MICRO NEEDLING / COLLAGEN INDUCTION THERAPY
What are the benefits of Micro Needling?
Epidermis remains intact:
- Needling does not remove or cause damage to the outer layer of the skin.
- The healthy skin and blood vessels in between the lines, wrinkles or scars are preserved which improves healing, collagen production and long-term results.
Less changes in pigmentation:
- The epidermis is left untouched therefore the risk of permanent structural damage such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (skin darkening) or de-pigmentation (colour loss or skin whitening) is less.
Fewer side effects:
- There are no side effects such as thinning of the skin or increased sun sensitivity because the epidermis is preserved. Micro Needling uses no artificial fillers so the change of an allergic reaction or infection is also minimized.
Fast healing and no downtime:
- Micro Needling is a very controlled technique and creates minimal dermal trauma. Healing is rapid with short “downtime” of only a few days.
Ongoing treatments are possible:
- Other resurfacing methods cannot be repeated indefinitely because they eventually thin the skin and create photo sensitivity. On the other side Micro Needling can be repeated safely because the dermis becomes thicker in the treated areas instead of going thinner. Other resurfacing techniques must avoid the delicate eye area but Micro Needling can safely treat areas around the eyes such as “Crows Feet”. It can also be safely performed on skin that previously had laser re-surfacing treatments or dermabrasion.
Who can benefit from Micro Needling?
- People with receding hairlines / hair loss (also called alopecia)
- People with stretch marks, the stretch marks must be pink;
- People with scars, the scars must be pink;
- Dark spots or patches on your skin (hyperpigmentation);
- Large pores;
- Reduced skin elasticity;
- Fine lines and wrinkles;
- Sun damage;
- Acne scarring
Is Micro Needling painful?
- Micro Needling can be uncomfortable if not performed correctly.
- A topical anesthetic, used to number with skin will be applied 30 minutes prior to your treatment.
How many treatments are needed?
It is difficult to determine the amount of treatments required as results are dependent on the depth of each wrinkle or scar.
An improvement in the needled areas may be seen as soon as a few weeks after a single treatment.
However, inner healing of the skin continues for several months after.
During this time, the Micro Needled area will smooth and tighten as the collagen is deposited.
Fine lines or wrinkles can vary between 4 – 6 treatments to be plumped.
Medium to deeper wrinkles and acne scars may require 4 or more treatments in order to achieve optimum results.
Pitted scars and deep wrinkles may require anything from 6 – 8 treatments or more in order to achieve optimum depth improvement.
What are the contra indications of Micro Needling?
The Never to have Micro Needling done
If you tend to keloid you will activate more collagen formation hence the keloid will grow further which is the last thing you want to achieve.
A keloid is a thick overgrown scare resulting from excessive growth of collagen that can occur after an injury and is more prevalent in people of African descent.
Haemophiliacs and Other Blood Disorders
- If you suffer from any condition where your body does not have the ability to produce adequate platelets to stop bruising and bleeding then this treatment is not for you.
- Skin Disease
- Suffering from any type of skin disease would most likely be a contra-indication of Micro Needling.
- Poor Health
- Anyone that is under medical care for high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, suffers from a compromised immune system and is generally considered a poor healer is not a candidate for Micro Needling.
The Can Have but have to Wait Group
If you are taking anti-coagulants you can bruise and bleed easily so best to wait until you are medically advised your blood platelets have returned to normal levels. Common scenarios where anticoagulants are used are in cases of deep vein thrombosis either after long plane trips or surgery especially surgery to the lower leg, usually prescribed as a precautionary measure.
Once the acne is no longer active you are good to go. Skin needling active acne is never advised.
Active Cold Sores (Herpes Labialis)
Need to wait until this is fully recovered otherwise the fluid in the cold sore (that contains thousands of active Herpes Simplex viruses) will have an effective vehicle to spread easily and readily to unaffected skin regions spreading the contamination effectively.
Active Shingles or Chicken Pox (Varicella-Zoster Virus)
Is a highly contagious virus hence the same applies as above. Shingles is essentially the reactivation of chickenpox virus usually seen in elderly or immune-compromised individuals.
Just had Invasive Skin Laser Treatment
Need to wait until the skin fully recovers before any further procedures are undertaken
Just had Botox or Other Injectables
Need to wait approximately 2 months before any further procedures are undertaken especially if injected with Teosyal, Sculptra or Artefill.
Just had Dermal Fillers
With dermal fillers you can undertake skin needling 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after the dermal fillers are inserted.
Just had Facial Surgery
Need to wait until the skin fully recovers before any further procedures are undertaken. Usually, 6 months is a safe estimate and clearance from your surgeon.
Need to wait until the skin fully recovers before any further procedures are undertaken. Usually, 6 months is a safe estimate.
If you are currently prescribed corticosteroids best to avoid skin needling as these drugs have a skin thinning effect. The longer you are on this medication the bigger the effect on the skin. The skin would need to be examined on a case by case basis and clearance from your doctor is also advised.
Pregnancy & Breast Feeding
Your body is very busy during this phase developing and feeding your baby, so best not to add the burden of tissue repair especially if you have a choice. Some pregnancies can be complicated such as gestational diabetes so not all things are always easy. There is also a risk of having a reaction and even though we always do a precautionary “skin test patch” during your initial consultation, we would nevertheless prefer our pregnant and breastfeeding patients not to experience this at all. Medical clearance from your doctor would be required prior any skin needling appointments.
Is there any down time for Micro Needling?
For either wrinkle or scar treatments, swelling is minimal and surface healing occurs in a few days. Immediately after your treatment, your skin will look red in the areas that were needled. You may experience the following:
- Sunburnt feeling
- Scars will be red as if a scab had just been peeled off. A light scab will form on the treated areas.
- Redness can last anything from 1 – 3 days and it then turns pink by day 4 or 5 and continues to fade.
- The procedure can be performed between 4 – 6 weeks apart to allow your skin to heal completely and allow for collagen production.
Is Micro Needling permanent?
The effects of Micro Needling are not permanent, a maintenance program that can include quarterly treatments after your initial 6 – 8 treatments (or as recommended). This is along with an effective home skincare routine will prolong the results and increase the effectiveness of your treatments.
What can go wrong?
- High Risk of Infection if guidelines are not followed correctly.
- Scarring if the roller is applied incorrectly or applied more than 3 times in a single direction.
- Prolonged inflammation and hyperpigmentation. If you Micro Needle before your skin has healed from the prior treatment you are not giving your skin enough time to heal. You will damage the skin which will become inflamed.
What are the pre-treatment guidelines?
- Do not use topical agents that may increase the sensitivity of your skin.
- Avoid retinoids, topical antibiotics, exfoliants and acids that may be drying or irritating to the skin (such as Alpha Hydroxyl Acid (AHA), Beta Hydroxyl Acids (BHA), Exfoliating Masks, Salicylic Acids, Hydroquinone and Benzoyl Peroxide Acne products 5-7 days prior to your treatment.
- Do not take any anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen, Mortin or Advil for 3 days prior to your treatment. These agents will interfere with the natural inflammatory process that is critical and responsible for your skin rejuvenation.
- Avoid IPL / Laser procedures, unprotected sun exposure or sunburn for 2 weeks prior to your treatment.
- No waxing, depilatory creams or electrolysis to the areas being treated 5 – 7 days prior to your treatment.
- No shaving on the day of the procedure to avoid skin irritation. If there is dense hair present in the treatment area, closely shave the area the day before your treatment.
- Moles, warts or keratosis cannot be treated.
- If you are prone to cold sores, take an antiviral agent for 2 days prior to your treatment.
- Bruising is a common risk, avoid blood thinning agents (aspirin, fish oil, omega-3, vitamin E) for 1 week prior to your treatment. You may resume the day after your treatment.
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
- Do not take any anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen or Advil for 1 week post treatment.
- Do not ice your face or apply Arnica.
- These agents may interfere with your skin rejuvenation.
- Avoid direct sunlight for 2 weeks after your treatment.
- After day 4, apply SPF30 or above and avoid touching your face.
Day 1 – 3
- The skin will feel tight, dry, sensitive to touch.
- Wash skin with a gentle cleanser, cool water, using hands only and pat dry no earlier than 4 hour post treatment.
- Avoid exercise and perspiration, avoid skincare products containing AHA/BHA.
- Avoid alcohol-based toners.
- Do not apply any make up.
Day 2 – 7
- Peeling may start 3 – 5 days after your treatment, this is due to an increased turnover of skin cells. Do not pick, scratch, or scrub. Always keep the area moisturized.
Day 5 – 7
- You may resume your regular skin care products and Retin-A once your skin is no longer irritated.
- For best results, we recommend you repeat treatments in 4 – 6 weeks and a series of 4 – 6 treatments depending on your personalized care plan.