Microneedling is currently one of the hottest skin trends on the esthetic market.  During microneedling, a sterile medical device makes hundreds of miniature punctures through the outermost layer of a patient’s skin. These tiny, painless punctures prompt the patient’s body to increase the natural production of collagen. This leads to a turnover in skin cells and generation of a new layer of youthful skin.

Collagen is what gives our hair, skin, nails, bones, tendons and ligaments their structure. It gives our hair its shine, our skin its glow and strength to our nails. However, as we age, collagen production slows. This lessened production of new collagen can be due to a number of factors, including:

  • Unhealthy diets
  • Poor lifestyle decisions
  • Vitamin and nutrient deficiencies
  • Exposure to external pollutants
  • UV ray exposure
  • Genetics

What does microneedling do?

When our bodies are injured, cells known as fibroblasts produce new collagen to repair the injured area. This induction of new collagen gives us new tissue. Through use of a microneedling device, an esthetician under the direction of a plastic surgeon is able to stimulate a patient’s body to produce additional collagen in response to what it perceives as miniature injuries, replacing older dermal tissue with new, more youthful skin.

Who is a good candidate for microneedling?

Because microneedling is a safe and minimally invasive procedure, women and men of almost all ages can utilize it to prompt a completely natural healing process. This healing process may be used to reduce wrinkles, minimize the appearance of stretchmarks, repair sun damage, and heal scarring, all while preventing the formation of new lines and wrinkles.

Who is a bad candidate for microneedling?

Seattle microneedling should not be performed on patients who have:

  • Active skin cancer in the treatment area
  • Open wounds, sores, or irritated skin in the treatment area
  • An allergy to stainless steel or anesthetics
  • A hemorrhagic (bleeding) disorder or hemostatic (bleeding) dysfunction
  • Are pregnant or nursing; or are currently taking drugs with the ingredient isotretinoin (such as Accutane).

Does microneedling work? Is it worth it?

Seattle microneedling is a relatively quick and painless process. Before your first treatment, we will discuss your individual goals and come up with an appropriate course of treatment based on your needs and budget.

Most Seattle microneedling patients see best results after between three to six sessions. Microneedling patients needing more substantial repair may require six or more sessions. For best results, it is usually recommended to space each treatment four weeks apart, to promote proper healing and skin rejuvenation between treatments.

Seattle microneedling patients may notice even more pronounced improvements by alternating chemical peels with microneedling sessions. The chemical peels remove older skin at the surface, while the microneedling works from within, allowing new skin layers to form below the skin’s surface.

A Before and After Microneedling treatment in Seattle

Is microneedling better than lasering?

Lasers use a directed pulse of high-energy light, allowing for a very targeted treatment. In applications where laser treatments are appropriate, desired results can often be seen with a single treatment. In addition, lasers can more effective than microneedling at treating certain conditions, such as broken veins. However, laser treatments have longer recovery times, carry more risk of complications and are not always appropriate for all skin types.

On the other hand, microneedling is a broad treatment technique. Recovery times from microneedling sessions are quicker than those with lasers, but the results from each individual session are subtler. While recovery time from microneedling sessions is minimal, it can take more sessions to achieve the same results as a single session with a laser. However, microneedling can be used to treat a much larger area. Microneedling is also safer for a wider variety of skin types and may have more appeal to those looking for a more natural treatment.

There is not one correct answer whether microneedling or lasering is better. As with any medical treatment, your decisions should be made after speaking with a medical provider who can provide you with information on available courses of treatment so you can make an informed decision on which is best for you.

What happens during the procedure? Does Microneedling hurt?

During a treatment session, you will be taken to a private treatment room in our office, where your skin will be thoroughly cleaned and sterilized. A numbing cream will be applied at the treatment site for your comfort during the procedure. As the numbing cream begins to work, your provider will seal the microneedling device in a sterile wrap and insert a fresh set of sterile needles into the device.

Your Seattle microneedling provider will then begin your treatment by setting the microneedle depth to a setting appropriate for your needs and gently massaging the device across the surface of your skin. The majority of patients report only a slight vibration sensation during this time.

Once the appropriate area is treated, your provider will once again wash and sterilize the area and apply a soothing gel to the surface of your skin to nourish it and prevent drying.

What is the recovery and downtime?

After treatment, you should avoid direct exposure to sunlight and refrain from harsh cleaners for a week. A small percentage of patients may experience what can be described as a mild sunburn sensation, though this should subside after two to three days. As your body naturally generates new collagen, you can expect to see a reduction in the appearance of scars, a lessening of wrinkles and a more youthful appearance overall.

Why Choose a Seattle Plastic Surgeon for Microneedling

You may have seen or heard about do it yourself microneedling. While they may seem like a good way to save money, microneedling, as well as microdermabrasion at home, are bad ideas.

Consumer products are designed for repeated use at home. Though the holes created in microneedling are nearly microscopic, they are still intrusions into your body through its outer layer of defense, the skin. Even when washed well, these do it yourself products are still not sterile. Every hole through your skin is a potential entry point for dirt and bacteria.

Consumer products can increase, rather than reduce, scarring.

Most do it yourself microneedling products–such as microneedling rollers–are wheels lined with hundreds of tiny needles. When rolled across the user’s skin, these consumer products enter at an angle and leave at an opposing angle. The punctures made by these rollers are “V” shaped, rather that “I” shaped. Larger punctures are no more effective at best, dangerous at worst, and can cause scarring from excessive puncture sizes (see below).

Is microneedling safe?

In addition to the risks of infection and scarring, consumer microneedling products are less effective. Deeper scarring requires deeper needle depths for effective treatment. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regulates needle depths on microneedling devices, classifying those with longer needle depths as medical devices only to be used under the guidance of a physician. Consumer products cannot reach the depths required to treat some scars.

Microneedling FAQ

Where does collagen come from? How does it work?

Collagen fibers are naturally produced from the vitamins and amino acids in our diet and supplements. As these nutrients are digested and absorbed into our bodies, we combine them to form tiny protein strands known as procollagen, collagen’s precursor.

The easiest way to explain the creation of collagen from procollagen is to think of procollagen strands as single threads of yarn in a sweater. As our bodies produce procollagen, we “weave” these individual threads into “fabrics” of skin and other tissues. We use these “fabrics” to grow new skin, hair, nails, ligaments and tendons.

Does microneedling really work?

At Seattle Plastic Surgery, we utilize the SkinPen® by Bellus Medical under the supervision of board certified plastic surgeons. The SkinPen® is the first medical microneedling device cleared by the FDA and has been clinically proven to treat and repair the appearance of acne scarring. When utilized properly, the SkinPen® is completely sanitary and carries little to no risk to the patient.

Is microneedling painful?

Microneedling is a relatively painless process from start to finish, with the most commonly reported side effect being described as having mild sunburn for two to three days after the treatment.

What does microneedling cost?

The exact cost of microneedling treatments will depend on the extent of treatment you choose and the number of treatments you choose to have performed. Please visit our price page for a breakdown of general costs for all treatments we are able to provide.

About Dr. Jonov
If you are considering Seattle microneedling, you should be selective about the practice you select. Dr. Jonov of Seattle Plastic Surgery has successfully performed countless plastic surgery procedures and helped patients of all ages feel good about the way they look.

He takes great pride in treating each patient as an individual and will design a treatment plan that is right for your particular preferences. You can count on Dr. Jonov and his friendly, compassionate staff to help you feel comfortable throughout every step of the plastic surgery process.

Since Dr. Jonov is a strong advocate of patient education, he will take the time to explain the ins and outs of your procedure and answer any questions you may have. He uses the most advanced techniques and technologies available to ensure exceptional results and a speedy recovery.

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