Medical Micro needling is a treatment that constitutes a form of Collagen Induction Therapy(CIT). It is also referred to as a non ablative skin treatment. This means that the deeper parts of the skin are treated without removing the top layer of skin. It is designed to treat various skin conditions such as fine lines and wrinkles, light scarring from acne and photodamage, and to improve skin colour and other skin texture changes.
As mentioned previously, microneedling is a form of Collagen Induction Therapy(CIT). The idea behind CIT is similar to that of many other non-surgical skin-tightening procedures in that it aims to create a controlled injury underneath the skin's surface, thereby inducing the body to respond through the formation of new tissue layers of elastin- and collagen fibres (neo-collagenesis) as well as new capillaries for an improved blood supply (neo-angiogenesis) in the treated area. The skin plumps and thickens in response to this stimulus, ultimately reducing the appearance of scars, and fine lines and other skin texture changes. In addition to CIT, the channels made from the micro-needles allow topical gels and creams to be absorbed more effectively through the top layer of skin.
It improves the thickness of the dermis as well as the epidermis. This in return improves skin texture and reduces wrinkles. It also has a positive effect on hyper-pigmentation as well as on hypo-pigmentation. Disfiguring scars, especially acne scars, can many times be improved. New collagen fibres can elevate the depressed scar tissue. An improved blood supply (neo-angiogenesis) into the previous fibrotic scar tissue harmonise and blendss the pigmentation with the periphery skin.
As already mentioned, medical microneedling is a non ablative treatment i.e does not remove the top layer of skin. Alternatives are the ablative skin treatments such as lasers, chemical peels and dermabrasions which do remove the top layer of skin and subsequently have more down time and associated side effects and possible risks. However, in situations where the top layer of skin is more obviously affected with more severe changes in colour, wrinkles and quality of skin, then ablative treatments may be indicated and preferred over non ablative skin treatments.
Unlike ablative procedures which are mainly used for facial skin, the Medical Microneedling can be used on all skin parts of the body (neck, décolleté, arms, leg) and face.
The skin is cleaned and numbed with an appropriate numbing cream. Occasionally local anaesthetic injections may be required in certain sensitive areas. The treatment involves rolling a small hand held roller device that is covered with numerous tiny closely-spaced needles many times back and forth along the affected skin region. The skin is thoroughly needled in such a way, that each skin part is needled about 15 to 20 times.
As the device rolls along the skin, these needles penetrate the upper layers of skin to a depth of up to 2mm (depending on the needle length used) producing thousands of tiny puncture marks or micro-medical needle-channels in the skin. Each channel goes no deeper than the skin layer and will be approximately 0.1mm in width. An even pattern of petechiae(minute hemorrhagic spots, of pinpoint to pinhead size, in the skin) after the procedure is the best indication that the procedure has been done effectively.
In general the whole procedure takes between 20-30 minutes depending on the area treated.
A numbing cream on the skin is used before the treatment in order to render the procedure painless. Very occasionally a local anaesthetic injection may be needed for very sensitive areas. Nonetheless, some pressure sensations will still be felt, although these should not be painful.
Recovery after this treatment depends on the length and density of the needles of the rollers used. The skin will be pink or red in appearance for 24-48 hours, much like a sunburn with some minor bleeding and very occasionally some mild bruising. The skin may also feel warm, tight and itchy for a short while. Generally the inflammatory reaction of the skin is overall usually short and fades significantly after a couple of days on average, depending on the skin colour of the individual. Patients with a more sensitive skin type or older patients may take upwards of one week to fully recover.
Side effects and risks are minimal with this type of treatment and typically include minor flaking or dryness of the skin, with some mild scab formation in rare circumstances. Infections are extremely rare. Since the tiny pricking channels close within minutes, and provided the procedure is done under clinical conditions, post-op infections are very unlikely. Small white skin spots(milia) may also form on the skin which can be treated if these are persistent. As this is a non ablative treatment hyperpigmentation or darkening of the skin area treated is highly unlikely but can very rarely occur. This is usually temporary and subsides after the first couple of months. Suitable make-up will be able to conceal this if necessary. If you have a history of cold sores, then this could possibly flare up after the treatment. Please advice us accordingly. We may need to prescribe appropriate anti-viral medication prior to treatment.
Post treatment advice may include:
Using tepid water to cleanse the face for the first 48 hours following treatment and drying the area gently without rubbing.
Ensuring that your hands are always clean when touching the area treated to avoid any infections.
Avoid applying make products for the first 12 hours following treatment although we will advice you when, what and how to apply some mineral based make up products
Optimally it would be good to use a home based cosmetic dermaroller 2-3 times a week in conjuction with an appropriate regime of topical skin care products. We will advise you accordingly.
It can take between 6- 8 weeks before visible signs of skin regeneration are seen and the process will continue to evolve over the ensuing months providing a gradual improvement. Although a single treatment can provide a noticeable result, ideally however a series of 2-3 treatments spaced about 6 -8weeks apart, is recommended to achieve optimal results .
As often as required, but with a minimum separation time of 6 to 8 weeks between treatments.
Principally there is none, both models (medical and home care) only differ in needle size. While the medical Dermarollers used in the clinical settings have longer needles from 0.5 to 1.5 mm to induce collagen in deeper skin layers, the needles of the Home Care Dermaroller are very short, not more than 0.18 to 0.20 mm. In fact, when done at the home you only get a reddening of the skin which lasts for a few minutes. It should becoms part of your daily routine, Although the Home Care Dermaroller does not induce new collagen formation, and is not suitable for scar treatment, it does however help to maintain healthy looking skin.
The Home Care Dermaroller basically helps to:
a) Stimulate epidermal cells for proliferation that results in a faster renewal cycle of the epidermis and thickening of the epidermal cell layers.
b) To improve and support results after and in between collagen induction therapy from medical microneedling
c) To enhance active substances through the skin barrier (stratum corneum) by removing sticky scales on the stratum corneum that block gland ducts and pores.
It is not suitable for patients who:
Have a used Roaccutane(isotretinoin) within the last 3 months.
Have open wounds, cuts or abrasions on the skin.
Have had radiation treatment to the skin within the last year.
Have any kind of current skin infection, condition, herpes simplex in the area to be treated.
Are pregnant or are breast feeding.
Have any history of keloid or hypertrophic scars or poor wound healing.