Summary: Microneedling is one of the newer procedures on the market these days. It’s billed as a kind of non surgical facelift, giving you the ability to rejuvenate your skin without the need for surgery. But does microneedling really work? That is, what can microneedling do for you that another procedure can’t, necessarily? Well, to answer that, let’s take a look at this procedure and see what it does!
What Can Microneedling Do for You?
I was always fascinated by the fact that lizards could regrow their tails. For some reason, that just seemed amazing to me. Of course, part the reason they can do this is because lizards (on a cellular and biological level) are relatively simple. They’re cold blooded, have slow metabolism, and so on.
Humans (and mammals in general) are much more complex. We can’t regrow limbs that have been lost. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have amazing healing powers. (Okay, look, they aren’t super power or anything, but they can still be amazing!) In fact, the human body is actually pretty good at healing, given the right conditions.
And cosmetic surgeons have figured out how to use some of those healing powers to rejuvenate instead. In other words, we can trick your body into healing old age.
Not Actually Healing Old Age
All right, all right, you caught me. Aging is something that happens at the genetic level (it’s an amazing and terrifying process all at the same time). But here’s the point: we can use those healing powers to rejuvenate. It’s not exactly the same thing—but we can make you look younger (even though we can’t make you, well, actually any younger).
One of the best procedures on the market today—a procedure that does just this—is called microneedling. Now, there are plenty of microneedling devices out there (SkinPen among them), and each cosmetic surgery clinic or medspa will use the device they’re most comfortable with.
And while each device will offer it’s own unique bells and whistles, the basic premise of microneedling is pretty similar with all of them. Essentially, microneedling devices will create hundreds (maybe thousands) of nearly microscopic abrasions along the skin.
It’s akin to (but more less painful than) running sandpaper along your skin. Except instead of something rough and harsh, a microneedling device is sharp and precise.
Tricking Your Skin Into Using its Healing Powers
The idea behind giving you these hundreds or thousands of tiny cuts is to, basically, to trick your skin. There’s no real damage done to your skin. But because a wide area is treated, your body kind of thinks it has something it needs to repair.
This means that your body releases all kinds of vitamins, minerals, and chemicals that rare designed to heal your skin, collagen among them. But with nothing to actually repair, these vitamins, minerals, and chemicals instead work to restore your skin to a more youthful look.
It’s like playing a bait and switch on your skin, but it tends to work wonders. Patients who undergo microneedling procedures often report clearer, smoother, more radiant looking skin. Combined, that means your skin looks a little more youthful!
Combined with Other Procedures
Microneedling is, often combined with a procedure called a PRP injection. PRP stands for platelet-rich-plasma and it’s, essentially, a way to supercharge a microneedling procedure.
To get PRP, a surgeon will first draw some of your blood (this is, after all, where many of those healing compounds reside). The blood is purified so that it consists of only the PRP elements. These PRP elements are then injected into the face (or treated area) during the microneedling treatment.
The microneedling and PRP kind of combine to, as I mentioned, supercharge the results. Of course, there’s still more work to do in proving just how effective these PRP injections are. The science hasn’t quite caught up with the procedure in terms of showing effectiveness. However, patients will often remark on how much they like the results.
Some Recovery Required
Microneedling is not anywhere near as invasive as a plastic surgery procedure, such as a facelift. In fact, microneedling is almost always referred to as a non surgical procedure (because, you know, it is). But that doesn’t mean that no recovery is required.
In fact, most patients that get microneedling take a couple of days off of work, if only to let the redness subside. And there will be redness. There may even be a tiny amount of bruising or swelling. All of these issues clear in a couple of days (usually), leaving you to enjoy your results.
And once those results show, most patients love them. Microneedling has been shown to help patients achieve smoother, younger looking skin. And it all works by getting your body’s healing powers to work for you. It may not be the same thing as re-growing a tail, but we’ll take it!