Micro-needling has always been a go to for me. Whether it be cause I want to improve the appearance of stubborn post-inflammatory pigmentation or acne scarring. It has been a great treatment that I've personally loved but also a great treatment I would recommend if you new to the aesthetic treatment world & would like to have an effective maintenance treatment...
So what is micro-needling?
Micro-needling, is known as collagen induction therapy or CIT. It has a broad range of applications including skin rejuvenation, acne scarring, stretch marks, rhytides (wrinkles), surgical scars, dyschromia (hyper-pigmentation), melasma & enlarged pores. Micro-needling is an non-invasive, little down time treatment. The procedure involves superficial and controlled puncturing of the skin by rolling with miniature fine needles. Depth ranging from lower than 1.00mm up to 3.00 mm in depth. To put this into perspective it reaches the third layer of the skin (superficial dermal layer).
In this diagram is a great indication of how deep you can work with various depths.
Deeper however does not mean better. Gradual can also do the trick!
What devices do you get?
There are many microneedling devices available on the market for aestheticians, each of which creates numerous epidermal and dermal micro-wounds to stimulate collagen production. A range of fixed needle rollers and electric-powered pen devices with disposable sterile needle tips are available. These devices all vary based on the needle length, quantity and diameter.
Electric-powered pens are operated by gliding perpendicularly over the skin surface until fine pinpoint bleeding is achieved. Electric pens like Dermapen for example has advantages as it has the ability to easily adjust its operating speeds and penetration depths. Making the treatment of large surface areas efficient and varying needle depths when necessary.
Manual rollers can be used at home and are called derma-rollers. They are usually a set width and length ensuring no harm can be done at home. That being said be wary of where you purchase your roller or device from. I personally believe in purchasing from a skincare brand that has a wonderful reputation rather than a Takealot which offers all sorts of gadgets at low pricers....(worries me a little!)
Heres a picture of my Gold Cosmetic Roll-CIT from Environ. A very well trusted brand. I purchased this about a year ago and I've absolutely loved incorporating it into my evening routine. If I recall correctly I paid R2000 +- for it.
What happening to my skin afterwards?
Immediately after your treatment you will experience minor swelling. Your skin will be hot to the touch and show quite a bit of redness. Apply ample SPF everyday and throughout the day after your treatment to avoid any sun damage. If you can try not apply any makeup for 24 hours.
Micro-needling leads to the reorganisation of old collagen fibres and laying down of new collagen, elastin, and capillaries leading to the effect of skin tightening. This newly laid down collagen leads to an overall youthful appearance of the skin by reducing fine lines and wrinkles, reducing pore size, more suppleness, and elasticity.The effects are enhanced when the procedure is combined with various serums to combat your concerns. After a week or two you will notice some flaking or dry skin, this is totally normal as your skin starts to shed off any dead skin cells. A gentle exfoliation can be done but nothing too invasive.
I asked on my Instagram stories for some questions you'd like to know when it comes to micro-needling so here they are!
"What's the downtime afterwards?"
There really isn't much down time... This is an non-invasive treatment. So you will only be slightly red which starts to calm down within 12-24hours. SPF on the whole time! You can apply makeup the next day and you good to go. You just can't exfoliate for around 5-7 days or use very potent exfoliating ingredients like AHA's, BHA's or Retinol - only start using after a week.
"I've got scarring on my cheeks- should I just do my cheeks or whole face?"
Your whole face - I don't think many clinics or salons offer spot treatments unless its a small scar on the arm, back etc. Ideally you want to treat the entire area. Your whole face will benefit from the treatment.
"Do some people just not have significant results from CIT/Micro-needling?"
This is a great question. It depends on what they are wanting to achieve. Are their goals for their skin realistic? If you trying to treat very deep box scar's on your cheeks then no, its not the best treatment, rather go for laser. If you trying to treat post-inflammatory pigmentation, then yes. Micro-needling can only do so much and only work to a certain depth. Also a very important factor to consider is you need to go for regular treatments, a once off isn't going to show significant results.
"I have keloid scars. Is there a chance that I could keloid on my face?"
In my opinion, if you are wanting to treat something like deeper scars, then rather chat to a dermatologist about alternative treatments like laser. Alternatively you can test an area and watch it over the course of 3 months before proceeding. The general consensus amongst aestheticians is to rather do a course of chemical peels.
"Is it normal to have a few pimple pop up after your first treatment?"
Yes, it is possible. It is quite a stimulating treatment that has exfoliated your skin, allowing dead skin and other skin bi-products to surface. These should clear up on their own over a few days. Do not pick as this will only worsen pigmentation and inflammation. Your skin is sensitive and healing so don't pick or squeeze!
"Before and after prepping suggestions?"
Before: Stick to your normal routine and exclude any active ingredients like Vit A, retinol or Vitamin C up to 4-5 days prior to your treatment. Thats it!
After: Avoid scented products, AHA's, Retinol A or strong Vit C products for at least 48 hours. After 4-5 days you can continue using these. Hyaluronic acid is great as it soothes and helps with the production of collagen in the skin. Avoid invasive exfoliating products with beads or ground nuts or crystals. A gentle exfoliation 5-7 days after is fine, work gently to slough off any flaky skin.
I hoped this blog post helped & answered some of your questions!Leave any questions in the comments below or on instagram. @amandafromafrica
Lots of love,