reason for that time frame is that it takes the body about that long to produce more collagen, and the body’s natural skin cell turnover process takes about a month as well.
If you need repeat treatments recommended for people dealing with concerns like deeper wrinkles or scars, you’ll want to schedule them every four to six weeks. That gives your body the time it needs to be fully healed and ready to accept another microneedling treatment. It may take anywhere from four to six treatments to see the full benefit.
To wrap things up...
Does microneedling hurt? Not if it’s done by an advanced practice provider at Skin Pharm!
Plus, Skin Pharm uses a topical numbing cream before the treatment is performed, so that you’ll be able to enjoy all the skin-changing benefits of microneedling without discomfort.
You might recognize Caroline Arapoglou as Rose Cameron on cult-favorite Netflix series Outer Banks.
With a hectic travel schedule and long days on set, the actress (and Atlantan) sought out Skin Pharm for acne management — and quickly became a fan of our BBL photofacial, a quick and easy light therapy treatment that treats breakouts, lightens sun spots and removes redness, too.