One of the hottest treatments in my practice right now is microneedling. This actually isn’t a new treatment, but over the past year or so, it has regained popularity as technological advances have improved what this procedure can do to rejuvenate the skin.

You may have seen handheld rollers with tiny needles that, when rolled on the skin, cause microtrauma to it. These “dermal rollers” puncture the skin to very tiny depths, typically less than one millimeter, causing the skin to be temporarily damaged. When the skin is damaged, the healing process causes the collagen in the skin to heal in a tighter, smoother fashion. This is also how lasers and chemical peels cause our skin to look more youthful.

The problem with the handheld dermal rollers is that the round shape of the roller can cause the depth of the puncture to vary. Therefore, several companies now manufacture handheld automated microneedling devices. These devices can be calibrated to create a very consistent depth of micropuncture, from one to two millimeters and even deeper. This allows the doctor or aesthetician to tailor the treatment to how aggressive the patient wants. The deeper the punctures, the more trauma to the skin and the greater the changes.

Microneedling is now being combined with the topical application of growth factors for an even greater rejuvenating effect to the skin. The idea is that the tiny punctures created by microneedling can act as channels into the deeper skin (the dermis). Applying a growth factor serum immediately after the microneedling treatment allows it to penetrate deep into the skin to rejuvenate it. Many practices have seen great changes to the skin by using this potent microneedling and growth factor combination. The skin becomes smoother and tighter and has fewer fine lines. It can even improve acne scarring.

Some doctors are combining microneedling with the application of growth factors from platelet-rich plasma (PRP). In this process, the doctor or nurse draws the patient’s blood, spins it down, removes the platelets, and applies this substance (PRP) on the treated skin. The PRP is chock-full of a patient’s own all-natural growth factors. Combining microneedling with PRP can look pretty gruesome, but many doctors swear by it. In my practice, we’re combining microneedling with Tensage Growth Factor Serum. My aestheticians (who perform the microneedling for my patients) don’t want to deal with vials of blood, so we prefer the much cleaner, commercially available Tensage.

Automated microneedling treatments can take about forty-five minutes in a doctor’s office or medical spa and can range from $200 for a superficial treatment to $1,000+ when PRP is used. Downtime is typically a day or two, unless you have a deeper treatment. It’s very important to inform the doctor or aesthetician if you have a history of cold sores so that he or she can prescribe you an antiviral medication to prevent an eruption after the procedure.

To learn more about microneedling at Youn Plastic Surgery, click HERE.

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