The concept of micro-needling is based on the skin’s natural ability to repair itself when it suffers physical damage such as cuts, burns, abrasions, or other injuries. Immediately after an injury to the skin, our body begins the healing process, triggering new collagen synthesis. The microneedling device intentionally creates very superficial “micro-injuries” to the outermost layer of the skin to induce the healing process that includes new collagen and elastin production. The micro-injuries left behind from the device lead to a release of growth factors that trigger the wound healing cascade and aid in mechanically breaking down scar tissue.
This procedure combines microneedling with platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) and is sometimes referred to as a “vampire facial” or as “collagen induction therapy.” PRF, platelet-rich fibrin, is derived from your blood. PRF contains a very high concentration of white blood cells, fibrin, and a small number of stem cells found circulating in our bloodstream. By adding PRF into a treatment area, a controlled inflammatory response is created, which promotes new cell growth and collagen production to help promote skin rejuvenation.
Microneedling with or without PRF may reduce the visibility of acne scars, stretch marks, fine lines, and wrinkles; diminish hyper-pigmentation; and improve skin tone, laxity, and texture, resulting in smoother, firmer, younger-looking skin.
The ideal candidate for Microneedling treatment with or without PRF is anyone looking to improve their skin.
Individuals under the age of 18; if you are pregnant or breastfeeding; in theory, there is no danger, however it is better to be safe than sorry; have active acne, hemophilia/bleeding disorders, active scleroderma infection of any type (bacterial, viral, or fungal), hormone replacement therapy, skin cancer, on blood thinner medications, keloid/hypertrophic scarring, sunburn, cardiac disease/abnormalities, raised lesions (moles, warts, etc.); recent tattoos, chemotherapy or radiation; recent chemical peel procedure; telangiectasia/erythema; collagen vascular disease; recent use of some topical medications; uncontrolled diabetes, eczema; psoriasis; dermatitis; rosacea; or vascular lesions (hemangiomas). Individuals should avoid PRF if they have skin diseases (i.e., SLE, porphyria, allergies), cancer and/or ongoing chemotherapy, severe metabolic and systemic disorders, abnormal platelet function (blood disorders, i.e., hemodynamic instability, hypofibrinogenaemia, critical thrombocytopenia), chronic liver pathology, anticoagulation therapy, underlying sepsis, or systemic use of corticosteroids or within two weeks of the procedure.
Common side effects to treatment with Microneedling include:
Discomfort at the treatment site, mild swelling, redness, and bruising and side effects with PRF include: short-lasting pinkness/redness (flushing), bruising, mild swelling, and mild soreness at treatment or injection site and temporary blood sugar increase.
Additional risks include infection, pigment/color change (hyperpigmentation), scarring, pain, persistent redness, itching, and/or swelling, allergic reaction, and/or unsatisfactory result.
Alternative treatments options include Microneedling with PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma), Chemical peels, or Laser Treatments.
Individuals should review medical, surgical, medication, and allergy history with a provider prior to treatment. Prepare for your treatment by reading about Microneedling, schedule your treatment 2 weeks before any special events, wash your skin and remove any makeup, excess oil, and lotions, and relax. Read the pre and post-treatment instructions to prepare yourself and stop any medications prior to your treatment.
Before starting your treatment, your provider will clean your skin and apply a topical anesthetic to numb the area being treated. You may feel a small amount of discomfort during the procedure, but the cream helps to minimize pain.
Microneedling + Serum: The provider uses a device that has fine surgical microneedles that are approximately 0.1 to 0.25 in diameter to create punctures in the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) to create controlled micro-injuries about 2 mm deep. A serum is applied after the treatment.
Microneedling + PRF: Your provider will withdraw a vial of blood between 5-15 ml from you and place it into a centrifuge, where the blood is spun at high speeds to isolate the PRF, which activates the release of growth factors that stimulate collagen production and the healing in your tissues. While your blood is spinning in the centrifuge, the microneedling device is used to penetrate the skin about 2 mm deep to create micro-injuries. PRF is applied to the skin during the procedure and after the procedure.
The entire process usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the treatment area and whether or not PRF is used. Arrive 15 minutes early for numbing.
Healing from Microneedling usually takes a mere 24 hours. However, it may take up to two to three days, depending on the extent of the treatment. You can be free to return to work or school immediately after treatment and wear makeup 24 hours after your treatment.
There is minimal pain, but a topical anesthetic is used for your comfort.
Results from Microneedling with or without PRF are seen almost immediately. The best results, however, can take six to eight weeks to appear and may show improvement in texture and tone. That’s when the increased collagen effects become evident, and that is after 3 to 4 sessions.
Advanced wrinkling cannot be reversed, and only a minimal improvement is predictable in persons with drug, alcohol, and tobacco usage. Severe scarring may not respond. Current data shows results may last 18-24 months. Of course, all individuals are different, so there will be variations from one person to the next.
Maintenance treatments are needed for continued benefits. To maintain the effects, the treatment must be repeated.
Patients often combine Microneedling with Neurotoxins with Dermal Fillers, Lasers, Chemical Peels, and other cosmetic services. Talk to your provider about your aesthetic goals to set realistic expectations and design a complete treatment plan that may include more than one type of treatment, as well as recommendations on the timing and scheduling of the various treatments.
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