What is Microneedling?
The body has amazing healing abilities. Microneedling at Claytor Noone Plastic Surgery puts those healing properties to work. Microneedling creates hundreds of microscopic punctures in the skin, which initiates a “wound healing” response in the body. The result is improved skin texture and firmness, decreased acne scarring, and reduction of large pores and visible stretch marks.
At Claytor Noone Plastic Surgery, we use the SkinPen for our microneedling. The SkinPen has 14 oscillating needles that can be set to different penetration depths, depending on the patient’s skin and the treatment site. Our aesthetician, Jessica Sager, performs our microneedling treatments and can adjust the penetration depth up to 2.5mm. She moves the SkinPen across the treatment area, and the pen’s 14 needles move up and down creating microscopic punctures through the epidermis, the skin’s outer layer, down into the dermis layer. Although the tiny punctures/channels begin to heal almost immediately, your body perceives the punctures as wounds and a wound-repair response is triggered. The body produces new collagen and elastin to send to the “wound” to heal it. Collagen is a protein responsible for the skin’s structural support, while elastin makes the skin firm, yet pliable.
Beyond triggering the wound response, the microscopic channels also make the skin more available to healing serums that can penetrate the skin far more effectively. This further improves the skin’s health and appearance.
Why Is Collagen Production Important?
Collagen is the protein in our skin that provides its structural framework. When we’re young, the body is producing the most collagen; that’s why young skin is firm, plump, and resistant to the development of wrinkles. The problem is that our collagen and elastin production drops dramatically as we age. At the age of 20, our collagen production has peaked, and it will drop one additional percentage point every year from there on out. At 40, we’re producing 20 percent less collagen, 30 percent less at 50! That’s why older skin develops more wrinkles and creases, and why it begins to sag. Microneedling aims to jumpstart your collagen production.
What Skin Issues Does Microneedling Improve?
At Claytor Noone Plastic Surgery, we use microneedling on all skin tones and it doesn’t cause hyperpigmentation. It can be used anywhere on the body, but the face, neck, and décolletage are the typical targets. Here are skin conditions we treat with microneedling:
- Acne scars
- Large pores
- Fine lines
- Uneven texture
- Stretch marks
Doesn’t Puncturing Your Skin with the SkinPen Needles Hurt?
When first hearing about microneedling, most people assume it has to hurt, a lot. After all, how can the creation of hundreds of punctures in the skin not hurt? Actually, microneedling doesn’t hurt at all. First, we apply topical numbing cream prior to your session. This keeps your skin comfortable during the treatment. The forehead is more sensitive than other areas because the skin isn’t as thick, but we shorten the needle penetration with that in mind. Patients tell us that microneedling feels as if the aesthetician is moving a light grade of sandpaper across the skin.
What Is the Microneedling Procedure Like?
Before your microneedling session begins, Jessica will apply a topical numbing cream to your treatment areas and this is allowed to take effect. She then attaches a new, sterile, 14-needle cartridge to the SkinPen, and she selects the appropriate penetration depth setting based on your treatment needs, your skin thickness, and other variables. Next, in a single motion, the pen is gently pressed against the skin while simultaneously gliding across in one direction. This is repeated until the entire treatment area has been covered. As soon as she has completed the SkinPen passes, an oatmeal extract with vitamin E is applied to your skin to calm it and start the healing process.
Am I a Good Candidate for Microneedling?
There really are not any limitations on who could benefit from microneedling. It doesn’t cause hyperpigmentation, as some other resurfacing procedures do. The punctures are only superficial and they heal within just a few hours. This is a very safe, easy, and effective method for improving your skin at Claytor Noone Plastic Surgery.
How Long Does a Microneedling Session Last?
Treatments can take anywhere from 20-60 minutes, depending on the area/areas you are having treated. For example, a face treatment typically takes from 20-30 minutes.
How Does Microneedling Improve Acne Scars?
As the SkinPen is gently moved across the treatment areas, the microneedles move up and down creating hundreds of punctures. The punctures penetrate the epidermis and enter the dermis. The individual punctures are microscopic, and they are surrounded by untouched skin. This skin instantly gets busy healing the wound next to it, and the punctures fully heal within just a few hours. This works to immediately improve the skin’s texture.
When your skin is penetrated into the dermis layer, the body perceives this as a wound, in fact, hundreds of wounds. It initiates a healing response in the skin. First, the skin actively remodels the existing collagen, instantly tightening the skin. Then it signals to increase production of collagen, the protein in the skin responsible for the skin’s underlying support structure. It also increases elastin production, which helps the skin with elasticity and suppleness. The end result is that the skin firms, creates new cells, helps break down existing scars and large pores, and then sends supplies of new collagen and elastin to the area. This helps to even out the skin texture, lessening the appearance of acne scars. Plus, this makes the skin thicker in the treatment area to counteract the thinning that comes with age.
When Will I See Results and How Long Will They Last?
As your skin reacts to the punctures, you will have an immediate glow, but microneedling results build with time. This is because your body increases the production of collagen and elastin for weeks. Therefore, visible changes with the skin develop over the course of several days and weeks. Your results can continue to improve for up to six months.
How long your results will last is dependent on your body. The new collagen and elastin aren’t going anywhere, but your body otherwise continues to produce less collagen as you age. That’s why at Claytor Noone Plastic Surgery we recommend ongoing ”maintenance” microneedling treatments with the SkinPen.
How Often Can I Have Microneedling Done?
To allow the skin to fully heal and complete its collagen production increase, microneedling can be done once every 4-6 weeks. At Claytor Noone Plastic Surgery, we recommend at least three treatments for collagen building and 3-6 treatments to lessen scarring. From there maintenance is a good idea. This works to counteract your continuing decreasing collagen production.
What Will I Look like After My Microneedling Session?
Your skin will appear red and flushed after your microneedling session, almost as if it you have a mild sunburn. The degree of redness will correlate to the number of passes over the treatment areas and the depth of the setting for the needle penetration. Your skin will feel dry and it will probably peel. That’s why we include a post-procedure kit. This kit is provided by SkinPen and includes a 3-month supply of cleanser, hydrating support, vitamin C serum, and sunblock. Your redness will take a day or so to resolve. There may also be some slight swelling and your skin will feel tight for a day or so. It’s optimal to schedule your session as an after-work procedure because by the next morning most of the redness will have passed. You don’t have to restrict your activities at all after microneedling.
“Experienced and very friendly team! Dr. Claytor cares deeply for his patients’ concerns and the results of his procedure.” – Christina P.
Can I Wear Makeup or Go out in the Sun After Microneedling?
It’s a good idea to leave your face without any makeup the night after your procedure. In the morning, you’ll use the SkinPen cleanser and hydration lotion. You can apply makeup at that point. You must be careful with sun exposure, as your skin will be healing and will be somewhat defenseless. When you’re outside, you’ll need to use sunscreen with at least 30 SPF for a few weeks.