Microneedling has become increasingly popular as a simple procedure to stimulate collagen production. It can help improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, scars, uneven skin texture, and when done with appropriate skin care can also help some types of hyperpigmentation such as melasma. Our consultant dermatologist, Dr Anne Farrell, can determine if this procedure can help achieve your cosmetic goals.
How Does Microneedling Work?
Very tiny, thin microneedles (less than a hair in width) are used to make superficial breaks in the skin. Because the needles are so small, the tiny holes are barely visible to the naked eye and heal within a few hours.
The tiny holes are separated by small islands of untreated skin which are stimulated by the microscopic injury to produce growth factors which form new collagen and elastin. This can produce a new, better quality dermis and, as a result, can reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and scars. The tiny holes can also be used to enhance the delivery of topical creams—to allow them to penetrate deeper—and this is particularly good for treating unwanted pigmentation and melasma.
The healing that is triggered by the microneedling has many similarities to the healing process that occurs with fractional lasers. However, the absence of heat means there should be less swelling and potentially less post-procedure induced pigmentation in darker skin.
What Method Is Used At Dermatology Consulting?
At Dermatology Consulting we prefer to use the SkinPen Precision by Crown (formally) Bellus Medical. This device uses a sterile, disposable head with tiny needles which vibrate up and down and which is gently stroked across the skin in different directions to give an even distribution of the tiny holes. A hydrating hyaluronic gel is applied beforehand to lubricate the movement.
We were among the first clinics in the UK to offer Microneedling and have chosen to use the SkinPen Precision as it was the first device to have both FDA and CE safety approval. We have purchased other brands of microneedling devices in the past but have chosen to use the SkinPen brand because of this.
We also offer radiofrequency microneedling (Fractora) which achieves some additional tightening, but the holes created by Fractora are larger and therefore the recovery takes a few days, whereas with SkinPen the skin recovers in 1 to 2 days.
Does Microneedling Hurt?
Local anaesthetic cream is applied for an hour before. The cream is then removed before the treatment. The sensation of the SkinPen treatment has been described as similar to sandpaper brushing against the skin and is well tolerated by almost all patients.
How Long Does The Treatment Take?
The treatment can take as little as two to five minutes for a small area such as the upper lip. A full face treatment may take 15-30 minutes, although this will vary depending on the individual’s skin concern.
What Aftercare Is Needed?
Antiseptic or antibacterial ointment can be applied for a couple of days after the procedure. Sunscreen should be used after the treatment, and makeup can usually be applied the next day.
Is Microneedling Safe For All Skin Types?
Yes. As the microneedling does not involve any heat, it typically can be safely used on all skin types and tanned skin.
Can Microneedling Be Used Off The Face?
Yes, as it is a relatively gentle treatment it can be used on other site such as the face. It has also been reported to possibly have some benefit in helping stimulate hair growth in some forms of hair loss.
How Long Do Microneedling Results Last And How Many Sessions Are Needed?
The improvement in the collagen is permanent but, depending on the original skin status patients usually need several sessions to achieve significantly noticeable results so it is best done as a course of treatment. Most patients have between 4 to 8 sessions. The treatments can be done at intervals of 2 weeks. To obtain the best results the treatment should be done alongside a good skin care program which our consultant dermatologist will design for you. We are all getting older the treatment will improve the skin but it needs to be maintained with a good skin care program and the improvement can be maintained by repeating the treatment 2 or 3 times a year.
Can Microneedling be Combined With Other Treatments?
Because microneedling does not add heat to the skin it can be used on the same day with other treatments such as Intense Pulse Light (Lumecca), Microdermabrasion, LED light and Fotona skin tightening. Adding LED light afterwards can speed up the recovery and give additional improvement in skin quality.
How Much Does Microneedling Cost?
Microneedling starts at £175 for an upper lip and £395 for a full face when done by our highly trained nurses.