Collagen Induction Therapy
Can Microneedling Improve the Appearance of Wrinkles & Acne Scars?
It’s the latest trend in minimally-invasive plastic surgery, but does it have the results that you’re paying for? With so many new procedures promising to improve the life and luster of your skin, it can be quite a task to decipher which skin-enhancing treatment is right for you, your budget, and your face.
Microneedling—also known as Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT), Percutaneous Collagen Induction (PCI), and Skin Needling—is a skin rejuvenation procedure involving fine needles that puncture the skin. Each puncture creates a controlled injury, resulting in a channel that allows the flesh to fill these wounds with new collagen and elastin. This process of neovascularization and neocollagenesis improves the texture and firmness of skin, while also reducing the appearance of scars, large pores, and stretch marks.
Now that more and more negative side effects of botox have been discovered, Microneedling has become the new favorite among on-the-rise facial procedures, due largely to the simplicity and speed of the treatment. The popularity of Microneedling can also be traced to its layered benefits of reducing and reversing—and possibly preventing—both wrinkles and scarring. It has even become an often used method of treating photo-aged skin, as it has been known to improve appearance and quality of skin. During the procedure, the epidermis remains intact, so it can be repeated safely on the face, unlike laser treatments that cause possible infection and inflammation of the skin.
While often one’s greatest strength is one’s greatest weakness, the simplicity of the Microneedling process is what has led to speculation of its long-term benefits and possibly its downfall. Microneedling can be performed without extensive training or expensive equipment, with some single-use systems available for only a few hundred dollars. This cost-effective and easy procedure can be done at home even on sensitive areas, such as around the eyes, mouth, and hands. Relatively pain-free, Microneedling is usually tolerated by those with even minimal downtime, and the intensity of each treatment can vary depending upon the patient’s tolerance and level of skin damage.
An easy at-home treatment of Microneedling may give you the immediate results you are looking for, but don’t fall for its charms too quickly. When not applied by a doctor, Microneedling is prone to resulting in higher infections and scarring than if it were applied professionally. The risk of infection creates further probability for skin-care products to react negatively with skin that has recently begun the process of neocollagenesis. This has been especially true with serums high in Vitamin C, which can create rashes lasting as long as a year. A second, serious concern with at-home Microneedling is the possibility of purchasing devices that have not been approved by the proper Food and Drug Administration review, as some simple medical devices can be exempt from FDA review if they are similar to devices that have already been made exempt.
When treated by a doctor, dermatologist, or a professional, Microneedling procedures can be very effective against wrinkles and acne scars. There is little risk in infection and inflammation, and the needles and devices are usually guaranteed to be high quality and FDA approved. However, do your due diligence when searching for the right doctor, dermatologist or professional who is well versed in this treatment.
Professional Microneedling treatments work wonders for sunken areas on the skin that have been caused by acne, but deep, narrow “icepick” acne scars are nearly impossible for the procedure to remove. Published studies have proven that generally a 60 to 70 percent improvement in broad acne scars can be made within four to six treatments.
So the answer is a resounding “yes.” Microneedling is proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and acne scars. If you are willing to pay for the professional treatment, you’ll most likely get the results you’ve desired. However, when considering an at-home procedure, which can also work well, just use caution and look for a quality product.