What is micro-needling and or medical-needling and is it the key to looking younger?
There’s always a new treatment that promises younger looking skin. For years, Botox ruled this sector of anti-ageing and next month marks 15 years since the injectable received its approval from the FDA. Since then fillers and laser treatments have filtered in for plumper, fresher looking skin. Even more recently, micro-needling has been heralded as a non-invasive way to achieve youthful, dewy looking skin. But what is it and does it really deliver results?
What is micro-needling or medical-needling?
It is a medical technique whereby active substances such as Vitamin C and A, minerals and micronutrients are introduced into the skin surface by numerous micro-injections to correct aesthetic disorders. “The physical reaction is caused by the mechanical stimulus (the effect of the needle), while there is also a pharmacological effect, says Registered Nurse Christine Keller and Owner of Skinstitute Aesthetic Skin Clinic in George.
It's a treatment whereby a device with small needles is pushed over your face, neck area and decollate area to create controlled punctures or micro-injuries, which force your skin into repair mode. Those with a fear of needles shouldn't discard this technique straight away as, depending on the device used, the microneedle length can vary from 0.5 to 3.0 mm, which is incredibly tiny compared to a traditional needle. And, these devices are gentle enough to be used around the delicate eye area. Here at Skinstitute I use the Award Winning Eclipse Micro-Pen it is a dermal pen, which means it works in the deeper dermal layer. I also use the Mesotherapy technique, a very small single needle technique for more product deposits area stubborn areas or areas that need more attention example crows feet and “smoker lines”.
What are the benefits of micro-needling?
Also known as CIT, Collagen Induced Therapy, works wonders to really rejuvenate the overall appearance of the skin. When your skin starts repairing itself it turbocharges your body's natural ability to produce collagen and elastin, which provides that firm plumpness. “It also helps improve skin texture, dilated pores, reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks and creates a brightening effect for a more youthful skin tone,” says Owner and Registered Nurse Christine Keller.
What should you expect from a professional micro-needling treatment?
The idea of small needles puncturing your skin might sound like torture, but the procedure starts with your face being anesthetised with topical cream and has minimal downtime. “The treatment can be tailored to the specific needs of the patient and can result in just a few hours of redness, mild swelling and erythema (red patches)” , says Registered Nurse Christine Keller. However, depending on your tolerance levels, these symptoms can last for one to two days and you can also experience pinpoint bleeding and bruising. Which also sounds like torture but is ideal for optimal results and really is manageable.
Who can perform these needling treatments?
This treatment can only be performed by medical professionals, such as myself. Especially when doing medical needling depth, more than 1mm. Says Registered Nurse Christine Keller – NWU, B.CUR Nursing Science & UFS, Certificate in Wound Care.
How many and how often will you need to have a treatment?
“The number of sessions depends on a few factors for example, age (the ability of the skin to stimulate collagen) the general skin condition, lifestyle, smoking and post-procedure products to name a few. But typically you're looking at 3-5 treatments in 4-6 week intervals with maintenance treatments every 6-9 months,” says Owner Christine Keller. You can top up your treatment using an at-home device as well.
Are at-home micro-needling gadgets as good as in-salon treatments?
Like most at-home equivalents, micro-needling gadgets won't offer the same strength of treatment, but that's not to say you won't see results. In fact, the skin responds to the frequency more than needle-depth. While you have to use the device two-to-three times a week, you will start to see results as quickly as two weeks. The added bonus of using an at-home device is that it helps the ingredients from your skincare to travel deeper into your skin. Please do consult with your skin care professional if your products are suitable for this at-home device.
When can you expect to see results from micro-needling?
Within clinic treatments, the final results might not be noticeable until you hit your third treatment as boosting collagen and elastin within the dermis takes time. “However, most of my clients can see a glow two weeks after the first treatment which is always welcome, right.”
When should you avoid micro-needling?
It can be used on all skin colours and skin types, however it should be avoided if one has an active infection on the skin such as impetigo, active and inflamed acne or rosacea. Those with hypersensitive skin, acute eczema or sunburnt skin should also avoid the technique.