Microneedling (MN) has gained quite the spotlight alongside other mainstream treatments designed to improve the skin’s health and appearance. In the last 5 years, much more research has gone into documenting what MN can do for the skin. It has become increasingly utilized due to being a relatively simple procedure, cost-effective, well-tolerated, and offers both cosmetic and therapeutic benefits.
MN can be traced back to as early as 1995 where it was first used for scar treatment post-surgically to relieve tension in the tissue. In 2006 Dr. Desmond Fernandes developed the first MN product that has become the modern-day DermaRoller by DermaSpark. The eDermaStamp by DermaSpark is one of two Health Canada-approved MN systems for medical use here at the clinic.
MN uses very fine, sterilized microneedles to make microscopic, evenly spaced punctures in the skin. These micro-punctures create a small trauma that causes a pinprick of blood to rise to the skin’s surface, thereby initiating a wound healing response. This causes the release of many growth factors, including platelet-derived growth factor (PGF), transforming growth factor alpha and beta (TGF-α and TGF-β), connective tissue activating protein, connective tissue growth factor, and fibroblast growth factor (FGF). The formation of new blood vessels and new collagen and elastin is initiated by fibroblasts migrating to the site of skin injury. Fibroblasts are cells in structural tissue that help maintain the organizational framework of the tissue. Collagen and elastin production declines as we age, and these are structural proteins that give the skin its strength, ability to stretch, and more youthful appearance.
With MN, only a fraction of the skin’s surface is affected by the micro-punctures, thereby leaving the skin around each needling site unharmed – allowing for rapid healing and short recovery. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology published a Cochrane review of controlled clinical trials and found the most common side effect of MN is transient redness which generally passes within 24 hours. Some participants experienced slight swelling post-procedure or mild pain. Otherwise, adverse events were rare. MN is also well tolerated by most skin types, including darker skin.
MN is not a quick fix miracle treatment as changes take time because the skin is actually repairing itself. For most people, a series of treatments spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart is necessary for concession, with three treatments minimum and upwards to six or more treatments depending on the skin condition being treated. Studies show most people notice a 45-55% improvement in their skin 6 to 12 weeks after a MN treatment.
A systematic review of the literature in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery assessed studies investigating the effects of MN on acne scars, skin rejuvenation (ageing, wrinkles and fine lines), keloid scars, hypertrophic scars, striae (stretch marks), alopecia, melasma, and acne. The review uncovered noteworthy results when MN was used as a stand-alone treatment. When compared to other treatments, MN showed similar results and was the preferred treatment of choice due to minimal side effects and short recovery time.
Overall, MN offers a simple yet effective therapeutic modality in skin rejuvenation that is cost-effective and has a promising safety profile for many skin concerns.
If you would like to book an appointment for Microneedling with Dr. Ayla Lester or Dr. Yvonne Cheng, please contact [email protected]
Christopher, I., Awosika, O., Rengifo-Pardo, M., and Ehrlich, A. (2017) ‘Review of applications of microneedling in dermatology’, Clinical Cosmetic Investigational Dermatology. 10, pp. 289-298. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S142450
Falabella AF, Falanga V. (2001). ‘Wound healing. The Biology of the Skin’, Goggle Scholar. pp. 281–299.
Glynis, A. (2018). ‘Safety and Effectiveness of an Automated Microneedling Device in Improving the Signs of Aging Skin’, Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology. 11(8), pp. 29-34.
Ramaut, L., Hoeksema, A., Pirayesh, A., Stillaert, F., and Monstrey, S. (2018). ‘Microneedling: Where do we stand now? A systematic review of theliterature’, Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery. 71(1), pp. 1-14.doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2017.06.006.
Singh, A., and Yadav, S. (2016). ‘Microneedling: Advances and widening horizons’, Indian Dermatology Online Journal. 7(4), pp. 244–254.doi: 10.4103/2229-5178.185468
About the author:
Dr. Ayla Lester is a Naturopathic Doctor at Linden & Arc Vitality Institute. She incorporates a holistic approach and believes in the healing power of nature – your body’s ability to heal itself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually when provided the proper environment. Using your body’s intuitive roadmap, Dr. Ayla focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of imbalances to eliminate symptoms and optimize your well-being. Her goal is simple; to support you in your health, naturally. To book an appointment with Dr. Ayla, contact [email protected].