There are many facial rejuvenation techniques currently available for those looking to address fine lines, wrinkles and acne scarring. Resurfacing techniques like chemical peels, laser resurfacing and dermabrasion have been used for years to rejuvenate the skin by removing the top layer of damaged skin and stimulating the production of collagen and elastin. While effective, these techniques often include significant side effects such as whitening of the skin, hypo-pigmentation, hyper-pigmentation, thinning of the skin and increased sun sensitivity. These treatments are also not recommended for the delicate eye area.
Skin needling, also referred to as medical needling or facial needling, offers an effective alternative for reducing facial wrinkles and lines as well as acne scars, chicken pox scars, and other shallow depressed scars. Needling can also help to flatten and smooth raised or hypertrophic scars, such as those from skin grafts and surgery, and relax contracted scar tissue from burns or accidents that limits movement. This is a natural method of skin rejuvenation that does not require chemicals, lasers, fillers or injections. Instead, a process is used in which hundreds of microscopic pin pricks are created on the skin, triggering the body’s natural wound healing process and the production of new collagen. With repeat sessions, new collagen is gradually and continually produced, plumping and filling wrinkles, lines and depressed scars naturally.
First discovered in the 1940’s, today’s methods of needling are much more sophisticated and are used routinely around the world. This technique often goes by other names including dry needling, needle abrasion, needle dermabrasion, dry tattooing, facial mesotherapy, multitrepannic collagen actuation (MCA), percutaneous collagen induction (PCI), and collagen induction therapy (CIT).
Benefits of Skin Needling
There are many benefits of needling compared to other skin resurfacing methods. There is no removal or damage to the outer layer of skin, resulting in less risk of pigmentation changes and fewer side effects like skin thinning, increased sun sensitivity, allergic reaction and infection. This also results in less downtime and faster healing. In fact, recovery and downtime only last a few days. Because there are fewer risks, repeat or ongoing treatments with needling are possible. In fact, with repeat treatment, the skin becomes thicker rather than thinner. Needling can also be used around the eyes to treat conditions like crow’s feet.
What can I expect during the needling procedure?
During the needling procedure, a topical anesthesia is used to minimize pain and ensure the patient’s comfort. Once the skin is numbed, a sterile needle is inserted 1 to 2mm into the skin, creating a shallow puncture wound which triggers the body’s natural healing process and the production of new collagen. Multiple insertions are made on the skin throughout the treatment area. After treatment, swelling is minimal and patients heal within a few days. Redness is common in the treatment area and lasts for three to five days. Ointment must be applied regularly during the first 3 to 7 days after treatment. Patients may see improvement in as little as a few weeks after each procedure with continued improvement occurring over the course of several months. The skin will appear smoother and tighter with diminished lines and wrinkles. Repeat treatments should be spaced at least 6 to 8 weeks apart.