What is skin needling?
Skin needling is a skin rejuvenation treatment that helps you restore collagen and elastin through a natural healing process. Ultra fine, medical quality needles attached to a needling pen create multiple skin punctures that induce a wound healing response that stimulates new collagen and elastin production. New collagen and elastin improve skin quality and texture, making the skin feel firmer and smoother and help repair acne scars and fine wrinkles. Skin needling also helps repair stretch marks and surgical scars.
Most importantly skin needling involves minimal downtime and is therefore the perfect alternative for those who don’t have time for more intensive laser treatments.
How does skin needling work?
Each of the thousands of tiny puncture wounds induces the release of growth factors that begin the process of wound healing. These factors stimulate new collagen and elastin growth in the surrounding skin. New collagen and elastin production is the goal of all skin resurfacing and rejuvenation treatments.
Once initiated, new collagen production can continue for up to 12 months, resulting in an improvement in skin firmness and texture and a softening and lifting of scars and wrinkles.
Here’s what one of our patients had to say recently…..
At 55 I was concerned about fine lines and scaring around my mouth and nasal fold. I wanted a safe and controllable skin resurfacing procedure that would be effective for my sensitive skin but require minimal downtime. After assessing my options I decided skin needling was right for me.
Local anaesthetic ensured the procedure was relatively painless, a bit like having a facial massage.
After only two sessions I could see a 60% improvement in my skin texture. My skin looked smoother and revitalised, my scaring was reduced. It was as if my skin had regenerated itself. Downtime was significantly short. After two days I could wear makeup and there were no visible signs of the treatment. Between treatments I continue to nourish my skin using my home roller with Ultraceuticals’ Ultra A smoothing complex and Ultra C facial cream 23%.
I would highly recommend this procedure to anyone who’s after great results with minimal downtime.
Wendy W., Jan 2011
What does needling involve?
- Vitamin A and C are essential for collagen production and sun damage reversal. It is impossible to achieve high concentrations of vitamin C in the skin by taking tablets orally. Therefore you will be recommended to use skin care products at home that contain high concentrations of these vitamins to enhance your results.
- The needling pen is passed over the area to be treated multiple times to create an even distribution of tiny injuries. Needles of various lengths, 0.5mm, 1mm, 1.5mm or 2mm are selected according to the condition to be treated and thickness of your skin.
- Numbing cream, with or without local anaesthetic injections and/or light sedation may be used to control any discomfort associated with deeper treatments.
- After treatment, skin may appear red, swollen, moist and sensitive for various periods depending on the depth of your treatment. A light graze consisting of tiny crusted areas that feel rough and look tanned may occur. Skin may feel tight and dry. Varying amounts of flaking/peeling may occur as healing progresses. Vaseline or pawpaw ointment dressings are applied as healing occurs over 2-7 days depending upon the depth of the treatment.
- Makeup can be worn as skin dries, though keeping the skin moist often looks better and assists healing. It is important to protect your new skin from the sun by applying a broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen daily.
How many treatments will I need?
Generally a minimum of 3-4 treatments are required to achieve improvements in skin firmness and texture. Improvement of scars may take 5 or more treatments.
Results accrue gradually because collagen production takes time. Most clients notice an improvement in their skin tone and texture within 6-8 weeks of each treatment. The initially triggered new collagen will eventually be turned into a more permanent type of collagen over time. Substantial results often start to appear only after approximately ten months, after which results will continue to improve with ongoing treatments. Treatments are spaced at 6-8 weekly intervals.
Results of medical skin needling may be augmented by skin rolling at home between clinic sessions.
What areas can be treated?
The face, hands, neck, abdomen, back and chest can all be treated by skin needling. For some of these sensitive off-face areas skin needling may be preferred as a safer alternative to laser resurfacing, Fraxel and other laser treatments.
Am I a suitable candidate for skin needling?
Skin needling is suitable for fine lines, dull skin, sun damaged and aging skin, enlarged pores, acne scars, chicken pox scars and surgical scars (more than 6 mths old), as well as for tightening and smoothing of skin on the face, hands, neck and chest. Skin needling can be performed on all skin types and colours and on all parts of the body.
Skin needling is NOT suitable for those who have been on Roaccutane in the last 6 months, have active acne, open wounds, infections, psoriasis or dermatitis in the area to be treated, have uncontrolled diabetes, are pregnant or breast feeding, or who are prone to keloid scars or other abnormal wound healing. Precautions must be taken if you are currently using Retin A or products containing retinol.
Smokers should be aware that smoking compromises the body’s ability to grow new collagen.
What are the potential side effects/complications of skin needling?
You may experience various degress of redness, swelling, bruising, crusting, flaking, weeping, and oozing during recovery. Depending upon the depth of your treatment, some downtime may need to be allocated away from social and work commitments.
As with any treatment that punctures the skin, infection, pigment changes and scarring are remote risks.
How does skin needling compare with and laser rejuvenation?
Although skin needling and laser rejuvenation ultimately both achieve improved skin firmness and texture with minimisation of scarring, they work in uniquely different ways. Skin needling does not create heat in the skin. This means it can be safely performed on all skin types (white to dark skin) and that it may be a safer treatment for sensitive thin skinned areas such as the neck and chest, and for the arms and legs which tolerate some laser treatments poorly.
Skin needling is a cost effective and low downtime alternative to laser skin rejuvenation.