Microneedling is a proven treatment for reducing the appearance of wrinkles and lines in aging skin.
As you might expect, microneedling refers to the use of needles or ‘microneedles’ to achieve a therapeutic effect. During the procedure, thousands of microchannels are believed to start a cascade of naturally occurring factors that stimulate the normal process of wound healing.
Here’s a summary of a study in patients treated with microneedling. The results will help you decide if microneedling is right for you.
Here’s what they did.
Microneedling treatments to the mid and lower face were given to 49 people each month for 3 months. Then, they were followed for another 3 months after their last treatment. Changes in wrinkles were evaluated using the Fitzpatrick’s Classification (Table 1). Pain and any side effects were also recorded.
Table 1. Fitzpatrick Classification of Facial Wrinkling
Here’s what they found.
The average Fitzpatrick score before microneedling was 5.0—fine-to-moderate depth wrinkles with a moderate number of lines.
By 1 month after 3 treatments were completed, the Fitzpatrick score declined significantly by one Class, from II to I, with an average score of 3.8—fine wrinkles.
When the patients were re-evaluated 3 months after the final treatment, their average score was 3.5. This confirmed that improvement was maintained.
Mild-to-moderate reddening of the skin was reported immediately after treatment and lasted up to 12 hours. On a scale ranging from 1 (no pain) to 10 (worst imaginable pain), the average level of pain reported by the patients was 4 (mild pain).
The researchers concluded that this treatment achieved significant wrinkle reduction, skin tightening, and lifting of the treated mid and lower face.
Here’s what you need to know.
Microneedling is performed after applying a topical anesthetic cream. Once the cream takes effect, the area is cleaned. Then, the microneedling device with a needle length based on your specific need is selected. The instrument is held like a pencil and rolled in three different directions over the area being treated. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is then rubbed into the skin.
Platelet-rich plasma is made by taking a small amount of a patient’s own blood, which is then spun in a centrifuge. This fluid containing concentrated platelets and growth factors is then removed. Nothing else is added, so there’s no risk of allergy, reaction, or rejection. Platelet rich plasma therapy is a purely natural process using the body’s own healing factors.
Any small amounts of blood are washed away, a final coating of PRP is then applied, and you will be given a post-treatment skin care program. Sun avoidance and regular sunscreen application are recommended during the post-treatment period. The small pinpoint injuries on the treated skin heal in 2 to 3 days.
Skillful use of microneedling and PRP by an experienced aesthetic dermatologist offers an opportunity to minimize facial wrinkles and lines, and restore your youthful appearance. For a consultation and more information, contact Aesthetic Dermatology and Skin Cancer: Jeffrey H. Binstock, M.D. Drs. Binstock, Layton, and Physician Assistant Cullinane will answer your questions. Call our San Francisco office at (415) 956-8686, or in Mill Valley call (415) 383-5475.