Microneedling may sound like an intimidating procedure, no thanks to the word "needle" in its name, but the treatment can be considered a more effective way to do a facialaside from the numbing cream involved. "You're really building collagen and thickening the skin, so instead of looking good for a few days after your traditional facial, your skin is smooth and radiant for much longer," explains Beverly Hills-based plastic surgeon Dr. Sheila Nazarian. "It's such a safe procedure, and is great for filling in acne scars." Of course, the idea of getting needles inserted into your face for the sake of skincare can seem intimidating, but if you've seen the before and after shots, there's no questioning the treatment's effectiveness, and instead of using injectable fillers to repair an indented area, the process kick-starts your body's own natural collagen production to heal the skin on its own. We asked Dr. Nazarian for a crash course on the treatment, so you can determine whether or not it's right for you.
What Is It?
Also referred to as Dermapen and Rejuvapen, microneedling is a treatment that involves using a tool with 11 super-tiny needles in the very tip, which can be adjusted by your professional between 0.5 and 2.5 millimeters. "0.5 millimeters is the smallest amount, which penetrates the stratum cornea, or the superficial layer of skin," Nazarian tells us. "You can think of microneedling as collagen inductionor collagen induction therapy, which is another name for itand the treatment creates micro-punctures from the needles inyour skin. Your body treats a small wound the same way as a large wound, and sends fibroblasts to create more collagen in the affected area. We are basically tricking your skin into thinking it has been wounded, but as a result, we're thickening the skin and improving the texture with this procedure." At Nazarian's practice, the treatment begins by first cleansing the face, then a growth factor serum by Tensage is then applied all over. Your doctor will then needle the serum in, apply another layer, then use a mask over the top to seal everything in. Keep in mind, this is not the same procedure as a "vampire facial," which uses growth factor from your own blood, and is recommended for very advanced signs of aging.
Who Should Do It?
If you need to grow a thicker skin not necessarily in terms of your friends roasting you in the group chatyou're probably a good candidate. "It's great for acne scarring, and because it doesn't use heat and is totally mechanical, it's safe for all skin colors and types," Nazarian says. "The treatment is wonderful for smoothing out the skin and filling in acne scars, but if you have those small bumps from clogged pores, it can help to clear all of that up as well." Just make sure there aren't any inflamed or infected areas on your skin, and if you have a cystic breakout, wait until it clears up before going in for your appointment.
Does It Hurt?
It shouldn't, provided that your practitioner numbs the area first. "We use a cream to numb the skin really well, so we can go as deep as we need to," she says. Afterwards you can expect the skin to be a little pink, and at the very worst, a few tiny punctate scabs that fade in a few days.
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