SkincareWrinkles

Is Micro-Needling Worth It?

microneedling

A lot of my patients ask me about micro-needling, some have had it done and been disappointed with the results and some are just curious about the impact before they book an appointment. In this article, we will go through the pros and cons of micro-needling to uncover the truth about its effectiveness.

Micro-needling is used to treat fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, pigmentation & texture issues. It was originally created because fractionated lasers were performing so well that scientists wanted to come up with a device that was less time consuming but captured the same results.

In my fellowship, after doing my Dermatology residency, I did an aesthetics procedural fellowship in dermatology. Micro-needling had just come out and we were so excited because it was a brand new concept. We began testing the procedure out on our patients and they seemed happy with the results. We noticed that 2-4 days later they had good results but frequently they needed to revisit in a week or a month to get another treatment- the results were not sustainable, especially when compared to laser treatment.

At that time, different companies began introducing modifications to the micro-needling devices including radiofrequency, adding in PRP (platelet rich plasma) and other tweaks to make them a little bit stronger. Unfortunately we still weren’t seeing long lasting results.  

Let’s get into the physics and mechanics of the treatment. Micro-needling is when you poke thousands of tiny little holes with micro-punctures. They can be a medical-grade device or an at home treatment such as a micro-needling pen or micro-needling patch.

We started to see that after the treatments, patients looked really good because they had some transient swelling or inflammation. Whenever you traumatize the skin, fluid gets pulled into the area and can smooth over fine lines, wrinkles, shrink pores and help with acne scars. But days later, when your skin starts to heal, those results go away so you have to go back and get another treatment. You don’t want to have to keep doing these treatments over and over again, for a transient side effect.

I have no problem as a dermatologist with at home treatments but because the results are not lasting, I don’t recommend it to my patients.

Another side effect over time can be post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. If you have any trauma to the skin, whether it is a curling iron burn or an oven burn, your skin gets darker in that area. When the tiny little holes are poked into your skin, there’s increased blood flow to the skin and that stimulates the melanocytes. Micro-needling devices essentially traumatize the skin which causes this hyperpigmentation.

I had a patient come in the other day because she was using an at home micro-needling device for the fine lines and wrinkles under her eyes. She had dark brown patches under her eyes from months and months of using this at home micro-needling device. We had to reverse that pigmentation by using skin care lightening agents and fractionated laser devices.

I want to protect my patients from using products or devices that may have deleterious side effects that in the long run will negatively impact your skin.

In my opinion, it is not worth the time and money for patients to invest in a treatment that is just going to be a temporary fix. I would recommend investing in a baby Fraxel procedure. There are different tiers of lasers and levels of aggression so the lower-tier lasers, such as a Clear Brilliant baby Fraxel or Fraxel facial, would be a better choice. The downtime is minimal, usually, just an hour of redness after the treatment and the cost is equivalent to a micro-needling procedure.

Lasers are microscopic beams of light, that treat micro-thermal zones in the skin. When the laser beam is emitted, it heats up the skin and then dissipates out that heat (a process called coagulation) which stimulates your bodies regeneration process to make collagen. This natural healing method smoothes out acne scars or reduces fine lines. When clients come back to get their second or third treatment 6 or 9 months later, I still see the results from that initial treatment.

As a dermatologist, I recommend my clients invest in treatments that will improve their skin in the long term. Instead of micro-needling, I recommend chemical peels, Clear and Brilliant laser facials, and hydra-facials- things of that nature that are going to have a lasting effect.

A lot of my patients ask me about microneedling, some have had it done and been disappointed with the results and some are just curious about the impact before they book an appointment. In this article we will go through the pros and cons of microneedling to uncover the truth about its effectiveness.

Micro-needling is used to treat fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, pigmentation & texture issues. It was originally created because fractionated lasers were performing so well that scientists wanted to come up with a device that was less time consuming but captured the same results.

In my fellowship, after doing my Dermatology residency, I did an aesthetics procedural fellowship in dermatology. Micro-needling had just come out and we were so excited because it was a brand new concept. We began testing the procedure out on our patients and they seemed happy with the results. We noticed that 2-4 days later they had good results but frequently they needed to revisit in a week or a month to get another treatment- the results were not sustainable, especially when compared to laser treatment.

At that time, different companies began introducing modifications to the micro-needling devices including radiofrequency, adding in PRP (platelet rich plasma) and other tweaks to make them a little bit stronger. Unfortunately we still weren’t seeing long lasting results.  

Let’s get into the physics and mechanics of the treatment. Micro-needling is when you poke thousands of tiny little holes with micro-punctures. They can be a medical-grade device or an at home treatment such as a micro needling pen or micro-needling patch.

We started to see that after the treatments, patients looked really good because they had some transient swelling or inflammation. Whenever you traumatize the skin, fluid gets pulled into the area and can smooth over fine lines, wrinkles, shrink pores and help with acne scars. But days later, when your skin starts to heal, those results go away so you have to go back and get another treatment. You don’t want to have to keep doing these treatments over and over again, for a transient side effect.

I have no problem as a dermatologist with at home treatments but because the results are not lasting, I don’t recommend it to my patients.

Another side effect over time can be post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. If you have any trauma to the skin, whether its a curling iron burn or an oven burn, your skin gets darker in that area. When the tiny little holes are poked into your skin, there’s an increased blood flow to the skin and that stimulates the melanocytes. Micro-needling devices essentially traumatize the skin which causes this hyperpigmentation.

I had a patient come in the other day because she was using an at home micro-needling device for the fine lines and wrinkles under her eyes. She had dark brown patches under her eyes from months and months of using this at home micro-needling device. We had to reverse that pigmentation by using skin care lightening agents and fractionated laser devices.

I want to protect my patients from using products or devices that may have deleterious side effects that in the long run will negatively impact your skin.

In my opinion, it is not worth the time and money for patients to invest in a treatment that is just going to be a temporary fix. I would recommend investing in a baby fraxel procedure. There are different tiers of lasers and levels of aggression so the lower-tier lasers, such as a Clear Brilliant baby fraxel or fraxel facial, would be a better choice. The downtime is minimal, usually just an hour of redness after the treatment and the cost is equivalent to a microneedling procedure.

Lasers are microscopic beams of light, that treat micro-thermal zones in the skin. When the laser beam is emitted, it heats up the skin and then dissipates out that heat (a process called coagulation) which stimulates your bodies regeneration process to make collagen. This naturally healing method smoothes out acne scars or reduces fine lines. When clients come back to get their second or third treatment 6 or 9 months later, I still see the results from that initial treatment.

As a dermatologist, I recommend my clients invest in treatments that will improve their skin in the long term. Instead of micro-needling I recommend chemical peels, Clear and Brilliant laser facials and hydrafacials- things of that nature that are going to have a lasting effect.

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