While the thought of dozens of tiny needles aimed directly at our faces sounds like a scare, microneedling may be worth it for the radiant skin it delivers. As with any trending procedure, it has its pros and cons—here’s what four top doctors want you to know before scheduling an appointment.
It Opens Up the Skin Barrier
Microneedling creates little puncture sites in the skin, which allow for deeper product penetration,” says Highland Park, IL plastic surgeon Steven P. Bloch, MD, who recommends combining the treatment with TCA peels that include hydrogen peroxide, exosomes—the healing, skin-calming growth factors derived from stem cells—or vitamins to stimulate collagen and elastin production. “Applying medical-grade skin-care products after the procedure offers the best results because the skin will soak everything up much more effectively.”
It Stimulates Collagen Production
As we age, our bodies produce less collagen (starting as early as our 20s), and therefore our skin begins to lose elasticity. However, Birmingham, AL dermatologist Corey Hartman, MD explains that microneedling promotes collagen production in our skin cells, helping it look as young as possible. “Microneedling, which works on all skin types, administers small injuries to kick the body’s natural healing process into gear and rejuvenate the skin,” he explains. “Though there are only a few procedures in cosmetic dermatology that are truly preventive, microneedling delivers on the promise to stimulate fibroblasts, which synthesize the production of collagen.”
It Can Be Effective for Treating Melasma
One of the most common concerns women walk into our office with is melasma,” says Grand Rapids, MI plastic surgeon Bradley Bengtson, MD. “More often than not, melasma is not optimally treated with high-heat laser devices, so microneedling is a great tool to break up the pigment.” The procedure banishes dark patches by allowing brightening creams and serums with ingredients like vitamin C to penetrate deep into the epidermal and dermal layers.
It Requires No Skill to Use
“Any Tom, Dick, Sally or Jane can buy a microneedling machine, set up a strip-mall shop and offer it to people,” says Eagan, MN dermatologist Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD, who stresses that complications can arise if you don’t visit a board-certified doctor for the treatment. Instead, he recommends an ablative laser, which “also boosts collagen and tightens the skin with much more sophistication.”