Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, is a dermatological treatment that uses tiny needles to stimulate the natural production of collagen. Collagen is a fibrous structural protein that allows your skin to be supple and resilient. This protein is broken down during the natural aging process and by UV radiation. In microneedling, tiny holes (micro-channels) are created to trigger the body’s natural healing response, increasing the production of collagen and elastin. Additionally, these micro-channels can facilitate the absorption of topical therapies, such as Platelet Rich Plasma. Microneedling, when performed by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, is effective for reducing fine lines, improving elasticity and firmness, reducing acne scars, and improving skin tone.
It is important to understand that the microneedling performed by a qualified practitioner cannot be done at home with store-bought microneedle rollers. Although they are described by the same term, true microneedling utilizes a medical device called Dermapen.
This device uses mechanically controlled needles ranging from 0.25mm to 7mm in length. In contrast, at-home devices contain needles that are 0.2 mm in depth. This length is insufficient for achieving substantial collagen inductions. Furthermore, the needle must enter the skin perpendicularly at a 90-degree angle to prevent skin damage and scarring. This video gives you an inside look at a professional treatment. This is why at-home and in-spa treatments can be dangerous. Licensed Estheticians, in most states, are only allowed to work on the top two dead layers of the epidermis.
For microneedling to work, it needs to puncture the third layer, which is living tissue. This layer called stratum granulosum, is made up of keratin and gives the skin reinforcement, preventing water and heat loss. It also keeps our skin from losing water, giving us a healthy appearance and glow. Clearly, this is an important layer, so it is critical that consumers are aware of the dangers involved in puncturing their skin.
When medical professionals puncture the skin they use special disinfectants, such as Hibiclens and alcohol pads to wash away bacteria and debris. Then they use properly sterilized instruments to create the wound. Most of us at home or in-spa, do not have the proper equipment to perform microneedling. If not carefully done, a skin abscess may result from a bacterial infection (such as staph) due to improper sterilization.
If you’re looking to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, acne and hyperpigmentation, I’ve listed a variety of successful in-spa and at-home treatments that you can do. These treatments provide a safe, non-invasive approach to healthy and clear skin:
These methods use alpha and beta hydroxy acids at various strengths to dissolve oil, bacteria and speed up the process of cell turnover. Depending on the acid blend and frequency of the applications you can reduce oil production, brighten pigmentation, reduce scarring, and have soft, clear skin.