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Does Microneedling Tighten Skin?

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Beyond eye care, Eye Lab helps its customers feel comfortable in their skin and their eyes to improve overall health. 

Microneedling is a common aesthetic procedure that uses small, sterilized needles to gently create microscopic holes in the skin’s outermost layer stimulating new collagen formation. Microneedling is a minimally invasive treatment that can improve the skin’s appearance by tightening the skin and minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

Microneedling 101

Microneedling is designed to help smooth, firm, and tone the skin by reducing the appearance of facial scars, acne scars, and wrinkles. It does this by stimulating the production of collagen and new tissue to improve the skin resulting in more refined texture, increased firmness, and overall skin tone.

Microneedling is most commonly performed on the face, where it may help to reduce dark spots/discoloration, fine lines and wrinkles, and target large pores.

Because of its minimally invasive nature, microneedling is safe for most healthy people and requires little to no downtime. However, the procedure does cause mild skin redness, as if you’ve spent a day out in the sun. 

Advantages of Microneedling

Microneedling has grown in popularity due to its advantages. The procedure is intended to renew and plump the skin with little discomfort and is tailored to each individual based on their skin concerns.

The following are some of the advantages of microneedling:

  • Reducing scars
  • Minimizing the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles for improved skin texture
  • Reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation by correcting uneven skin tone  
  • Increasing skin elasticity and reducing pore size
  • Minimize the visibility of stretch marks and scars on the body
  • Encouraging hair growth on the scalp in alopecia patients

Microneedling is less costly than laser treatments and may be more effective for some people as laser treatments, or energy based treatments, utilize heat and energy, which may have an impact on the pigmentation of your skin. Not all skin types are candidates for laser treatments, so be sure to consult a skincare professional before any type of treatment. 

How Does Microneedling Work?

Microneedling uses controlled tissue damage which stresses the skin, stimulating neocollagenesis or the formation of new collagen. Collagen is a type of fiber in the skin that provides strength and elasticity. This is key in maintaining the tightness and smoothness of your skin.

As we age, collagen production declines. As collagen declines, the skin loses its natural elasticity and bounce, contributing to fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Lastly, microneedling is not a one-and-done treatment for these issues because it involves forming new skin, which can take many months. For noticeable results, a series of 3-6 treatments are typically performed a month apart. This allows the skin to heal while forming new, healthier skin. The process of skin cell turnover with treatment is a journey that requires time.

What Are the Risks?

As a popular treatment in the beauty industry, microneedling is regarded as reliable and successful, however, there are always risks associated with any type of treatment. 

The most common side effect is skin inflammation directly following the treatment. Other possible side effects include swelling, pain, redness, bruising, dryness, and flaking. Bleeding is a rare side effect of microneedling; however, it may be more prevalent after more extensive treatments.

Bleeding may also be dangerous for those who have bleeding issues or are taking blood thinners. Before receiving treatment, talk to a healthcare and skincare professional to get all the information you can to make sure this treatment is right for you.

If you have any of the following conditions, you may not be a candidate for microneedling:

  • Skin conditions, such as psoriasis or eczema
  • Open wounds or active acne 
  • Recent radiation therapy 
  • A history of skin scarring
A close-up of a woman washing her hands in clean, running water

Microneedling Maintenance 

As with any aesthetic procedure, the downtime and aftercare will vary. Since microneedling is a slightly invasive procedure, treating your skin as an open wound helps yield the best results. Doing so will ensure that the skin heals without any additional stress. 

Side effects can be reduced by using a moisturizer and mild cleanser on your skin. Your skincare professional will provide you with specific instructions on how to care for your skin following your appointment. Be sure to follow their directions carefully because they may be specifically tailored to you based on your medical history or skin type.

Protection from the Sun

Avoid spending time in the direct sun for the first week after your appointment, as you’ll be more susceptible to sun damage, and use sunscreen regularly for the first 2 weeks following your microneedling treatment to protect your skin, and practice applying SPF daily, regardless of treatment. 

Infection Prone

Think of taking care of your skin post-microneedling like getting a new tattoo. The skin is a temporary open wound that bacteria may easily get into, causing an infection. To avoid infection

  • Wash your hands and avoid touching your face
  • Apply the topical antibiotic cream prescribed by your doctor if necessary
  • Avoid wearing makeup for the first 24–48 hours after your treatment. If so, apply mineral makeup as it’s less likely to clog pores
  • Ensure all  makeup applicators are clean prior to use
  • Avoid any type of heat, including sun, hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, or exercise

Post Treatment Home Care Products

Your skincare professional should be consulted before using any cleansers, toners, or scrubs in the next week following your treatment to ensure the healing process of the skin and avoid possible side effects that may be irritating to the skin.

You can use a gentle moisturizer to help moisturize and calm the skin, soothing any irritation you may experience during the healing process. But always speak with your skincare professional to curate a plan of skin care products to assist with post care.

Takeaway on Microneedling

Microneedling can be a valuable tool in pursuing healthy, beautiful skin and reduce the signs of aging. Though it may not be for everyone, if you’re considering microneedling, please book an appointment at Eye Lab for a unique, comfortable, and classy experience.

Eye doctor in Scottsdale, Serena Shao

Written by Dr. Serena Shao

Dr. Serena Shao was born and raised in southern California. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California San Diego in 2013. After completing her bachelor’s degree, Dr. Shao left sunny San Diego to pursue her dream in Chicago, where she obtained her Doctor of Optometry at Illinois College of Optometry in 2018.

Dr. Shao holds extensive clinical experience, including refractive and contact lens evaluation as well as the treatment of ocular pathology. She is fluent in both English and Mandarin Chinese.

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