Collagen is a structural protein found in large amounts in the skin. Its fibres form a supporting mesh that is responsible for the skin’s youthful characteristics, such as strength, texture and resilience.
As we age, the skin’s ability to replace damaged collagen with fresh collagen diminishes, with more gaps and irregularities developing in the collagen mesh. The first signs of this are believed to be seen in our late 20s. Collagen molecules are too large to be delivered directly as a topical product so we need to look at ways to stimulate new collagen.
The simplest ideas are often the best:
Microneedling is a process that uses “controlled injury” through needling the dermis (living part of the skin) to stimulate our natural ability to heal, to tighten and even generate a little volume. Ultimately it induces collagen stimulating growth factors that replace aging collagen with new collagen and also generates elastin.
As such it’s great for:
- Crepey or sun damaged skin on the face, hands and décolleté
- Scarring – Microneedling breaks up scar tissue, particularly light scarring such as acne, and encourages new skin growth in the area.
- Aging skin that needs “waking-up” and refreshing
Surely there’s a risk of scarring?
You’d think so, but fortunately not. With Microneedling, each needle is finely engineered to create a trauma-free hole in the dermis that stimulates fibroblast activity, releases growth factors and kick-starts the collagen, without damaging the epidermis (top layer of skin).
But that’s gotta hurt, right?
Admittedly Microneedling is not a treatment you’d choose for relaxation, but comfort levels are at an optimum to make it entirely tolerable with use of an anesthetic numbing cream.
Will I look like an extra from 28 Days Later?
Once cleansed, soothed and protected with our serums and creams, you will range from looking like you’ve had a tough session at the gym to being moderately sunburned. Skin may also feel warm, tight and itchy, which should normally resolve in 12 – 48 hours. This may be followed by a flaky sensation, dry appearance for, perhaps, a few days.
You should budget for a little downtime and the usual common sense measure of no events where you need to look your best for 14 days.
How many treatments will I need?
Whilst single treatments are available, the best results are seen with a course of three treatments, ideally six weeks apart. The reason for the intervals is to allow for the skin’s recovery, – exfoliation, cell turnover and maturation. You can go up to eight weeks between treatments and five would be the minimum before another treatment.
It’s also important to remember that skin remodeling does not occur overnight but is a process that takes place over 12 months +.
What do I need to do post treatment?
You simply need to be kind to and protect your skin. This includes religious use of a good sun-block during the course, staying out of direct sun for two weeks following treatment, and no exfoliation for at least one week. Everybody recovers differently but essentially you need to be kind, gentle and protective to/of your skin throughout the course.
Who can’t have Microneedling?
Whilst this is a particularly un-complicated treatment there are few people who aren’t suitable:
- If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding
- Those prone to keloid scarring (overgrowth of tissue when healing)
- Uncontrolled diabetes (as wound healing is compromised)
- Any area with warts, skin cancers or infection
- If you are taking blood-thinning therapies, or high does corticosteroids or oral retinoids. (Consideration).