You’ve probably been hearing quite a lot about microneedling recently. This skin treatment has become increasingly popular with people looking to improve the appearance of their skin of late. But is microneedling safe, and do the advantages outweigh the risks?
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of microneedling.
What is Microneedling?
Microneedling, sometimes also called dermarolling, works by using tiny needles that prick the skin in order to encourage collagen production. Generally, a roller with hundreds of tiny needles is rolled across the skin of the face. The skin naturally produces collagen as a wound healing device, but collagen also has the effect of making the skin more supple and youthful in appearance. Additionally, proponents say that the needles used in microneedling deliver active ingredients deeper into the skin, for additional benefits.
Poking your skin with needles and causing injuries may sound dangerous, however, this is referred to “minimally invasive” procedure as it has limited impacts on the skin. The needles are so small that they create punctures that are so tiny that they are invisible.
With the increasing popularity of this technique, it is now possible to not only find microneedling at the dermatologist but also to do it yourself using an at-home microneedling treatment. Although microneedling has a number of advantages, there are also some disadvantages and risks you should be aware of, particularly if you are planning on doing this at home.
Advantages of Microneedling
As well as making the skin more plump and supple, reducing the appearance of aging in the skin through the production of more collagen, microneedling can reduce the appearance of acne scars, reverse sun damage, and address hyperpigmentation. Increased collagen not only helps smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, but it also helps to manage loose skin, stretch marks and scars.
Although most commonly used on the face, microneedling is also suitable for other parts of the body. It can be used on any areas of the skin that need repair, including the stomach, legs, chest, and back. Besides the skin, microneedling can also help with hair loss. Although it will depend on the individual case, for some people microneedling will help to stimulate the scalp, and trigger hormone production to help with hair growth and follicle and hair size.
A major advantage of microneedling compared to other similar skin treatments is the downtime. Laser treatment, for example, typically involves a recovery time of two to three weeks. Chemical peels and dermabrasion also have long recovery times. For microneedling, on the other hand, you can expect your skin to have redness and some swelling, but this should clear up in around three to five days only. Unlike some other skin treatments, microneedling doesn’t permanently damage the skin and involves less risk than many treatments.
Microneedling can also deliver additional benefits when used in conjunction with serums. The tiny needles drive the skincare serum deeper into the skin, causing absorption at a deeper level. Using microneedling with serums that have active ingredients like peptides or stem cells will maximize the effects of increased collagen production, plumping up the skin, and reducing fine lines.
Disadvantages of Microneedling
It should be noted that the positive impacts of microneedling are not instant, nor are they permanent. To receive the benefits of microneedling, you’ll need a series of treatments, usually three to five at a minimum. The effects will typically last between four and six weeks before you’ll need to repeat the treatment.
If you choose to go ahead with microneedling, you will have two main choices: at-home or in-office treatment. In-office treatments can get quite expensive, particularly considering that the treatment needs to be repeated regularly. At home treatments, on the other hand, can be less effective, especially if you choose a smaller roller because it is less expensive. Any roller smaller than 2mm may not give you the results you are looking for.
Additionally, although microneedling is a low-risk procedure, especially compared to other cosmetic skin treatments, this does not mean that it is risk-free. There is a small risk of scarring, particularly if any of the needles are bent or dull. There is also a risk of infection if the needles are not correctly sterilized.
Some of these risks can be managed to some extent by using a moisturizer designed for microneedling following your treatment. However, the greatest risk factors are if the device has not been properly calibrated or is not properly used, which is a particular risk if you are performing your own treatment at home. Therefore if you are going to perform an at-home microneedling treatment it is important to carefully read and follow the instructions.
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