The microneedling device is equipped with 12 tiny micro-points attached to an automated unit equipped with a high speed motor, which when placed on the skin, delivers tiny vertical punctures to a precise depth of the skin. It is used for the treatment of acne scars, fine lines and to improve the skin’s texture and tone. Treatment is safe for most skin types. A topical gel lubricant is placed on clean skin. The device will then be pressed gently against the skin while gliding over the skin until the entire treatment area is covered. Following treatment, most patients have redness and swelling that typically lasts 24-48 hours, with a variable degree of bruising that can last up to 7-10 days. For best results, a series of 3 treatment sessions performed at 1 month intervals is recommended, though early improvement may be seen as early as 30 days.
Microneedling can be administered on its own or in combination with the application of platelet-enriched plasma (PRP), whereby the blood is drawn, spun down, and the plasma, containing growth factors and proteins, is applied to and absorbed into the skin through the channels created by microneedling. The addition of platelet-enriched plasma to the microneedling procedure, commonly referred to as the “vampire facial,” can provide a significant boost to skin rejuvenation. Platelet-rich plasma can also be injected into the skin to stimulate collagen production. Because the PRP treatment involves re-introducing one’s own serum and platelets, there is no risk of a negative reaction or rejection of these components.
The risks and possible side effects of microneedling treatment include:
- Swelling and redness that usually resolve within 2-3 days. With treatment of deeper wrinkles/scars, redness can last up to 1 week.
- A variable degree of bruising that can last up to 1 week or longer
- Scarring or discoloration of treated sites (rare)
- Darkening of the skin called postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (uncommon and usually resolves on its own).
- Pain, although the discomfort is usually well tolerated if pre-numbing with topical anesthetic is used.
- If significant pain occurs after the procedure, please notify your provider.
- Approximately 50% improvement in the depth of wrinkles and scars is typical following a series of 3 treatment sessions, though results cannot be guaranteed.
- Although uncommon, it is possible that treatment may yield no appreciable change in the appearance of the treated scars.
- If the SkinPen® is being used for acne scarring, although marked improvement can be seen after a series of 3-8 treatment sessions, a complete flattening and resolution of pitted acne scars is usually not achievable.
Microneedling Postcare Instructions
- Following the microneedling procedure, it is best to minimize direct sun exposure for 1 week. Sunscreen can be applied beginning the day after the procedure. Some patients may experience a mild peeling of the skin 4-7 days after the treatment.
- Use a gentle cleanser and moisturizer (such as Cetaphil) for the first 3 days after the procedure. You may begin using make-up the day after treatment.
- Application of medicated cleansers and creams including acne medication and bleaching creams should be avoided the first week after the procedure.
- If you experience persistent pain, drainage or tenderness to touch of the treated areas, persistent redness or swelling, sensitivity of the skin or other symptoms that you believe are not normal, please call the office and ask to speak with your provider. After hours, our providers can be reached after hours by calling 858-693-3000 and following the prompts.
- Treatments are usually spaced at 1 month intervals. Improvement can be seen with each treatment session; however, a series of 3-5 treatments is best to achieve optimal results. For the treatment of scars, 6-8 treatments may be necessary to reach your treatment goals.