Microneedling is a treatment used to stimulate new cell growth, thus improving the overall appearance of the skin. During the procedure, a professional will create microscopic punctures in the skin using a device, most often a microneedling pen. The procedure can effectively treat wrinkles, uneven skin tone, sun damage, acne scarring, and large pores, among other cosmetic imperfections, and the most common treatment areas include the face, neck, hands, chest, and on stretchmarks around the body.
This safe, effective, and relatively painless procedure is used around the world to increase collagen and elastin production, which are necessary to maintain skin strength and elasticity. Also known as Collagen Induction Therapy, the treatment has helped countless patients improve the overall tone and texture of their skin.
Skin Pens vs Dermarollers
Microneedling has been a popular treatment for decades, which means there have been several changes to the technology. The dermaroller is one of the oldest but most cost-effective devices, especially for microneedling at home. The roller is a handheld tool with a rolling drum lined with fine needles. The drum is rolled across the skin, allowing the needles to briefly and lightly puncture the epidermis, typically at a 45-degree angle.
By contrast, the skin pen is a newer development in skincare technology. This handheld device uses a disposable tip, which is equipped with fine needles. The pen has a small motor that allows the needles to more easily penetrate the skin vertically, thus creating a most consistent treatment delivery.
Skin pens are less painful and less traumatic on the skin because they can create clean, uniform puncture wounds that heal more quickly. As a result, these pens are more effective. However, skin pens are expensive and more difficult to use than the antiquated dermaroller, which means seeing a professional is often the best, safest, and most efficient option for a microneedling treatment.
What to Expect from a Microneedling Treatment
Because the treatment involves puncturing the skin, patients can expect to feel a slight discomfort. However, a topical numbing cream is applied for the first 20-30 minutes of the treatment, and the procedure itself typically takes only 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the targeted area.
After a microneedling treatment, patients may experience a sensation similar to a mild sunburn, and scabbing and/or peeling can occur in the days immediately following the procedure. The treated skin will appear plump and luminous for several weeks, but the procedure can reap long-term benefits, too; a 2008 study found a 400% increase in collagen and elastin production in the skin six months after completing a treatment. This improvement is gradual, though, meaning patients may need up to five treatments. The most visible microneedling benefits appear 3 to 6 months after the last procedure.
Microneedling is a great procedure for addressing cosmetic skin imperfections. If you live in the St. Louis area, a consultation with one of our dermatologists can determine whether this treatment works with your skin and lifestyle.
*Results may vary per patient.