Microneedling – The Latest Innovation in Skin Resurfacing
Dr. Michael A. Epstein at MAE Plastic Surgery is among the few board-certified plastic surgeons in the Chicago area to offer the DermaPen® Microneedling treatment, the latest innovation in skin resurfacing. FDA-approved, this electronic device, which actually resembles a pen, uses multiple fine needles to vertically pierce the skin resulting in the stimulation of collagen and skin rejuvenation.
This innovative microneedling process is ideal for anyone who would like to minimize the appearance of wrinkles, stretch marks, and scars (including those caused by acne). It has also been shown to minimize pores. By penetrating the skin with tiny needles, tiny wound patterns are created that break down old collagen chains, while activating the healing process. It is this process that leads to the smooth appearance of wrinkles, scars and stretch marks.
Sterile, disposable needle tips are used that are easily adjustable to work on different parts of the face and body, which require different penetration levels for optimal results. Healing and rejuvenation begin immediately after the procedure, with visible results in up to four weeks.
Microneedling is recommended for treating:
- Aged sagging skin
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Smokers lines around the lips
- Skin tightening and rejuvenation
- Large pores
- Stretch marks
- Scars (acne, surgical and burns)
- And many other cosmetic imperfections
Frequently Asked Questions
How does microneedling work?
Using multiple tiny needles to vertically penetrate the surface layers of the skin, older collagen chains are broken-up to stimulate the production of new collagen and elastin.
How does microneedling treat wrinkles, stretch marks and scars?
Very simply, the skin needling technique is based on the skin’s ability to heal itself after an injury. Immediately after the skin encounters any physical damage, it eliminates the damaged tissue to replace it with new, healthy skin (think of how a cut heals itself). Microneedling induces small, controlled areas of damage (skin needling) to trigger the production of new collagen without the risks of scarring. This results in smoother and firmer skin.
How long will it be before I see results from microneedling, and what can I expect after my treatment?
As Dr. Epstein has found, each patient’s healing time varies, though most of his patients start to see results in one day to a week after treatment. Immediately after treatment, patients may notice a red appearance in the treatment area, and in rare cases there may be some minor pin-point bleeding depending on the depth of the needle penetration (which is adjustable based on the area being treated). Even a light treatment can enhance the appearance of skin texture and brighten the complexion.
How is microneedling different from other techniques?
Up until now, the most common needling technique was a roller with needles spread across an applicator. The problem with this technique is that the rolling movement along the skin created unnecessary epidermal damage as the needles would tug and pull the tissue with each roll. Unlike the roller, Dr. Epstein utilizes a unique applicator that is completely vertical, minimizing unnecessary injury to the treatment area. The carefully controlled, disposable needle applicator only moves in an up-and-down motion, which results in less recovery time and a more comfortable experience for patients. Furthermore, the size and design of the tools used are ideal for tight (or rounded) areas where a roller can’t fit (like the crease of the nose, along the upper lip, and across the chin).
How does a microneedling treatment feel?
Depending on the depth of treatment decided by Dr. Epstein or one of his aestheticians, topical numbing creams can be used to help increase the patient’s level of comfort. The microneedling applicator can be adjusted to a length of .5mm to 2.5mm depending on the skin condition. Those who undergo a microneedling treatment with a shorter needle usually describe it as a tickling sensation. A numbing cream is recommended for those undergoing treatment with a deeper needle.
How many microneedling treatments are needed?
Each person’s skin conditions are different and require varying levels of treatment. Those with mild wrinkles and fine lines may see improvement after just one treatment, while more advanced skin conditions such as acne scarring, may require more than one session. The number of treatment sessions required will be determined during your consultation with one of Dr. Epstein’s aestheticians. Typically, a series of 3-5 treatments (4 to 6 weeks apart) have been shown to achieve optimal results. Depending on the area being treated, the sessions may last 30 to 60 minutes.
Is microneedling safe for darker skin types?
Yes, microneedling is safe for all skin types. Since there is no melanin-absorbing laser involved, and no heat is being used, this procedure is safe for darker skin.
What are the immediate after-effects of a microneedling treatment?
Immediately following your microneedling treatment, there will be some redness. In some cases, there may also be some minimal bleeding. Dr. Epstein’s aestheticians advise their patients on how to best care for the skin in the days and weeks following treatment to ensure proper healing. Patients are advised to avoid the sun, and use sun protection after treatment. There is little to no down time. Most of Dr. Epstein’s patients return to their normal activities within a day.