Microneedling: A Transformative Skin Treatment
Microneedling is an incredibly transformative treatment for the skin - but not a lot of people actually understand the ins and outs of how it works. In this article, we are going to break it down - let's get into it!
Micro-needling uses tiny needles to create thousands of micro-injuries in the skin via a needling pen (pictured above). These needles move in and out of the skin at an extremely rapid rate, and usually at depths between 0.25-1.5mm.
When the skin is injured, it goes into overdrive producing collagen and elastin to repair the damage. What we are doing with micro-needling, is creating a controlled tissue injury, just enough to stimulate that same healing response, resulting in significantly increased collagen and elastin production. Not only that, but the healing cascade results in remodelling of the dermal tissue, a process that is transformative for scar tissue (acne, surgical), fine lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, and enlarged pores.
It's a great alternative to more aggressive skin remodelling treatments such as fractional laser, or deep chemical peels - and is a lot safer for darker skin types. It also causes significantly less trauma to the skin, and comes with far less risk than more traditional remodelling methods - while still delivering transformative results.
The Wound Healing Response
The wound healing response is KEY - it's this process that ultimately delivers the results of micro-needling treatments.
Immediately after a micro-needling treatment, there is a release of growth factors and other chemical messengers within the skin to generate vasodilation and bring more blood flow to the treated area. After this, the skin goes through three main phases of healing:
Inflammatory Phase (up to 7 days post treatment)
- release of growth factors
- immune cells break down injured tissue/debris and clear it away
Proliferative Phase (from day 3 - 14 post treatment)
- rapid production of new kertatinocytes (skin cells) and fibroblasts (cells that produce collagen and elastin)
- formation of new collagen (type 3) and elastin
- formation of new blood vessels to bring more bloodflow to the treated area
- increase in nutrition and oxygen to the treated areas of skin
Remodelling Phase (from 2 weeks post treatment until around 6 months post treatment)
- improved organisation of skin tissue
- conversion of collagen from type 3 to type 1
- tissue contraction (resulting in tightening and firming of the skin)
- increased tensile strength of the skin
Does it hurt? Do you use numbing cream?
Probably the two most common questions we receive on this treatment. Pain response to the treatment is actually really variable - some of our clients find it barely painful, while others (me included!) find it a bit more painful, but still manageable. If you have a low pain tolerance like me, we offer (amazing) numbing cream at the clinic, which makes the treatment a breeze - you won't feel a thing.
What about downtime?
For 24-48 hours following the treatment, the skin will feel tight and dry (very similar to a mild sunburn), and flaking can happen, although usually only with deeper treatments. Redness in the skin after micro-needling lasts anywhere between 12-24 hours, depending on the person.
It IS important to avoid excessive heat in the skin for 24-48 hours - including heavy exercise, saunas, hot yoga, etc - and avoid active skincare for the week following treatment.
Micro-needling is cumulative treatment - meaning it requires a course of multiple treatments to see results. We usually recommend courses of 4-6 treatments, at four week intervals. The number of treatments required varies depending on the skin concern we are treating.
Not sure if micro-needling is right for you? Book in a complimentary consultation with one of our experienced skin therapists to have a more in depth discussion about your skin goals.