Microneedling is a collagen-stimulating therapy that works by rolling or gliding a needling device over the skin. This creates tiny microchannels in the skin, tiny injuries, that trigger a healing response in the body, resulting in collagen production.
There is no heat, no lasers, no collagen coagulation – just a tiny injury that stimulates collagen production. It’s simple, performed in a dermatologist’s clinic, taking between 10-20 minutes.
Reasons we use microneedling
How does microneedling work?
We’re not completely sure what the mechanism of action is for microneedling, but it may be due to the growth factors involved in collagen synthesis being released when the skin is injured. When used on scars, the needles may break open collagen bundles in the skin, while also stimulating collagen production. The procedure is effective on its own, but can be excellent when used in combination with radiofrequency treatments.
Microneedling is a good option for younger people and those who aren’t interested in downtime or expensive procedures. Since it is a largely manual process, it is cheaper than some of the more technologically advanced procedures.
Different types of microneedling devices and practices
Microneedling devices come in a few different forms – fixed-needle rollers, manual rollers, electric-powered pens, and LED needling technology. Some devices have radiofrequency and insulated needles attached. Microneedling devices come with disposable needles, with depths dependent on what part of the face is being treated. Thinner areas of the face (forehead, nose) use a 0.5mm to 1.0mm needle, while cheeks can take up to 3.0mm. Vertical and horizontal passes are performed, three to six times each. Pinpoint bleeding means it’s time to stop.
Introduction of bacteria into the skin remains a major concern, so meticulous sterilisation and disposable needles are required. Anyone with an infection on their face (such as coldsores) or a predisposition for keloid scarring is advised to avoid microneedling. Lips and delicate areas should be avoided.
Research into microneedling
The available research isn’t quite yet complete, with studies so far being typically quite small, and not randomised or controlled. This leaves a lot of room for microneedling to be put under the pump and really tested to see what it’s capable of. Studies have been somewhat mixed so far, but we look forward to hearing more.