Unveiling the Magic of Skin Needling
Skin needling is an innovative rejuvenation treatment with years of research to back up its popularity. Also known as microneedling, this advanced skin treatment provides beneficial results to a vast range of skin concerns with minimal downtime required.
The Science Behind Skin Needling
Dr. Desmond Fernandes developed the first microneedling product in 2006, but collagen induction therapy has roots that trace back to 1995. The original concept involved the use of hypodermic needles to encourage wound healing in scars where the skin had lost integrity.
The physical trauma caused by needle penetration into the skin, stimulates the wound healing response which helps the dermis layer to rejuvenate. The fine microchannels from the needling device cause minimal damage to the outer layer of the skin, while working on the dermal layer to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. This results in improved skin texture, plumpness and firmness.
Microneedles deliver a controlled skin injury that has minimum superficial bleeding but triggers a wound-healing response that releases a number of growth factors. The tiny punctures also break down fibrous scar tissue and encourages the skin to revascularise.
These skin-growth functions result in increased collagen production, with some studies demonstrating a 400% increase in elastin and collagen deposits six months after the treatment. It has also shown promising results in treating pigmentation disorders, alopecia and atrophic scars.
The Visual and Physical Impact of Collagen and Elastin Production
Collagen is a natural protein produced by the body that builds tendons, ligaments, muscles, hair, skin and bones. In our skin, collagen provides structure and form, while elastin provides stretch and elasticity. Together they form the building blocks that keep skin from sagging.
Over time, collagen production decreases. Women lose approximately 1% of collagen every year. As this happens, wrinkles and fine lines in the skin become more evident and pronounced.
Skin needling combats these changes by stimulating collagen and elastin production. By increasing the amount of collagen and elastin the body produces, you can encourage more elasticity and strength in your skin to change your appearance.
Common Dermatologic Concerns Treated with Skin Needling
Wrinkles and fine lines aren’t the only visual concerns ageing women have with their skin. Long-term sun exposure can lead to hyperpigmentation and age spots. These create a brown and blotchy complexion and uneven skin tone.
For those who’ve dealt with terrible acne, the scarring can be noticeable. This impact on personal physical appearance often has a lasting emotional impact. Oversized pores are also visible and can be embarrassing, as are stretch marks and other skin blemishes.
Thanks to advancements in skin needling technology, combating these concerns has become more feasible than ever. There are several ways to receive collagen induction therapy.
The Options for Microneeding Products
Throughout the years, a number of products have come on the market to treat wrinkles and scarring as well as improve the appearance of the skin and induce skin rejuvenation. Along with showing success in cosmetic treatments, skin needling also has applications in treating hair loss and scar rejuvenation.
The Original Dermaroller
The initial delivery method of micropunctures is a drum-shaped cylinder dermaroller. The original dermaroller has a 2x2 cm cylinder containing eight rows and 24 arrays of 192 fine microneedles. These can range from 0.5 to three millimetres in length and 0.1 to 0.25 millimetres in diameter. The needles are single-use and pre-sterilized by gamma irradiation.
With the original dermaroller, the device rolls over an area 15 times and produces about 250 holes per square centimetre wherever pressure is applied. Each rolled pass produces 16 micropunctures.
Over time, the dermaroller evolved and a number of different technologies have been developed to provide a more painless skin needling treatment. These use electronic skin pen devices to deliver the needles at an increased needle cycle with minimal downtime, producing significant results with the higher accuracy and the most comfort.
Skin needling advancements have led to the development of an automated microneedling device. Called the Dermapen because of its resemblance to a pen, this economical device uses disposable needles. It also has guides that allow a clinician to adjust the needle length during treatment.
The tip typically has rows of nine to 12 needles and operates at variable speeds. In the low-speed mode, it delivers 412 cycles per minute, while the high-speed mode has 700 cycles per minute. The pen works in a vibrating, stamp-like motion.
One of the advantages of using the Dermapen is the convenience of multiple uses for different patients. With its disposable needles, it’s considered a safer option than a standard dermaroller, since the needles are contained within the guides.
Clinicians find that it is easier to treat narrow areas around the eyes, nose or lips without damaging any of the adjoining skin. Patients find treatments using a Dermapen less painful, as there is more consistency with how deeply the needles penetrate since the battery-powered force and pressure applied doesn't vary between users.
Here at Lavish we are proud to provide the latest innovation in skin needling treatments with Dermapen 4. This is the latest iteration of the device available and now has a dedicated scar setting to specifically target a range of scar types including post-surgical scars, stretch marks and acne scars to name a few. It also utilises an oscillation feature which considerably reduces any patient discomfort.
Another modern option for skin needling treatment is DermaFrac. Dermafrac is a lower intensity skin needling treatment that combines several therapy treatments into a single treatment booking:
- LED therapy
- Simultaneous deep tissue serum infusion
The method combines microneedling with a vacuum technology that lifts skin into the microneedles. This combination approach allows the microneedles to produce fine superficial microchannels for optimal penetration of active ingredients.
This treatment targets sun-damaged skin, enlarged pores, ageing spots, hyperpigmentation or uneven skin tone, wrinkles and superficial scars.
One benefit of DermaFrac is that it avoids downtime for serum infusion and other facial product use. While some patients may experience slight redness of the skin, it’s possible to cover this up with a breathable mineral makeup following the treatment.
While it’s possible to purchase dermarollers for homecare, there are concerns over the health, safety and end results of using these products. Treatments provided in clinical settings adhere to strict sterilisation and safety policies, whereas trying a DIY method at home creates a potential for infection, skin damage and other concerns.
The Healing Process for Skin Needling
Microneedling is minimally invasive, but there is some recovery time recommended after treatment. In addition to experiencing temporary redness of the skin, you may have short-term symptoms like breakouts or peeling. It’s also common to notice swelling or flaking. However, these symptoms should resolve in 24-48 hours.
Gentle cleansers and moisturisers can help reduce possible side effects, and the downtime for this treatment is short-lived compared to other cosmetic procedures. You should see visible recovery occurring within the first day or two after your treatment, while the healing from the inside out continues for several weeks.
Your clinician will provide specific instructions on how to care for yourself after skin needling. Your skin type and medical history are an important part of the aftercare instructions, along with these two basic points.
1. Prevent Infection
Microneedling causes open wounds over the treatment area. You can limit the potential for infection by washing your hands before touching your face and avoiding makeup for at least 24 hours after the treatment. Mineral makeup can be applied however. You should also avoid swimming pools, sweat-inducing activities and saunas for at least 72 hours.
2. Protect from Sun Damage
Wearing SPF daily is key to maintaining youthful skin but it is ever more important after skin needling treatments. Ensure you put on sunscreen every day for the first two weeks after your treatment. Your skin will be more susceptible to sun damage, therefore sun protection is a high priority.
The Results of Microneedling
The effectiveness of the treatment is different for everyone, but research supports positive results in evening out skin tone, fading blemishes or scarring, and reducing wrinkles and fine lines. Improving collagen production through the stimulating effect of microneedling is a natural way to look younger and improve your appearance.