I first started offering microneedling as a treatment over 10 years ago, I was fascinated by the concept of stimulating the bodies own healing process and excited for what this could offer me in terms of results for my clients with this non invasive natural rejuvenation treatment.
**What is Microneedling? **
There are many names given to this treatment but all rely on the same process, the use of a needle to perforate the and stimulate our bodies own wound healing mechanism; homeostasis, inflammation, proliferation and maturation.A consequence of this process when controlled is the stimulation of cell proliferation and subsequently a healthy production of collagen, elastin, keratin and melanin, leading to a more compact, healthier and even toned complexion, all of which are the end objective for any skin rejuvenation program. It can create marked improvement to ageing concerns, balance sebum levels, increase hydration and better circulation, create a stronger barrier defence, improve areas of hyperpigmentation and the appearance of scar tissue.
Some of the commonly used names for Microneedling are;
Multi Trepannic Actuation Therapy(MCA), this is a given term to the use of a tattoo device to individually target areas of concern.
Collagen Actuation Therapy (C.A.T) or Collagen Induction Therapy (C.I.T) common terms for this treatment as they refer to the result.
The origins of this treatment are often the cause of dispute both within the permanent make up sector and the aesthetic and medical sectors, therefore I prefer to not reference any source specifically but instead to focus on the treatment itself.
I must be honest that initially my approach was limited, I followed a basic education program and a protocol that didn’t offer me always the results I had expected, issues that I encountered were that I saw prolonged redness, results were sometimes unpredictable and on reflection there was not the support or information available at that timeregarding this treatment.
In fact there was more negative publicity than support, in certain sectors it was dismissed as either ineffective or dangerous.But the positive results that I saw, especially from treating my own skin led me to adapt, to carry out my own research with products and combination treatments, the result of which was the basis for the protocol that I use today. The use of biomimetic growth factors and hyaluronic acid with the ability to penetrate and moderate the inflammatory response enable enhanced results.
The treatment itself should not be heavily reliant on the infusion of product, whilst the use of the correct active products is essential and at the right stages of the process, it should not be mistaken for meso therapy, it is not the injection or infusion of product but the action of the needle itself. The product used should be to support that process.
Is Microneedling a safe treatment?
Is it safe is a common question from both fellow professionals and my potential clients, can microneedling be dangerous? Yes is my simple answer, when carried out neglectfully of the potential risks, as with any treatment it can pose risk, particularly there is the risk of reaction from the use of products not suitable to use after perforating the outer layer of the skin, there is risk of collagen degradation from timings of treatments being too frequent and not allowing the process of regeneration (proliferation) to arrive to maturation or too invasive, risk of scarring from treatments being too invasive or by incorrectly using other modalities in combination therapies.
More than 10 years on and things have evolved drastically, there are education programs that offer protocols and support, much more information readily available, research has been carried out regarding suitable products to be used in synergy with microneedlingthat can offer safe and consistent results. It is particularly useful for cosmetic tattoo specialists because a healthier skin means a better canvas leads to a more positive result particularly with permanent make up, in the case of chromatic reconstruction of areola, techniques can be applied to improve scar tissue and even striaedistensaepost mastectomy prior to or in addition to the application of pigment to the reconstructed breast, also before scalp pigmentation especially in cases such as hair transplant scars, improving scar tissue makes the application of pigment easier and the appearance of the end result more desirable.
Is Microneedling effective?
The second most asked question is does it get results and my answer is that it the single most effective that I have as an aesthetician at my disposal. It has offered me the opportunity to truly improve my clients skin. I offer combination therapies, individual programs for clients that are carefully considered, microneedling can certainly help to make other methods more effective.
Microneedling is such a popular method of skin rejuvenation because it stimulates a natural process that when successfully controlled leads to so much more than just collagen synthesis, it can be truly skin changing, because of its positive effect on stimulating other cellular renewal, namely keratinocytes and melanocytes, it avoids the destruction of the cutaneous barrier as with other methods such as deep peeling or modalities that create heat such as laser therefore making it a suitable treatment for a wider range of photo types. It is excellent for obtaining and maintaining a healthier skin.
Pros of treatment
It is a stimulation of a natural process, therefore it appeals to a wider client base
It can be used successfully along medical aesthetic treatments
It can be used successfully in combination with other rejuvenation methods, when there is respect for correct timescales of treatments
It does not destruct the barrier function of the skin
Cons of treatment
The fact that it is a stimulation of a natural process means that results are not immediate, for example the remodellation of collagen takes several months.
Client collaboration is required, a healthy lifestyle means better results.
In order to achieve good results it is important to understand both the process behind the treatment, to have a sound knowledge of the anatomy of the skin, to follow a safe and proven protocol and be comfortable to insist on collaboration with your clients.
Is microneedling a medical treatment?
This is something that I encounter often, there is certainly a noted difference between the approach of the medical sector and that of the aesthetic.
In order for a treatment to be described as medical the provider of that treatment needs to be medical. Therefore regardless of whether an aesthetic and a medical provider offer an identical treatment the description must not be medical when carried out by a non medical provider, to do so is misleading and also creates dispute between two sectors who should be working together to support one another and to provide clients and patients with a wider range of treatment options.
Both medical and aesthetic treatments offer different options , an aestheticians in depth study of the skin should not be dismissed,an aesthetic approach is generally less invasive, remaining within the boundaries of general skin improvement as opposed to therapy and it should always be remembered that an aesthetician cannot diagnose, prescribe or manage the outcome if issues occur, so a less invasive approach is always recommended.
Different countries and even regions offer different guidelines so it is important if offering this treatment or considering doing so to check the guidelines first.
This treatment I am positive will continue to evolve within both the aesthetic and medical sectors, it remains a passion for me to discover more regarding this highly effective and sometimes misunderstood treatment.