The concept of microneedling for facial rejuvenation, also known as collagen induction therapy, is not a new technique. In fact, microneedling was first described in the 1950’s by the French physician, Michael Pistor, who advocated for the procedure to increase collagen and elastin, or substances in the skin that improve the youthfulness of the skin. The technique is minimally invasive and painless, using tiny needles to penetrate the top layer of skin hundreds of times in order to wound the skin and trigger the healing process. The precise small needle punctures in the skin induce your skin to produce more collagen and elastin, or the building blocks of youthful and rejuvenated skin. Collagen and elastin are important because they are proteins in the skin that provide structure, support, and strength. These are all key components of youthful skin and attributes that we lose as we age, resulting in wrinkles and sagging skin.
The microchannels that are created are also beneficial because they allow the penetration of topical skin products such as growth factor serums and or when microneedling is combined with plasma rich protein (PRP).
The SkinPen precision system is the only FDA cleared device for microneedling in the US and is the only microneedling device used at the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago.
AM I A CANDIDATE FOR MICRONEEDLING?
The SkinPen microneedling device has been FDA cleared for the treatment of acne scars of the face, however, other indications include treatment for facial rejuvenation. The face is typically one of the first parts of our body to show signs of aging, often in the form of frown lines, smile lines, crow’s feet, or forehead furrows. Wrinkles in the face can give you the appearance of being perpetually tired or angry. As we age, our skin thins and the quantity and quality of the structural components decrease, such as collagen and elastin. Microneedling has been shown to increase the thickness of the dermis or skin by 0.5 mm.
Microneedling is one tool in the plastic surgeons armamentarium for facial rejuvenation. Many patients also combine good skin care products like ZO skin health, Botox, fillers, and laser treatments to improve and maintain the youthfulness of their skin.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR CONSULTATION
When you schedule a consultation with the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago, you will speak with a board-certified plastic surgeon who will review your aesthetic goals with you and perform a facial aesthetic evaluation to see if you are a good candidate for microneedling. Be prepared to discuss your current skin care regimen and your long term aesthetic goals.
HOW IS MICRONEEDLING PERFORMED?
Although minimally invasive facial rejuvenation treatments seem like very simple procedures, it is always important to have an expert board-certified plastic surgeon perform the procedures or a certified aesthetician under the direction of a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Microneedling is performed in the office by your plastic surgeon or designated aesthetician. Your plastic surgeon or aesthetician will determine the optimal technique and settings for the SkinPen microneedling device based on your aesthetic goals. First, your face will be cleansed and numbing medication will be applied to the skin to be treated. Once the skin is anesthetized, the microneedling procedure will begin. The SkinPen device creates hundreds of micro punctures of the skin that are both painless and minimally invasive. After the treatment, post procedure skin care products are applied to the treatment area. The treatment time is usually 30 to 45 minutes and post procedure instructions are provided afterwards. Recovery after the treatment is typically 2 to 3 days, it is important to follow your post procedure instructions closely. Patients usually have 3 to 6 treatments at 4 to 6 week intervals.
RECOVERY AFTER MICRONEEDLING
Recovery after microneedling is typically 2 to 3 days, after that timeframe patients may resume their normal level of activity. It is important to avoid sun exposure or soaking the treated area in a pool or bathtub for the 3 days after the treatment. Also avoid skin care treatments such as facials until after 4 weeks from the procedure date. Be sure to follow your post procedure instruction carefully.
The results of microneedling are not typically apparent right away. It may take 2 to 3 weeks to see the full effect of treatment and if additional treatments are planned, you won’t see the full effect until all the treatments are performed. Many patients schedule at least 3 treatments at 4 to 6 week intervals to improve the quality and texture of their skin.
POTENTIAL RISKS OF MICRONEEDLING
The SkinPen microneedling device has been thoroughly tested and is the only FDA-cleared device on the market. As with any treatment, there are potential risks that can be associated with any procedure. The potential risks of microneedling may include:
- Redness, bruising, or swelling at the treatment site
Overall, microneedling is a safe and effective treatment for acne scars and facial rejuvenation. As non-invasive aesthetic procedures are becoming more popular and more unqualified practitioners are performing them, it is important for patients to do their homework. We recommend finding a practice where a board certified plastic surgeon or his/her trained associate is performing the procedure.
WHAT DOES MICRONEEDLING COST?
The average cost of microneedling ranges from $350 to $450. This can also vary depending on if PRP or other services are performed at the same time. Be sure to discuss all costs associated with your treatment during your consultation.
SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION
If you would like to treat acne scarring, reduce wrinkles, reduce the signs of aging and have a more youthful appearance, schedule a consultation with the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago. You will speak with a board-certified plastic surgeon or aesthetician who will discuss your specific aesthetic goals and determine if microneedling is right for you.
All surgical procedures by the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago are performed at top hospitals in Chicago and CMS or AAAASF-certified surgical centers for safety.