What Is Microneedling?
Microneedling, also called Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT), and Percutaneous (through the skin) Collagen Induction (PCI), is a minimally invasive skin-rejuvenation procedure that involves the use of the Microneedle Pen.
The mechanical action of the pen allows the needles to puncture the skin and create a controlled injury at a specific depth. Each puncture creates a channel that triggers the body’s natural healing process to fill these micro wounds by producing new collagen and elastin in the papillary dermis. In addition, new capillaries are formed for improved blood supply.
With Microneedling, the top layer of the skin is parted without being damaged, leaving the skin intact. It does not “burn” your skin like peels or more invasive lasers. The needle penetration depth can be adjusted from 0.25 mm to 2.50 mm into the skin depending on the area of the body and the skin condition being treated. Using skin needling consistently will trigger the body’s repair process until the desired level of skin rejuvenation is achieved.
Microneedling results in the production of new collagen and elastin, improvement in skin tone and texture, firmness as well as reduction in scars, pore size, and stretch marks.
As an acupuncturist specializing in holistic rejuvenation and wellness, I am excited to help my patients achieve their aesthetic goals. Microneedling is one of the earlier forms of acupuncture. The 7 Star Hammer or Plum Blossom Needle was used since ancient times for healing, rejuvenation and even hair loss.
Dermal pens are a modern version of these tools. I use a class 2 medical device to ensure safety and optimum results. This device penetrates the skin to the ideal depth to create collagen induction and to tighten and lift the skin.
How Is Professional Microneedling Different Than At Home Treatments?
The mechanism of action differs between the professional grade devices and home devices. The professional device I use, AcuMicro, uses a vertical action at 18,000 rpm, versus a rolling action or vibrating action that can cause excess damage to the skin. I’ve researched many pens and found Acumicro to be the best microneedling pen because of the high quality manufacturing of the cartridges and that its vertical action pierces the skin at the ideal depths. This provides the best results and patient outcomes.
Microneedling Combined With Plant Stem Cell Serums
Microneedling can be used in combination with Hyaluronic Acid and other serums to hydrate and heal the skin. I use medical lab grade Plant Stem Cell serums to address specific concerns such as under eye discoloration and drooping, pigmentation imbalances, & skin firming.
The micro-channels created by the needles allow for deeper penetration of topical serums for more effective results. This procedure can increase the skin’s ability to utilize the nutrients by up to 3,000 %.
What Is Nanoneedling?
Both the Nanoneedling and microneedling treatments use a pen like device that oscillates a tip up and down to stimulate a skin reaction. They both induce cell turnover, serum infusion and provoke the healing process that results in skin transformation.
Nanoneedling on the other hand works a little different. The nano cartridge oscillates like a microneedle cartridge, except it has 81 silicone microscopic cones and doesn’t puncture the skin. I use it in specific cases, or in the more sensitive eye area to help significantly reduce fine lines and wrinkles with each treatment.
The nano cartridge’s cones separate the cells within the epidermis encouraging active products into the skin. Nanoneedling only affects the epidermis, treating within the upper .15 mm of the skin. The benefits of this serum infusion treatment include pigmentation reduction, increased cell turnover, skin rejuvenation and an immediate glow with no downtime. Most people can have this treatment weekly to exfoliate the skin.
What Can Microneedling Treat?
- Acne Scars
- Fine Lines & Moderate Wrinkles
- Pore Size
- Photo Aging & Sun Damage
- Hair Loss
- Dry Skin
What Does Each Session Include?
Your treatment begins with an LED Light to activate your collagen. I apply medical grade hyaluronic serum to increase hydration and skin healing. Also includes a numbing cream before the treatment followed by soothing facial mask afterwards. Most people fall asleep at this point.
You may upgrade your treatment with Plant stem cell serums to address specific concerns such as under eye discoloration and drooping, pigmentation imbalances, & skin sagging.
Can I Have Microneedling If I’ve Had Cosmetic Surgery, Botox Or Injectable Fillers?
Yes. Microneedling helps to speed healing and stimulates your natural collagen production and cell metabolism. We will work together to optimize your results and other procedures.
Botox: I recommend waiting 2 weeks after Botox before microneedling on the face.
Cosmetic Fillers: The cosmetic-type injectable fillers take about 14-28 days to integrate into your skin’s collagen structure.
Cosmetic Surgery: If you are having a surgical procedure, I recommend non-cosmetic acupuncture treatments before and after your surgery, as this will increase your body’s healing mechanisms. Acupuncture before surgery will boost your immunity, and acupuncture post surgery will help speed your recovery while reducing swelling and bruising.
Do I Need To Take Time Off Work?
The treatments don’t require any downtime, however you will be red for 24 hours. If you are planning a special occasion, I recommend completing your sessions 2-4 weeks ahead of your event. For individuals who are on blood thinners or bruise easily, Arnica gel/cream and pellets can help minimize bruising. Limiting sugar, processed foods and alcohol before and during treatment will lower inflammation systemically while reducing any chances of bruising.
Here are the aftercare instructions, that I will give you after your treatment.
How Many Sessions Do I Need?
For most people, I recommend 4 microneedling sessions spaced 30 days apart for best results. You will notice notice an improvement in your skin the next day, and see the full benefit of an individual treatment after 4 weeks. The magic is happening below the skin surface during the 30 day period after your treatment. Those with deeper lines, sagging or texture issues may require more sessions. We will discuss this on your first visit so you know what to expect.
What Frequency Of Maintenance Do I need?
Once you’ve completed your treatment protocol and are happy with the results, we will determine a frequency to maintain your results. Most people return for touch ups 1-2 times a year.
Desiree Merulli has practiced acupuncture and cosmetic acupuncture in Seattle, WA for over 20 years.