Microneedling

Microneedling

Treatment Duration

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25 Minutes

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30 Minutes

Treatment Cost

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2,000

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35,000

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Microneedling

Microneedling is a recently developed aesthetic treatment that has gained wide popularity among skin-care enthusiasts. It has revolutionised the field of aesthetic medicine due to its cutting-edge technology. This article will highlight the science behind microneedling, its procedure, the before and after results of microneedling, and its benefits!

Surgery Name Microneedling
Alternative Name Collagen Reduction Therapy, Dermarolling
Diseases Treated Acne scars, Hair loss, Wrinkles, Stretch marks
Benefits of the Surgery Reduce the appearance of scars, Effective, Safer, Less expensive
Treated by Dermatologist

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What is Microneedling?

Microneedling is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure dermatologists use to treat various skin conditions. It involves superficial and controlled skin puncturing with the help of fine, sterile and stainless-steel needles.

Anatomy and Physiology of the Skin

The skin is the body's largest and primary protective organ of the human body. It is made up of three layers of tissues. The upper layer is the epidermis, the layer below the epidermis is the dermis, and the third layer is the subcutaneous tissue.
  1. The epidermis provides a waterproof barrier and contributes to the tone of the skin.
  2. The dermis contains connective tissue, hair follicles, blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, and sweat glands.
  3. The subcutaneous tissue (hypodermis) is made of fat and connective tissue.
The skin covers the entire external surface and serves as a first-order physical barrier against the environment. Its function includes:
  1. Protection against microorganisms, dehydration, ultraviolet light, and mechanical damage.
  2. Sensation of pain, temperature, touch, and deep pressure starts with the skin.
  3. Mobility: The skin allows smooth movement of the body.
  4. Endocrine activity: The skin initiates the biochemical processes involved in Vitamin D production, which is essential for calcium absorption and normal bone metabolism.
  5. Exocrine activity: The skin secretes products that can harm the body such as urea and ammonia. 
  6. Immunity development against pathogens.
  7. Regulation of Temperature: Skin participates in thermal regulation by conserving or releasing heat and helps maintain the body’s water and homeostatic balance.
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Conditions treated by Microneedling

Microneedling is a well-tolerated procedure. It can be done on all skin types, even on areas that are not suitable for procedures like peeling or laser resurfacing, for example– near the eyes. Microneedling helps treat several conditions:
  1. Reduces the appearance of scars, especially acne scars
  2. Decreases fine lines and wrinkles
  3. Reduces large pores
  4. Improves skin’s elasticity
  5. Decreases hyperpigmentation (dark spots)
  6. Reduces stretch marks
  7. Smoothes uneven skin tone
  8. Increases hair growth

Who needs Microneedling?

The right candidates for microneedling are those with acne scars, hair loss, wrinkles, and stretch marks.
  1. Microneedling for Acne Scars
    1. Acne is a common skin condition affecting 80% of people aged 11-30. People have been worried about acne for a long time. But this innovative treatment has been a game-changer ever since its inception.
    2. Studies have shown that microneedling for acne scars has been proven to be very effective. Microneedling facial treatment can reduce acne scars by forming new tissue, thus rejuvenating the skin with a spotless glow.
    3. Here are the microneedling before and after results. Notice the spotless and radiant skin after the treatment in each person.
    4. Microneedling for acne scars can turn out to be one of the best treatment options. However, it should be combined with other acne scar treatments to maximise results. Other acne scar treatments include chemical peels, subcision, microdermabrasion, fractional resurfacing, etc.
  2. Microneedling for Hair
    1. Studies suggest that microneedling hair can help induce stem cells in the hair follicles, thus leading to hair growth.
    2. It is also thought to promote the absorption of several hair loss medications, such as minoxidil and topical steroids, indirectly stimulating hair growth.
    3. Microneedling hair might be a good treatment option, particularly for male pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia.
    4. Microneedling hair helps by promoting hair growth or by thickening hair.
  3. Microneedling for wrinkles and stretch marks
    1. Microneedling facial treatment, due to its healing quality, works fantastic for reducing fine lines and wrinkles on the face. It results in tightening the skin, thus preventing ageing. Microneedling also diminishes the appearance of stretch marks as it boosts collagen and elastin production.

How is Microneedling performed?

Microneedling is a simple procedure carried out in the doctor's clinic with the help of a derma roller. It is used to cause punctures or micro-injuries in the skin. A derma roller resembles a pen and has small stainless steel needles inserted. The entire procedure usually takes 2 hours, depending upon the size of the area to be treated. Three to four sittings of microneedling facial treatment are usually required for moderate acne scars.  Most people might need 4 to 6 sittings to notice a difference.
  1. Microneedling works by puncturing the skin with microscopic wounds using thin needles. Creating these tiny wounds triggers the skin’s repair mechanisms and stimulates collagen production.
  2. The main idea behind microneedling is to stimulate collagen production. Hence it is often referred to as collagen induction therapy or percutaneous collagen induction. Collagen is a protein in the connective tissue present throughout the body. It holds the cells and tissues together and is produced in the tissue while healing. 
  3. Due to the tiny abrasions caused by microneedling, growth factors are released. Growth factors are proteins that help grow new tissues in the body. These growth factors encourage the skin to produce new collagen and elastin. After the procedure, new capillaries are also formed, which along with collagen production, collectively reduces scarring.
  4. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), microneedling can help reduce the visibility of scars and dark patches while enhancing skin elasticity.
  5. It's a simple, safe and effective procedure to treat various skin conditions.
Microneedling is done through the following steps:
  1. Step one: Preparing the patient
    The patient is made to lie down in a supine position. The area to be treated is exposed and well-lit.
  2. Step two: Preparation of the area
    The area will be prepared by applying antiseptic and saline. Then the doctor will numb the patient’s skin before starting the procedure with the help of a local anaesthetic agent. Commonly used anaesthetic agents include a mixture of lignocaine and tetracaine. This is done to decrease the pain and discomfort. This step lasts for around 45 minutes to an hour.
  3. Rolling
    After numbing the area, the doctor will stretch the skin and perpendicularly use the derma roller for 15-20 minutes over five times each in horizontal, vertical, and oblique directions. While rolling, pin-point bleeding, also known as petechiae, occurs, which will be controlled by the doctor.
  4. Post-rolling
    After rolling, the area is wetted with saline pads or ice packs to comfort the patient. The doctor may apply a cream or serum to soothe the skin and minimise discomfort and side effects.

What to expect before and on the day of Microneedling?

Before the microneedling, the doctor/surgeon will discuss and prepare the patient for the surgery. These steps often involve:

Before Microneedling

  1. Before microneedling, the patient must inform the dermatologist about any current medications they’re on.
  2. The patient should avoid medications such as ibuprofen and Accutane (used for acne treatment) well before the procedure to prevent adverse reactions. 
  3. The doctor may also suggest stopping using topical retinoids and exfoliants before the procedure.

On the day of Microneedling

  1. The patient will be asked to sign the consent form in the presence of his/her family.
  2. Vitals will be monitored.
  3. The patient will then be shifted to the operation theatre.

What to expect after Microneedling?

A patient who has undergone microneedling can expect the following after the surgery:

The recovery process in the hospital

  1. After the surgery is complete, the patient will be moved back to the hospital ward so that he/she can recover.
  2. The patient might also notice erythema, commonly known as redness, in the area that has been treated. This can last for up to 2 to 3 days. 

Recovery process/expectation after hospital discharge

  1. The patient may resume their day-to-day activities from the very next day of microneedling facial treatment since this procedure has a very low downtime of 24 hours. However, the doctor will instruct to protect oneself from sunlight (photoprotection). 
  2. The doctor will advise using sunscreen and following sun-protective measures daily. 
  3. Local antibiotic creams can also be prescribed in some cases to prevent infections.
  4. Patients are advised to follow these skin care steps after each session to speed up healing:
    1. Stay hydrated
    2. Use antioxidant serum on the skin
    3. Use a cooling mask
    4. Use collagen-stimulating peptides
    5. Avoid products with retinol and alpha hydroxy acids
    6. Avoid applying makeup
    7. Avoid getting sweaty

First follow-up appointment

  1. A minimum of 6 weeks gap is recommended between two sittings since that is how long it takes for new natural collagen to form.

Benefits of Microneedling

This procedure has recently gained wild popularity for its raving list of benefits. Microneedling benefits include: 
  1. Reduce the appearance of scars:
    Microneedling for acne scars is one of the best treatment options. It reduces scars by stimulating collagen production. Due to the healing property being one of several microneedling benefits, it is widely recommended as a microneedling facial treatment. 
  2. Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles:
    Microneedling works as an anti-ageing treatment modality as it reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  3. Diminishes the appearance of stretch marks:
    It boosts the production of collagen and elastin, which helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
  4. Effective:
    Microneedling has actually been known to rejuvenate and plump the skin in very little downtime.
  5. Safer:
    It's a safe procedure causing minimal discomfort to the patient.
  6. Less expensive:
    Microneedling is cheaper than other alternatives for skin conditions, such as laser therapy.

Risks and complications of Microneedling

Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure. It can have some side effects but is generally well tolerated and accepted by most people. Microneedling is considered to be safe for most people with good overall health status. This is one of the main benefits of microneedling, due to which most people choose it.
Common microneedling side effects include:
  1. Erythema or redness after treatment
  2. Oedema after treatment
Less common side effects of microneedling include:
  1. Scarring
  2. Infections
  3. Bruising
  4. Peeling
Microneedling hair can also cause some side effects, most of which disappear within five days of treatment. Side effects of microneedling hair include:
  1. Bruises
  2. Redness
  3. Pain
  4. Oozing of blood from wounds
  5. Swelling
  6. Scarring due to needles

Risk of delayed Microneedling

Delay in Microneedling can cause the skin condition severe.

Cost of Microneedling

  1. Microneedling costs in India can range anywhere from INR 2000 to 5000. Considering that you'd need at least six sessions to notice results, the total microneedling cost in India would range between INR 12,000 to 30,000. 
  2. Radiofrequency Microneedling (RF Microneedling) is an advanced microneedling procedure that costs from INR 10,000 to 25,000 per session. Many derma rollers are also available online that is comparatively light on the pocket, but their effectiveness and safety are not yet proven.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Myth: Microneedling is very painful.
    Fact: Microneedling can be slightly painful, but this pain can be masked due to the application of local anaesthetics.
  2. Myth: You can try microneedling facial treatment at home.
    Fact: Although many derma rollers are available for at-home use, their safety and effectiveness are not yet proven. Besides, they don’t render the same results as the clinic.
  3. Myth: Microneedling effects are permanent.
    Fact: The results of microneedling last for a maximum of six months. So you’ll need to repeat the procedure almost every six months.
  4. Myth: Microneedling leaves holes in my skin!
    Fact: Microneedling creates puncture wounds in the skin only so that the skin can heal itself, giving it a fresh look. It doesn’t leave holes in the skin.
  5. Myth: Microneedling provides instant results.
    Fact: Results of microneedling take time to show. It takes around 5 to 6 sessions to see visible results between the microneedling before and after pictures.
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Microneedling punctures your skin with the help of tiny, miniature sterilised needles. By creating these puncture wounds, your body stimulates collagen production to promote skin healing. This results in radiant and youthful skin.
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No. Microneedling can worsen skin for a few days due to puncturing the skin with needles. But as soon as your body starts producing collagen and healing the skin, your skin will improve. It'll take up to six weeks to notice a difference between the before and after microneedling pictures.
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It depends upon your skin condition and the speed of collagen production. Microneedling results usually last for up to 3-5 months.
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The microneedling cost in India ranges between INR 2000 to 5000 per session. It depends on the size of the area to be treated and other factors like your skin condition, number of sittings required, etc.
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People with the following conditions should avoid microneedling or consult a doctor before they do:
  1. Have skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema
  2. Have open wounds
  3. Have active acne
  4. Have or had cancer and have recently had radiation therapy
  5. Suffer from blood disorders 
  6. Have a history of skin scars (keloids)
  7. Have skin rashes or cold sores
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No, you won't see results after a single session of microneedling. It takes at least 5-6 sessions to see noticeable before and after microneedling changes.
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Microneedling can be painful because of the tiny needles that puncture your skin. However, local anaesthesia can help provide relief from this pain.
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The results of microneedling last for 3-5 months, depending upon the turnover of your skin cells. Hence it should be done every 3 to 5 months.
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Chemical peels work superficially, whereas microneedling penetrates deep into the skin. Chemical peels work best for superficial conditions, whereas microneedling is better for deeper skin issues. Depending upon your skin problem, your dermatologist will advise either one or a combination of both.
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Dos after microneedling:
  1. Stay hydrated
  2. Use antioxidant serum on your skin
  3. Use a cooling mask
  4. Use collagen-stimulating peptides
Don'ts after microneedling:
  1. Avoid direct sun exposure
  2. Avoid products with retinol and alpha hydroxy acids
  3. Avoid applying makeup
  4. Avoid getting sweaty
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No, microneedling after results is not permanent since your skin cells grow and transform continuously. The results will last for around 3-5 months, depending upon your skin's speed of collagen production and damage.
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Yes, microneedling stimulates collagen and elastin production, which results in tightening the skin.
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You should avoid the following things before microneedling: 
  1. NSAIDs
  2. Accutane (used for acne treatment)
  3. Make-up
  4. Heat-based cosmetic procedures
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No, instead, it slows down the ageing process by reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dullness. It also increases the skin's elasticity, thus making it tight.
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The most common side effect of microneedling is erythema (redness) which can last for up to 3 days. Other less common side effects include infections, bruising, scarring, and peeling.
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It takes 4-6 weeks for the collagen to rebuild after microneedling. Hence, the minimum duration between two sessions of microneedling is 4-6 weeks.
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 Yes, microneedling can lift jowls. Microneedling works on the principle of stimulating collagen production. This helps rejuvenate and improve the skin's elasticity, leading to tightening of the jowls.
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Microneedling usually has a downtime of 24 hours. You may resume your day-to-day activities from the very next day. But sometimes, it may extend to 2-3 days.
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It takes 4-6 sessions to see changes before and after pictures of microneedling. You may use it along with other procedures like laser therapy, subcision, etc., to maximise results.
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Yes, microneedling is better than microdermabrasion since it can be done on more areas of the body, including the face, body, scalp, and hands. Results from microneedling last longer than those from microdermabrasion.
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You can start microneedling facial treatment between your 20s and 30s to stimulate your skin to produce collagen. In case of an upcoming event, it is best to finish the treatment 1-2 months before the event.
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 Yes, microneedling facial treatment is great for those looking for a fix to acne, fine lines or wrinkles. It makes your skin radiant and youthful.
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Dr. Priyanka Sharma

MBBS, DNB Plastic Surgery

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Dr Priyanka Sharma is a well-known Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon associated with HealthPort Clinic in Delhi. She has 14 years of experience in Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic surgery and worked as an expert Plastic,...View More

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Sangeeta Sharma

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She has extensive experience in content and regulatory writing with reputed organisations like Sun Pharmaceuticals and Innodata. Skilled in SEO and passionate about creating informative and engaging medical conten...View More

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