Everything you need to know about Micro-Needling by: Dr Serena Cardoso DipPEC (SA), BHSc, MB BCh (WITS)
Micro-needling (MN) is the buzz treatment in cosmetic dermatology at the moment. It has shown efficacy for wrinkles, skin tightening, pigmentation and scars.
It performs multiple functions in skin rejuvenation and can be seen as a two-in-one treatment:
1. Stimulating collagen production through a cascade of wound healing and growth factor release while preserving the outer epidermis. This function lends MN its other name in aesthetic medical circles, “Collagen Induction Therapy” or “Percutaneous collagen induction”. It also promotes the production of new elastin and capillaries for improved skin firmness, texture and hydration.
2. Allows for the enhanced absorption of active ingredients placed on top of the little holes to get down to the deeper layers of the skin
Your skin is a very sophisticated organ designed to be a protective shield from the environment. The problem with this barrier is that it does exactly that and protects the skin not only the elements but also from all the beauty creams you slather on at night. This quandary lead Dr Desmond Fernandes to the concept of micro-needling many years ago whilst he observed a groundsman rolling a cricket pitch in preparation for play. By making fine conduits in the epidermis there is potential to get active ingredients down into the deeper layers of the skin across the thick, guarding stratum corneum. Micro-needling has evolved over the years. Home rollers dull quickly and are difficult to clean resulting in poorer results and possibility of injury or infection. They have largely been replaced with Dermapen MN which provides fresh, sharp needles for each treatment that oscillate to various depths. This requires preparing the skin with an anaesthetic (numbing cream) prior to getting to the depths required for optimal results and very careful selection of which topical active ingredients are layered into the treatment.
This strategic breach to our skin’s barrier and deliberate micro-wounding technique is why MN should only be done in the most sterile of environments; with new needles, unbroken vials of sterile active ingredients; and under the care of highly trained professionals to prevent infections and obtain good results. The depth of injection is also highly controlled and deliberate. One cannot simply roll in any old cream you have in the bathroom cupboard. Granulomas have been seen when unapproved products have been injected.
The small controlled wounds created by the needles cause recruitment of platelets and neutrophils to the area where they release growth factors. Ultimately leading to the deposition of collagen and elastin in these deeper layers of the skin as well as promoting blood flow here. Collagen and elastin improve the skin’s appearance by reducing wrinkles and scars.
At our skin clinic, with the help of expert beauty therapists and medical doctors, we assess your skin and customize your MN treatments to various depths and active ingredients based on your individual skin’s needs. It is a safe treatment with minimal downtime and side effects if done correctly.
Classical Micro-needling: Our classical MN treatment includes collagen induction therapy with the addition of vitamins.
Premium Micro-needling: Premium micro-needling involves specific combinations of various high-end, potent active ingredients.
For the treatment of pigmentation, our Premium Pigmentation MN treatment involves the combination of collagen induction therapy with tranexamic acid, nicotinamide, n-acetyl glucosamine and high-dose vitamin C. Active ingredients designed so suppress pigmentation. For antiaging, we combine the potential of collagen induction with peptides to further enhance collagen stimulation and production.
Pixel: Pixel is the addition of trichloroacetic acid, a medium depth peel, to micro-needling which can lead to an impressive improvement in skin texture with a reduction in blotchy pigmentation, fine wrinkles, superficial acne scars, freckling and actinic keratosis (dry sunspots).
Dr Vampire: One of our most exclusive micro-needling treatments is a combination of harvesting your own potent stem cells with healing potential and combining them with extra active ingredients to really enhance collagen induction and naturally, beautiful skin.
Fractora: Micro-needling can also be combined with fractional radiofrequency (called RF micro-needling) to deliver thermal energy into the deep dermis which has been proven effective for acne scarring, deep wrinkles, hyperhidrosis and large pores. It also has the potential to tighten skin and in recent split face, trials have shown safety in darker skin types.