What is it exactly that is happening when our skin sags and wrinkles? The answer may be complex, but most of it boils down to loss of collagen and elastin fibers in the skin. We have known for years that if we cause a “micro-injury” to the skin – just enough to stimulate an exuberant healing reaction – we can end up with that healing reaction creating better skin than we had before it was “injured”.
Microneedling is based on that principle and is producing significant results for mild to moderate wrinkling, laxity, coarseness and acne scars. It is a potent collagen stimulator, can be used anywhere on the body and requires no downtime.
In the office, the face is thoroughly cleansed and a numbing cream is applied for 20 to 30 minutes. The procedure uses a “Micropen” that has tiny needles at its tip. The depth to which the needles go is tailored to each individual and to different parts of the area being treated. The procedure is enhanced by use of a gel containing growth factors that are driven into the skin by the needles. For an even more intense treatment, some people prefer to use platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which is rich in your own growth factors. Most treatments take about 30 minutes and you will look a little rosy for a day.
Over the next three days your skin will be a little flakey, but it’s not bad. Amazingly, the tightening, the improvement in texture and the smoothing of wrinkles and scars will be visible quite rapidly. Some of that is due to imperceptible swelling, but over the next few weeks the improvement becomes obvious. While three to four treatments about four weeks apart are recommended, the result is cumulative and you will see improvement after the first time.
Oculofacial Plastic Surgeon, Sarasota, Florida
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