If you’ve been looking for a treatment that addresses multiple aesthetic concerns at once, we at Keller Plastic Surgery and Rejuvalase Medical Spa in Santa Barbara, CA, would like to share with you the benefits of microneedling. Treatment is relatively fast and works with, rather than against, your body’s natural processes. This means tighter, thicker, and more radiant skin that will last for months to come.
How Long Does It Take To See Results from Microneedling?
This powerful treatment prompts your body to push new and fresh skin cells to the surface to replace those that are old and damaged. The purpose is to reduce wrinkles, erase age spots, and brighten your complexion. Considering these effects, it’s not surprising that treatment results don’t show immediately. You’ll quickly see tighter skin, a brighter complexion, and smaller pores shortly after your session, but final benefits take four to six weeks to develop.
The delay is owed to collagen production. That’s right – microneedling, also commonly known as collagen induction therapy, prompts your body to synthesize more of this crucial protein. Our bodies naturally make collagen, but levels can wane because of exposure to tobacco, UV rays, and poor diet. Aging also slows production. Igniting this process helps skin look and feel healthier, but it takes time.
Collagen and Your Face
The smooth facial contours and lifted structure we all enjoy in youth are owed to collagen. This fiber weaves with others – like elastin – to form a firm but flexible scaffolding that supports your skin. It’s why you don’t see wrinkles until later in life when collagen wanes and leaves gaps in the scaffolding. Your skin collapses into these gaps so that fine lines and wrinkles develop on the surface.
Ramping up collagen restores your skin to its natural shape. And once production is stimulated, it will continue indefinitely. This means you’ll enjoy your results well into the future.
This refers to the rate at which your body sheds and replaces dead skin cells. When we’re young and internal processes run optimally, cellular turnover takes place roughly every 30 days. By age 50, this slows to 50 days, and by age 60, it extends all the way out to once every 60 days.
Cellular turnover is crucial to your appearance. Fresh skin cells reflect light in a way that gives you a soft, radiant glow. Dead skin cells, on the other hand, can sit on your facial surface and contribute to rough patches, a fatigued appearance, and a dull complexion. Microneedling helps speed up this process in a way that is safe and healthy.
The Benefits of Waiting
We are a society that loves nothing more than instant gratification, but some things are worth the wait – like the benefits you’ll see from microneedling. These are sure to look entirely natural because treatment omits incisions, stitches, and chemicals. You won’t look like you’ve had “work done.” You’ll simply look naturally recharged.
Gradual changes to your appearance also conceal the fact that you’ve had any treatment at all. You won’t leave work Friday looking one way and appear Monday morning looking completely different. Instead, as a couple of days melt into a couple of weeks, you’ll start looking fresher and younger. And it will be your choice if you tell anyone the changes are owed to cosmetic therapy.
What Is This Treatment?
You might be wondering what separates this treatment from others, and we can tell you it’s the use of fine needles that cause invisible micro-wounds in the top layer of your skin. This sounds far more traumatic than it actually is. The needles are applied in a very precise manner so we can treat either specific sites or your entire face. We also control the depth at which the needles enter your skin depending on the severity of your concern.
In short, we only cause micro-wounds to the extent that you need them. Healthcare providers like this treatment because it is highly manageable, minimally invasive, and proven to deliver results. It also requires little to no downtime, allowing you to return to the tasks at-hand as your body’s rejuvenating functions go to work.
The Point of Micro-Wounds
The success of this treatment can be found in those tiny injuries we make. Keep in mind these are imperceptible to the eye but large enough to force the body to go into repair mode. This is how collagen production ramps up, and in the coming weeks, you’ll not only look healthier but also enjoy stronger, thicker skin that is healthier.
Micro-wounds serve another important purpose as well. Only 4 to 8% of the products you apply to your face penetrate below the surface. But treatment can help these creams and serums penetrate more effectively, meaning they can deliver their benefits as intended. The punctures act like tiny channels that readily absorb products in a way clogged pores cannot.
What To Expect
Although you will feel something, treatment should not be painful. Most patients, in fact, indicate they only feel a slight vibration. We can apply a topical numbing agent to ensure your comfort, which is ideal for patients with sensitive skin.
And treatment is simple, with sessions lasting about an hour from start to finish. We typically start by cleaning your face and then following with the numbing agent mentioned above. After we’ve completed all the necessary preparations, we’ll proceed with the tiny needles, ensuring we gently but effectively penetrate your skin. This process means that rather than looking good for a few days after treatment, your skin will stay smooth and radiant for months.
Caring for Your Skin After Treatment
Right after, your skin will likely feel warmer and tighter than usual. This is normal and indicates the healing process has already started. For at least a few days, your face will also be more sensitive. We recommend you wash with only lukewarm water for 24 hours – no scrubs or cleansers. After the first full day has passed, you can resume washing with a gentle cleanser, and you should continue with this for 72 hours. Also pat rather than rub skin dry.
In addition, you should not apply makeup or sunscreen to the treated area for a day. Once you’re outside of this waiting period, you should use only makeup brushes that have been properly cleaned. It’s also ideal to use a chemical-free sunscreen every day if you don’t already do so. UV rays will diminish the effects of treatment more quickly and contribute to overall skin damage.
What to Avoid
For the first 24 hours, you should skip any strenuous activity, including exercise, and likewise steer clear of swimming pools. Additional recommendations include the following:
- Put active skincare products, like those containing retinol and vitamin C, into a drawer until we give the go-ahead
- Stay out of direct sunlight for 48 hours
- Skip the tanning beds and self-tanning lotions
- Stay out of the gym and other sweating environments, like hot tubs, for 72 hours
All the Details
One of the best aspects of microneedling is its safety profile. Patients of all skin types and colors can use it without worry. And it treats a range of concerns, from scars and small acne bumps to wrinkles and sunspots. The key is in delaying treatment if you have inflamed, infected, or active cystic breakouts.
You should also avoid treatment if you have rosacea, eczema, or extremely sensitive skin. But don’t worry – we have options for those who fall into these categories. Finally, patients who are on blood thinners or frequently drink alcohol should similarly consider alternative treatments.
Frequency of Treatment
The frequency at which you need treatment will depend upon the severity of those concerns you want to address and your skin health. Patients who simply want to fine-tune their appearance and already take care of their skin may only need treatment every three to six months. A person with severe acne scarring, however, would likely benefit from sessions delivered once monthly for four to six months.
After completing your treatment plan, you should plan on coming in once a year for touch-ups. These can be especially helpful if your skin needs to be refreshed, as it does from time to time.
Comparing Professional Treatment To At-Home Dermarollers
If you’re curious about these devices, we can tell you they have much shorter needles and don’t penetrate the skin as deeply as professional treatments. This means you shouldn’t expect the same results, and any results you do see will be short-lived.
Beneficial for Some Acne Cases
Microneedling is not intended specifically for acne, but it does help clear some cases. The main benefit is that it reduces and unclogs pores. Even if you wash your face twice a day, pores get clogged from years of exposure to the environment, cosmetics, and bacteria. But don’t reach for strips that promise to pull out the gunk. They only strip your pores of beneficial oils and can cause more harm than good.
Instead, we suggest you speak to us about this treatment as well as others that can clear your skin and reduce the potential for scarring. The goal is to safely unclog pores without further irritating sensitive tissues.
You Can Extend Your Results
Many patients are so pleased with their treatment results that they ask how to extend them at home. We’re happy to provide self-care suggestions that will also improve skin health. You can start by drinking at least eight cups of water every day. Before you shake your head at the simplicity and repetition of this notion, keep in mind water is now being touted as the path to beautiful skin.
If you tend to be dry, water can provide critical moisture. It also flushes toxins out of your body to clear skin of dirt and bacteria. The body holds on to all types of toxins, many of which cause acne breakouts. Transporting these toxins to the kidneys so they can be expelled is the best way to enjoy brighter, smoother, and softer skin. We also recommend you:
- Avoid smoking
- Get plenty of vitamins, including all the B vitamins
- Minimize alcohol intake
- Avoid time in the sun
- Eat a diet that minimizes sugar and processed foods
A Treatment of Many Benefits
We can use this treatment to firm skin, even tone, reduce scars, and erase wrinkles. Once your treatment plan is finished, you only need periodic maintenance sessions to maintain your results. Discover this therapy for yourself. Schedule your appointment today by calling Keller Plastic Surgery and Rejuvalase Medical Spa in Santa Barbara, CA.