In recent years, the demand for non-surgical facial rejuvenation has been met with the development of numerous treatment options. Some, such as lasers and microneedling, improve the appearance of the epidermis by creating minor injury to the dermis. The outcome of controlled injury is what we call neocollagenesis, or collagen induction.
At SKIN Medical Spa in San Francisco, we are continually merging the art of science and beauty. We are pleased to offer microneedling services for the purpose of facial rejuvenation.
What is microneedling?
Microneedling is a longstanding method of inducing collagen into areas of the skin that have been damaged by age, life, and the environment. This technique involves the use of very fine needles to puncture the skin at precise depths ranging from .5 to 2.5 millimeters. The channel that results from each tiny puncture invites the body to send an influx of collagen and vascularization to the “wound.”
Professional microneedling in our medical spa is performed using the Eclipse MicroPen, an automated device with fine, sterile needles that creates a controlled puncture every time.
How does microneedling with PRP work?
Microneedling, on its own, is a collagen inducing procedure. To amplify the healing response in the dermis, we can now include PRP into the process of rejuvenating the skin. PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, is an autologous serum that is made from your own blood. When applied to the skin prior to, during, or after microneedling, platelet-rich plasma and its subsequent growth factors are absorbed into the microchannels across the epidermis.
What conditions does microneedling improve?
Because microneedling brings forth a new influx of collagen into the skin, this treatment can be performed for a wide range of desired improvements. Some of our patients undergo microneedling, with or without PRP, as a way of managing the effects of UV damage and aging. Microneedling can also be used in the treatment of certain types of scars, such as acne scarring, and to improve the overall tone and texture of the skin.
What areas of the body can be treated?
The size and portability of the sterile microneedling applicator allows us to treat various parts of the body in need of textural improvement. Common areas of treatment include the:
Prior to microneedling, we cleanse the skin and apply a topical numbing gel to the surface. This anesthetic is allowed to absorb for about twenty minutes. If your microneedling treatment will include PRP, we will draw your blood at this time and process out the nutrient-rich platelets in a high-velocity centrifuge.
Once microneedling begins, the applicator tip crosses over the epidermis, making controlled micro-injuries at the appropriate depth based on the treatment area. For example, needle-depth is adjusted lower for areas with less fatty tissue, such as the brow line. Needles penetrate deeper in areas such as the stomach. PRP may be applied to small areas during this process to allow the autologous serum to absorb immediately into the channels created.
Recovery after Microneedling
One of the advantages of microneedling treatment is that there is no downtime in which soreness or other side effects inhibit daily activities. Pinpoint bleeding or blood-spots may be noticed immediately after treatment. Some patients experience lingering redness and / or bruising that resembles a sunburn. This can last for a few days, but most patients report feeling comfortable enough with slight redness to go about their days as usual.
How long do the microneedling results last?
When the skin is naturally soothed by an influx of collagen, we can reasonably expect the results to last permanently within the natural process of aging. However, it is also important to understand that the visible manifestation of conditions such as sun spots, lines, and wrinkles originate beneath the surface. This means that, in time, as skin cells make their way from underlying layers of the epidermis to the surface, those visible markings that had resulted from UV damage and other factors may once again be noticeable, though not to the same degree. Conditions such as stretch marks and scars tend to remain consistently better after improvement with microneedling.
Recovery after Microneedling with PRP
Because PRP is an ultra-healing agent, it is possible that redness and other temporary effects of treatment may dissipate more quickly. As with any beauty treatment, it is important to practice safe sun habits after microneedling treatments so as to avoid UV damage. Since PRP is produced from the patients own blood, there is virtually no risk of rejection or allergic reaction.
Schedule a Consultation
Learn more about microneedling and how our team can help you love your skin. Call (415) 409-6500 to schedule a consultation at our office in San Francisco.