But how long will it take to see microneedling results, and what will those results look like? We're here to answer those questions (and a few others we regularly get asked).
What exactly is microneedling, anyway?
Microneedling may bring up mental pictures of hundreds of needles applied to the face, but it's so much more complex – and far less painful – than that.
Dermatologists and advanced practice providers consider microneedling to be a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure. It involves more than simply rubbing a product on the skin (like topical applications), but it doesn't require anesthesia.
With microneedling, a unique device that holds tiny, shallow needles is applied to the skin by your provider. These needles create hundreds of superficial, invisible puncture wounds on the top layer of the skin, the epidermis, in a controlled fashion.
The goal of microneedling the face is rejuvenated skin. Benefits that microneedling can provide the skin include:
Smaller pore size
A decrease in the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles
More even skin tone and less visible hyperpigmentation
Less obvious scars
Microneedling has also been studied for its potential to help with hair loss, especially the type caused by alopecia.
Okay, I'm intrigued. How does microneedling work?
Microneedling is also known as collagen-induction therapy due to how it works. When the device is used to create those micro-injuries on the skin, the body responds the same way it does with any other injury.
In the wound-healing process, after the initial injury occurs, chemical signals tell the cells around the wound to bump up their collagen production.
Blood cells, especially red blood cells, also arrive in the area to help the skin build new tissue. Those two factors initiate rebuilding and supporting the skin around the injury site.
The same happens with microneedling. The body sends the same signals to the area being treated, which increases collagen, capillaries (tiny blood vessels) and elastin.
That's where all of its benefits stem from – plumper skin, less noticeable scar tissue, a decrease in fine lines and wrinkles and reduced hyperpigmentation.
What's microneedling treatment like?
First of all, the entire process of microneedling takes around an hour.
The procedure begins with a brief consultation to go over your skin care goals and areas that you'd like to be specifically targeted.
We then start by thoroughly cleansing your skin to remove not only makeup, but also other dirt and debris your skin might've accumulated. That way, the microneedling pen doesn’t have to struggle through an extra layer before being effective. After your face is clean, a topical numbing cream is applied and allowed to absorb.
Next, we'll apply Super Serum to your skin – it's a specialized serum we designed to be full of antioxidants and hydrating agents. When we use the microneedling device, it'll bring this serum along as it punctures the skin. This allows the serum to penetrate even more deeply into the skin and supercharge your results.
We then apply the device to the skin, creating tiny channels and micro-wounds.
Does it hurt?
This is probably the question we get most often about microneedling. The idea of needles can be scary for some people, and they like to know what to expect to feel more comfortable.
Overall, microneedling shouldn't hurt when it's done by a professional. This is why we apply a topical numbing cream to the face before we begin the treatment. We like to say that it’s more pressure than pain or discomfort!
Will I bleed?
With needles involved, patients often wonder if microneedling will cause their skin to bleed. The truth is, there may be some bleeding. Because our providers perform microneedling treatments in-clinic, the needles used can puncture more deeply into the skin than they could with at-home treatments.
Our microneedling pens are customizable to help you reach your goals, and they can penetrate anywhere from 0.1mm to 2.5mm into the skin. (That means they can reach into the dermis, where the skin’s blood vessels are.)
How long before I'll be able to see my microneedling results?
Now, for the answer to the question you’ve been waiting for – when will you see microneedling results?
The time frame is individual, and you’ll likely get a better idea of how your skin will respond after you’ve had a few treatments. For most patients, results are noticeable about a week after treatment. The process starts immediately after your visit, though, with visible skin tightening.
Consider that more extensive issues – like scarring, deeper lines and wrinkles and hyperpigmentation – are likely to take multiple treatments before you get visible results.
Expect optimal results after about 4-6 weeks. That’s roughly the amount of time that it takes for collagen to develop fully. It also takes about a month for the skin cells to turn over entirely, from start to finish.
While you may be looking for immediate results, microneedling results are well worth the wait. Plus, the results you're getting are entirely natural!
You’re not relying on the healing process from invasive cosmetic surgery; you’re waiting for your body to do what it's meant to do. There aren't any painful incisions or scarring, either. (What's not to love?)
I'm sold! How long do microneedling results last?
Once you’ve gotten the results you’re looking for, how long will those results last? We have some good news for you!
The results that you can see with microneedling are permanent. You must continue to take care of your skin with a supportive skin care routine and a focus on a healthy lifestyle.
What about downtime? I'm wondering how much I'll need after microneedling.
A factor for many patients in deciding whether they want microneedling or another treatment, like a Gold Infusion, is downtime.
Although microneedling does involve making tiny wounds, it doesn’t require nearly as much downtime as you'd think. Immediately after treatment, you might notice slight redness, soreness or swelling in the area.
That said, patients generally feel comfortable returning to work after their procedure. In most cases, side effects don’t last more than 24 hours. (You should hold off on applying makeup for 24 hours to give your skin uninterrupted time to heal, though!)
We'll send you home with a specially designed post-procedure kit to help support and protect your skin as it heals. The cream – our beloved Recovery Lotion – promotes increased oxygen delivery to your skin cells while calming down redness, too.
You’ll also want to use a gentle cleanser to reduce the potential for skin irritation, mainly because your skin will be at its most delicate after your procedure.
Should I add PRP to my treatment?
Microneedling is often discussed alongside another treatment known as platelet-rich plasma, or PRP. This is a great treatment option for people who want to be even more aggressive with addressing their skin concerns without relying on chemicals or painful cosmetic surgeries.
When paired with microneedling, PRP will result in smoother, softer skin that looks brighter and more radiant – that's why we call it liquid gold for your skin!
Your provider will draw your blood and spin it down in a centrifuge. This process separates the components of your blood to remove the PRP without taking the solids and red blood cells with it.
Then, your PRP is applied directly to the surface of your skin after it's been microneedled. You can also choose to have it directly injected into any problem areas to boost healing even more.
PRP uses your body’s own healing elements to speed up the healing process of the skin. It’s just another way that microneedling can hack into your body’s natural abilities to produce impressive results.
To wrap things up...
Microneedling results may not be noticeable right away, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth the wait. Microneedling uses the body’s natural healing process to trick the skin into producing more collagen and increasing the skin cell turnover potential.
That way, your skin can look and feel more firm and radiant, with less visible fine lines, wrinkles, scarring and hyperpigmentation. It's one of our favorite ways to address a number of skin concerns – and ultimately achieve your skin goals!