Micro-needling is a cosmetic treatment that produces “fractional” micro injuries to the epidermis and dermis of the skin. Micro-needling devices include rollers with wheels of needles and pens with a cluster of needles at the tip. The slight injury they cause stimulates the growth of collagen, the scaffolding under the skin, which then improves the appearance of some scars and wrinkles.
The mechanism of injury is a natural process, which makes micro-needling a holistic approach to skin therapy.
What is Micro-Needling Used to Treat?
- Fine lines, wrinkles and pore size reduction – The theory behind micro-needling is that the device’s tiny needle pricks stimulate the growth of collagen, one of the body’s natural healing processes ultimately helping improve fine lines, wrinkles and minimizing pores.
- Acne scarring – Topical anesthetic cream is used to keep the patient comfortable during the procedure. Patients should be advised that multiple treatments will be necessary. The number of needling sessions depends on the individual skin condition. Three or four treatments may be recommended for mild to moderate acne scarring, whereas severe acne scarring may take more.
- Reduce stretch marks – Stretch marks result from shear forces on tightened skin. Stretch marks may result from pregnancy or other changes in the girth of limbs or the abdomen. They are tears to the connective tissue of the skin caused by rapid growth or over-stretching of the skin. When the connective tissue is stretched and tears, the overlying epidermis becomes thin and loses it ridges. The elastic fibers break and retract. Micro-needling helps to thicken the skin over stretch marks helping to restore the contours of the epidermal surface. Stretch marks may require five or more treatments.
This treatment requires little to no downtime. The inflammatory reaction of the skin is extremely short and fades significantly within hours.
Micro-needling treatments complement other procedures, such as chemical peels, IPL and laser skin tightening, and greatly increase their effectiveness.
Four major phases of physiological wound response help in stimulating new healthy tissue growth resulting in tightened, lifted and rejuvenated skin.
First, an inflammatory response (1-3 days), to the initial injury promotes the chemotaxis response and proliferation of fibroblasts. The body’s platelets also respond to initiate a wound matrix. This response is the early phase of cell migration to remove debris and bacteria and stimulate the next proliferative phase.
During the second phase (3-5 days), the new fibroblasts, monocytes, keratinocytes of the first phase continue to proliferate and multiply. New collagen will be laid down and deposited with new tissue formation.
Next a fibrotic response (5-20 days), of growth factors are released and fibroblasts release collagen.
Finally, the maturation stage of new healthy skin takes place from day 28 to two years after needling. Collagen fibers mature and stiffen and the matrix of new tissue grows 80% to full tensile strength.
Micro-needling can be safely repeated every 4-6 weeks until the desired results are achieved.
The number of treatments required depends on how each individual responds to treatments. On average it takes 3 to 6 treatments to achieve desired goals.
For more information about Micro-needling, or to schedule a Micro-needling consultation, please contact Dr. Garramone’s office today at 239-482-1900.