The skin has many layers, and each layer has many functions. One such function is called the epidermis. The outer layers of the skin are basically dead cells that have been shed or otherwise replaced. Underneath these dead cells are new skin cells, called the epidermis. It is the thickness of the epidermis that determines the health of the skin.
Skin doctors, dermatologists, and other medical professionals use a form of microdermabrasion to remove the dead skin from the face or other areas of the body. This is done using tiny needles containing a special type of solution that is applied to the skin. The needles are punctured precisely, usually at C-shaped angles, and tiny amounts of solutions (or a facer) are introduced into the punctured area. This is done over a period of time, and the effects of the procedure can be subtle – or dramatic.
What is microneedling?
Microneedling is a technique that dermatologists often use to treat various skin disorders. This method requires the use of multiple tiny, sterile needles to puncture the skin and cause physical trauma. This mentioned trauma induces the derma, a deeper layer of skin, to reconstruct.
Aside from helping rejuvenate the skin, microneedling can also address skin conditions like:
- skin pigmentation issues
- stretch marks
- loose skin, such as after weight loss or liposuction
Microneedling: The Risks and the Benefits
The Risks of Microneedling
Generally, microneedling is a safe procedure and have received very few negative reports. It is well-received by all skin types and is also relatively cheaper than other treatments.
However, just because it is overall safe, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with risks.
One of the main risks of microneedling involves the inappropriate use of doses. Too much can cause the skin to be red, irritated, and scarred for a period of time. In addition, it can also cause permanent damage to the hair, face, and skin tissue.
Other side effects include:
- discomfort at the site
- flaking of the skin
The solution used in the procedure, potassium nitrate, can cause temporary reddening of the skin. Redness usually resolves within a day. Also, swelling and redness might continue for a few days or a week after the treatment is performed. These side effects usually go away when the treatment is stopped.
It is also important to note that bleeding is an unusual reaction, however, it is bound to occur when the procedure is deeper than normal. Bleeding is most likely to occur to patients who have bleeding conditions and are taking blood-thinning medications. Do not forget to disclose this to your dermatologist.
Aside from that, there is also another series of serious side effects, such as:
- skin pigment changes
- reaction to topical medications used during treatment
And despite being accepted by most skin types, there are also individuals who cannot proceed with microneedling. These are those who have:
- an active skin infection
- active acne
- keloid scarring
- an unstable skin type
The Benefits of Microneedling
A 2018 review on microneedling shows that the treatment is an effective and safe way in rejuvenating the skin and treating scars and wrinkles. Aside from that, it also reduces acne, ingrown hairs, fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage, and hyperpigmentation.
As a result of the light beam directed at the skin, it can reduce the visibility of dark spots and prevent the formation of new ones. The intensity of the heat emitted can also reduce swelling and bruising associated with injuries. It can also help to prevent sunburn, as well as sun-damaged skin.
The benefits of microneedling procedures vary greatly, depending on the skin being treated. For example, if you have small tattoos or spider veins on your neck or face, you can expect dramatic results.
Pimples that are infected or irritated may respond even better to this treatment, while older, healthier skin may not respond at all. No matter what your skin type, this procedure is considered a safe, effective alternative to dermabrasion and laser treatments.
Is microneedling expensive?
According to Dermapen, the microneedling procedure is estimated to cost from $100 to $700 per session. Generally, face treatment is around $300 each session.
Microneedling is under the category of the cosmetic or aesthetic procedure and is therefore not covered by insurance. However, doctors might be able to help their patients by offering an affordable payment plan.
Before committing to the microneedling, it will be best to weigh in the overall costs.
Microneedling devices at home
There are microneedling devices that you can purchase and use at the comfort of your home. While it’s true that these are significantly cheaper than sessions with professional dermatologists, there are notable differences between the two.
Compared to the ones that dermatologists and medical professionals use, home microneedling devices have shorter and more blunt needles which are not meant to puncture the skin. These at-home sessions will not be as uncomfortable as sessions from medical clinics, however, it is best to not expect the same results as those done with professionals. But, one thing is for sure, even home microneedling devices wil help increase blood flow and also brighten the skin.
An important thing to note with at-home microneedling sessions is to thoroughly clean the device. An improperly sanitized microneedling device can result in infection and the risk of injury.
If you decide to have a professional do the treatment at your home, make sure that they are qualified. There are two methods used to provide illumination: either a pulsed light or a concentrated light.
The microneedling device usually includes a pulsed light and/or a focused light; if you choose to use a device that combines both technologies, choose one that can be adjusted to provide the best results, based on where you will be receiving the treatment.