vampire facial microneedling
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Kait James

Microneedling: Everything You Need to Know!

What is Microneedling?

Microneedling is a treatment that uses a handheld device with a collection of needles on the end. These needles vibrate up and down and penetrate into the skin from 0.01 – 2.5mm. Lower needle depths puncture the epidermis, while deeper needle penetration will penetrate into the dermal layer of the skin. 

How does Microneedling work?

The dermal layer of skin is the layer of skin that works to trigger collagen and elastin production. Microneedling is technically a micro-injury. This treatment tricks your body into thinking there is an injury. Anytime the body recognizes something as an injury, it kicks into healing overdrive. The main nutrients used to heal the body, especially, surface level skin, is collagen and elastin. But because it is a micro-injury, all the nutrients aren’t needed to actually heal, meaning you get the benefits of the excessive collagen and elastin! Microneedling enhances not only how your skin looks, but how it behaves. Regular microneedling can restructure the nutrient makeup in your skin, resulting in long term heathy, HAPPY skin.

Why is microneedling good for acne prone clients?

Microneedling is an intense purge. The use of the needles disrupts under the skin bacteria, forcing it to the surface. So, bacteria that would have stayed locked under the skin, growing, and eventually coming to the surface as a large pimple (perhaps even a cystic blemish), is instead forced to the surface before it has the chance to grow. This results in a tiny white head that pops naturally and heals quickly.

Can Microneedling treatment be done on acne?

Making sure that you have a knowledgeable and qualified provider is key to navigating the fine line between helping acne with microneedling and making it worse. While microneedling works to purge your face of under the skin bacteria, microneedling over acne pustules can spread bacteria. It’s important that your provider know how to do a thorough skin analysis and navigate needling properly. Generally, we will treat full face, avoiding active acne. At the end of treatment, we will spot treat acne. This allows for an aggressive purge of the pustule and usually results in acne rapidly drying out and healing. This is great especially if you are a “picker.” Often times, when acne is persistent and not going away, you may continue to pick the raised acne and the scabs. However, with excessive nutrients to the site, the acne will heal at a faster pace, minimizing the time you have to pick, resulting in less hyperpigmentation and scarring.

Why is microneedling good for acne scar correction?

Microneedling works to enhance your skin cell turnover rate. As teenagers, we have about a 21-day turnover rate, meaning that our skin sheds & is replaced with new skin every 21 days. As we age, this slows. When it comes to acne & scarring, the skin cell turn-over rate is immensely decreased. Microneedling forces our skin into healing overdrive, increasing the skin cell turnover rate. This allows for the built-up skin & scar tissue to continuously shed & be replaced with new skin; this process slowly brings the scars to the surface, creating a more even complexion.

Why is microneedling good for anti-aging?

Going back to the skin cell turnover rate, as adults this slows drastically. Microneedling restructures the way the skin acts. Just one treatment can minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while kicking your body into overdrive of collagen and elastin production, which keeps your skin taught. Regular microneedling creates the foundation for your skin to act younger, slowing the aging process.

Why is microneedling good for stretch marks?

Microneedling can help minimize the appearance of stretch marks with collagen and elastin production that specifically tightens the skin within the stretch mark, helping your skin bounce back from weight loss and post-partum, tightening the skin.

Does Microneedling hurt?

Microneedling is one of the least painful skin tightening procedures on the market. It is recommended that the provider use a numbing cream to make the treatment as comfortable as possible. Pain level varies by client. The more aggressive the treatment, the more irritation that can be felt. But generally speaking, microneedling pain is incredibly manageable. Many people opt into microneedling facials every 6 weeks, showcasing how manageable the treatment pain and recovery is.

What are the associated risks with Microneedling?

Microneedling has very few risks. This is essentially a treatment that uses your body’s own healing mechanisms, making it very holistic. The main risk associated with microneedling is post treatment sun exposure, as this can result in hyperpigmentation. It is incredibly important to follow aftercare instructions following your microneedling.

What areas can be treated with Microneedling?

Any area can be treated! While the face is the most common area for treatment, it is also common to treat the neck/ décolleté, stomach, and any area that could benefit from skin tightening. It is also really common to do spot treatment for scar correction; for example, cutting scars.

What is the healing process like with Microneedling?

Microneedling has a manageable healing process. The first 24 hours post treatment are the most detrimental. During this time, no sun exposure, no sweating, and no makeup. It is recommended that you use gentle cleansers and keep you skin hydrated with a high-quality moisturizer. Immediately after treatment, you will experience a bit of a sun burn sensation; this usually subsides within 12 hours. Depending on how aggressive the treatment is, you may experience a bit of pinpoint bruising and micro scabbing. It is incredibly important that you do not pick as any of the affected areas, as this can result in hyperpigmentation.

When is the best time of year to get Microneedling treatment?

The best time of year to get treatment is anytime that you tend to avoid sun exposure. If you love summer days by the pool or have a tropical vacation scheduled, you definitely need to hold off on microneedling until a time that you will be out of the sun. Even wearing a hat and using SPF can still result in hyperpigmentation post microneedling. A lot of clients prefer to do microneedling when they have a couple days of downtime where they can relax at home, all natural.

Who is the ideal client for Microneedling? 

EVERYONE is the ideal client for microneedling! That’s the best thing about microneedling, every single person is a great candidate. Again, we are using your body’s natural healing mechanisms to rejuvenate the skin. With many treatments, skin color and type paly a large factor in determining ideal clientele. For example, lasers can potentially hyper-pigment melanin rich skin so there are relatively high associated risks. Microneedling has be tried and true with positive results for all skin types!

How do I know I’m finding a good provider for Microneedling?

Finding a knowledgeable provider is key to a good experience with microneedling. Some suggestions when finding a provider, ask questions! Utilize the knowledge you have gained from this blog to engage your provider in a few question-guided discussions. You want a provider that is well spoken and confident on microneedling. Next, having a portfolio of personal microneedling clients is a sign that the provider is experienced. In 2022, it’s rare that a provider does not have a social media presence; check out their page, look at comparison photos. It’s a bonus if their content provides educational, knowledgeable posts on the services as well. Your provider should be a licensed esthetician and/or work under the direct supervision of a physician. It’s always okay for you to ask a provider for their credentials.

Is a consult mandatory for Microneedling?

Because microneedling is great for everyone, a consult is not always mandatory. Many providers have switched to virtual consults post pandemic and it’s very common to be asked for photos prior to service. But a consult during your skin analysis portion of the microneedling treatment is very common and sufficient. Microneedling is a very mainstream service at this point, high reward with minimal risk!

What is the average cost of treatment for Microneedling?

Average cost is $300. This price can vary, however. Many providers will offer specials as an incentive for new clients to try the service and as a thank you to loyal clients. Generally speaking, the overhead for microneedling is higher than a base level facial; we have to numb you, the device itself can be upwards of $5,000, each needle head is disposable and has a mid-level price point, serums used during treatment are needed. Price usually varies based on quality of the device. More expensive devices with more expensive needle heads will elicit a higher price point, but also elicit better results. The add-ons are up to your provider; many providers incorporate hot towel treatments prior to numbing and end the treatment with cooling masks of LED therapy. Time and overhead, as well as expertise combine to produce the cost. You also have to take into consideration supply and demand of your provider. If your provider is booked out 4-6 weeks in advance, this is an indication that they are very reputable and have a very loyal clientele making their time and service in high demand. Do some research, reach out to providers to inquire about price and make the choice that is best for your budget. Friendly reminder, if you feel that a price is too high, politely decline. It’s very common as a provider to hear “well, I found it cheaper with so and so.” This is an incredibly rude remark, prices do vary based on the factors discussed above; if you feel the provider is too high, book with a provider you feel is more in your price range.

How long should my microneedling treatment take?

On average, a microneedle facial is about 30 minutes! You should have some intake paperwork to complete. Followed by an intensive cleanse and numbing cream. The needling itself takes anywhere from 15-30 mutes depending on how aggressive the treatment can get. Most providers also provide a post needling cooling treatment such as a mask of LED therapy. But, on average your appointment should be about an hour!

Do you always bleed with microneedling?

Not always! There are two main factors that play into whether or not you bleed with microneedling: skin thickness and how aggressive the treatment is. A more aggressive treatment will penetrate into the skin at a deeper level and cause more “injury.” This is often done on thick acne scars for resurfacing. Skin thickness is another indication; if you have incredibly thin skin or have been utilizing too much retinol, your skin will be thinner and bleed more easily. It is also common for those who have previously been on acne medication such Accutane to have incredibly thin skin. Normal, healthy skin that has been well taken care of and is on a balanced cocktail of serums, will only experience pinpoint bleeding with microneedling.

Does bleeding indicate how good the microneedling treatment was?

Not at all. As mentioned above, normal skin bleeds very minimally with a microneedling treatment. Bleeding is often an indication of thin, damaged skin or an incredibly aggressive treatment. With acne scarring, it is better to treat aggressively as the needles in the pen are breaking up the scar tissue and allowing fresh skin to surface, creating a more even complexion. However, if we treat too aggressively, we can injure healthy skin. When you experience a lot of bleeding due to too aggressive of a treatment, the skin is actually injured as opposed to experiencing microinjury. This means your body actually needs all the collagen and elastin and the benefits from the microneedling treatment will be minimal.

What is the difference in microneedling and PRP?

We have gone into detail what microneedling is in this blog. Both microneedling and PRP are often termed “vampire facial” due to the bloody aspect of the facial. However, PRP is a service used in conjunction with microneedling; you have your blood draw and put into a centrifuge. This centrifuge separates your platelet rich plasm, and this is applied directly to the skin to be used as a glide for microneedling. Basically, PRP is a microneedling upgrade as you get even more natural healing benefits.

Have questions that we haven’t discussed? Comment below and I’ll be sure to answer / clarify anything that you may like to know!

Interested in learning more about microneedling? Check out the Lux website here! Interested in learning more about microneedling training? Lux offers in person training at our flagship in Indianapolis, IN, as well as online training nationwide. Check out the Lux training website here!

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