Microneedling is a skin rejuvenation procedure in which tiny needles are introduced into the skin to create microscopic channels. These tiny channels stimulate the skin’s natural ability to heal and regrow. Microneedling stimulates the body’s own wound healing systems to correct scars and hyperpigmentation. Common treatment areas include the face, neck, and chest.
Microneedling gives your skin a second chance to heal. When performed over acne scars, the micro-injuries caused by the tiny needles prompt the skin to heal itself. First, the immune system responds by sending immune cells and increasing blood flow to the treated area. Second, cells in the skin produce new, healthy proteins such as collagen to rebuild the area. Lastly, microneedling causes the tissue to remodel itself, producing smooth, revitalized skin. Microneedling is also known as Collagen Induction Therapy.
Microneedling has been shown in clinical trials[i] to improve the appearance of mild to moderate acne scars.
This procedure can also be used to treat a wide variety of conditions including:
Medical microneedling is a procedure that is performed under physician supervision using FDA-cleared equipment (e.g. SkinPen). While DIY and cosmetic needling procedures use relatively short needles, medical microneedling uses longer needles to reach deeper layers of the skin, namely the dermis. Targeting the dermis is the only way to treat deep scars and wrinkles.
SkinPen is the first microneedling system cleared by the FDA. The system was cleared for the safe and effective treatment of facial acne scarsat physician-led practices. As a medical microneedling system, SkinPen uses longer microneedles that reach the dermis for more effective treatment. Unlike other systems, SkinPen incorporates a patent-pending, sterile, single use cartridge that is discarded after every use. This disposable system eliminates the risk of transmitting infection from patient to patient. A unique and proprietary covering called BioSheath surrounds SkinPen, which prevents cross contamination between injections.
Clinical trial data show SkinPen is effective on mild to moderate acne scars and improves overall skin appearance. No patient in the clinical trial had an adverse event related to SkinPen use, and 90% of patients were satisfied with their results after six months. Moreover, SkinPen can be used to treat all degrees of skin pigment, from light to very dark.
The procedure begins by the application of a topical treatment to your skin. While microneedling does not cause pain, it can be slightly uncomfortable—most patients describe feeling a vibration. Nonetheless, a numbing gel may be applied to the skin for added comfort. A handheld device is then used to create microscopic tracks in the skin through problem areas, such as acne scars and wrinkles. A single microneedling procedure lasts under one hour. Patients generally require three treatments, spaced one month apart, to achieve optimal results.
Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure with little to no downtime. Most patients return to work the next day. The skin will appear pink or mildly red immediately after the procedure—this is normal. Some patients also described feeling dry, itchy, or tender skin, though these symptoms resolve on their own in about 24 hours. A skin care treatment may be recommended in the days to weeks after microneedling. For best results, patients should not wear makeup and avoid direct sunlight for one to two days after treatment.
[i] Medical microneedling with SkinPen