What is Microneedling or Collagen Induction Therapy?
Microneedling involves using a medical device shaped like a pen that contains 12 very fine needles at the tip. These needles penetrate the epidermis layer of the skin creating a wound effect that stimulates the production of collagen and elastin as well as new capillaries for improved blood flow. The collagen fills in the fine lines giving the skin a smooth plump texture.
What Conditions Can It Treat?
- Fine Lines & Wrinkles
- Acne scaring and large pores
- Melasma – dark spots
- Hair regeneration
- Crow’s Feet
- Above the lips pucker lines
- Neck and chest wrinkles and brown spots
What Does the Procedure Involve?
- The skin is cleaned and numbing cream is applied to lessen discomfort. It takes about 15 minutes for the numbing cream to work .
I will be doing acupuncture on the rest of the body to support your facial treatment and bring your body into balance. I may also make recommendations on diet or prescribe Chinese Herbs if I determine these are needed.
For example, if you suffer from painful irregular periods I will also work to resolve this while we are waiting for the numbing cream to take effect. The amazing thing about seeing a Dr. of Traditional Chinese Medicine is I do more than just treat the external layer of the skin. My goal is to always restore the body to balance so you leave feeling calm, relaxed and regulated. Yes, your face will be very red but you will feel great.
- Once the numbing cream is ready, I apply a serum to ease the glide of the pen. Working in sections, I apply the pen across the face stopping to adjust the needle depth depending on area I am working on.
- After needling is completed a face mask is applied.
Prior to starting, we agree on your facial goals what areas you want to address specifically – for example you may want to work on reducing crow’s feet or acne scaring or brown age spots.
What You Can Expect After the Treatment
You will look bright red and may have some pinprick bleeding in certain areas – commonly on cheek bones and forehead. This is a good thing. We want a bright red face. It stimulates your body’s histamine reaction. You may even feel the need to sneeze. You may experience a heat, tingling and itchy feelings. These are all normal as your body’s healing system has kicked into high gear with fibroblasts responding to the wounds that have been created. These will turn into collagen and the redness will fade after about 6 -8 hours. You skin may also peel – use a gentle wash cloth to slough off dead skin.
Post Care Treatment Do’s and Don’ts
- Keep your face protected from the sun – avoid any direct exposure for up to 7 days – wear 60SPF block
- Stay hydrated apply hyaluronic acid frequently and drink lots of water
- Best to avoid alcohol right before and after your treatment as it is dehydrating and causes heat and redness to the skin.
- Avoid any retinols or abrasive masks – anything that will irritate the skin for at least 7 days post needling
- Do no exercise immediately following your treatment – wait at least 1-2 days as sweat will irritate the skin. Its important to keep it clean and free of any bacteria
Aftercare Treatment and What to Expect
- You will be red for 6-10 hours your skin may feel hot or itchy
- No exercise as sweat can irritate the face
- You need to keep your face clean free of makeup and any other irritants – avoid touching your face
- No sun day of and avoid direct sunlight on your face for 7 days afterwards. Use an SPF of 60 and stay out of the sun
- No makeup following your treatment
- Do not wash your face until the next day
- Soothe skin with aloe/arnica for 24 hours
- Mild soothing cleansers
- Avoid any exfoliants for 10 days
- Stop using retinols for 7 days as it may dry the face – goal is to nourish nourish nourish!!!
- Recommended to use Hyaluronic Acids – like Cerava or serums to keep skin moist
- May experience peeling or flaking for 12-24 hours
- Results begin within two weeks
- Only do 1 x a month – avoid before period – may be more sensitive
- After 7 days return to your regular skincare regime
Possible Side Effects
- Pinpoint Bleeding
- Burning sensation
- Skin irritation
- Pigment changes
Diet Support Post Treatment
For optimal healing support and results avoid wheat and sugar. Recommend eating fresh pineapple, tart cherry juice (no sugar) Omega 3 fish oil – salmons, and bone broth soups. You can also take collagen or connective tissue support supplements for 2 weeks to optimize healing,
Preparing for Microneedling Pre-treatment Instructions
6 months before avoid Accutane
2 weeks before avoid IPL/Laser procedures, unprotected sun exposure or sunburn
5-7 days before – avoid topical agents that may increase sensitivity to sun like:
- Topical antibiotics
- AHA, BHA
- No waxing, depilatory creams
- No Electrolysis
3 days before avoid anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, motrin, advil – these will interfere with the natural inflammatory process that is critical to skin rejuvenation as well as alcohol and fish oils.
When Will I See Results??
This is an inside job – not a freezing job like Botox. It will take at least two weeks to start to see improvement and will require at least 4 treatments once a month. It is a strong treatment and the results can last up to five years!
What Does It Cost?
The treatment costs $260. It takes 60 minutes and any herbs prescribed are included in this price. It you have acupuncture benefits a portion can be covered usually up to $100 depending on your provider.
Who Should Avoid Microneedling?
- If you are pregnant
- Prone to cold sores – facial acupuncture of any kind can stimulate them
- Undergoing cancer – chemo or radiation treatments
- On blood thinners
- Severe keloids
- Active skin infections
- Acne – with sebaceous cysts – raised red nodules
- Have used Accutane (isotretinoin) within the last three months