Microneedling: A Natural Anti-Aging Treatment
Cosmetic Treatment News: All You Need to Know About Microneedling
Microneedling is the ultimate “natural” skin care fix and can be done in the amount of time it takes to wait in line for a custom salad. Here, Allison Santhouse, PA-C explains why this low-tech treatment is in such high demand for perfect skin seekers.
What is microneedling?
Allison Santhouse, PA-C: Microneedling is a treatment that uses small needles to induce a controlled skin injury to stimulate collagen production. The body responds to the injury by healing the skin and replacing the micro-wounds with new collagen and elastin, which are the scaffolding of the skin.
How long does the treatment take?
AS: It is a minimally invasive treatment which takes 15-20 minutes. Most patients require 20 minutes of a topical anesthetic which makes the treatment virtually painless. This is a great lunchtime treatment with minimal downtime. Treatments are performed one month apart, with approximately three-six treatments total.
What does the device look like?
AS: A microneedling is a device the size of a large pen and has tiny needles on its tip. There is no laser or light used during the treatment. The needle penetrates the skin .025-2.5 mm in depth pending the skin condition we are treating (acne scars require higher settings and deeper skin penetration).
How does the in-office device compare to at-home models?
AS: At home rollers should never be used because they can tear the skin and cause new scarring and infection.
What skin issues can a micro needling pen treat?
AS: Acne scars (new and old) , fine lines and wrinkles, pore size/texture improvement. (I also believe it can help with skin tightening and pigmentation from my experience using it but I typically don’t make these claims to patients). The Rejuvapen is great for wrinkles around the eyes (periorbital wrinkles). I can typically get much closer to the eye with the microneedle vs. a laser. Within one to two weeks, patients notice skin texture improvement, “the Oscar skin glow”, reduced pore size. Acne scars start to improve over time and after one-two treatments some changes are seen.
What treatments complement microneedling?
AS: Most of my Fraxel laser patients alternate with microneedling if they have acne scars. For acne scarring, I typically recommend three to four Fraxel treatments and three to four microneedling treatments for best results. Acne scarring results are significantly better when Fraxel is paired with microneedling and we switch off between the two treatments. The microneedle physically breaks up the scar tissue and preps the skin for the laser to continue resurfacing the skin and build the new collagen necessary to reduce the acne scars. I also like to use microneedling with the Clear + Brilliant laser. Both have minimal downtime and the results are excellent for texture improvement, sun damage and antiaging. They are complementary treatments and appeal to a younger patient who is not ready for the downtime of a Fraxel.
What do your patients love about microneedling?
AS: There is a subset of patients asking for more “natural” anti-aging treatments, which do not involve lasers, fillers or neurotoxins. Microneedling has captured the patient looking for a more holistic office procedure. Compared to lasers it is often a less costly treatment and is a good alternative for patients on a budget.
Allison Santhouse, PA-C treats patients at Schweiger Dermatology Group’s new Broadway location in Manhattan.