Why Everyone Is Talking About Microneedling

microneedler for skin

Maybe you have scarring from all the acne you had in high school. Or maybe you've got wrinkles that you are SURE make you look years older than you really are. Either way, we've got one (long) word for you: microneedling.

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That's right. Microneedling. It could be exactly what your skin is craving.

Microneedling -- aka skin needling, micro needling, or the slightly sci-fi-sounding "collagen induction therapy" -- is a fast in-office procedure in which a dermatologist rolls a device covered with teeny-tiny shallow needles over your skin, essentially poking holes into its surface. (Don't worry; a numbing cream is applied first.)

We know what you're thinking: WTF? Holes in my f***ing skin?

But this procedure has apparently been around for over 60 years. And these are good holes, everyone. They cause what's called a "micro-injury," which encourages your skin to produce more collagen.

And if you've ever googled collagen, chatted with a dermatologist, had a facial, or watched one episode of Real Housewives, you know: More collagen is what you want. It rejuvenates your skin, plumps up lines and wrinkles, and -- drum roll, please -- keeps you looking young.

True, you might look a little sunburn-y immediately after a microneedling treatment. And all that collagen goodness takes weeks, even months, to become apparent, so it isn't an instant fix.

"But your skin will be much improved over the long term," says Sonoa Au, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with Advanced Dermatology PC and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery in New York.

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Depending on the sitch of your skin, you'll likely need between three to six microneedling treatments to see major improvements. And the average cost is about $600, so being poked like a potato that's about to go into the microwave isn't cheap.

"But microneedling works great for sunken areas on the skin caused by acne and chickenpox, as well as for fine lines and discoloration," says Dr. Au. Wrinkles and stretch marks respond well, too.

And it's not limited to your face. "Microneedling can be used on many other areas of the body, including the arms, neck, legs, abdomen, back, and hands," Dr. Au notes.

While it is suitable for all ages and ethnicities, there is one group of people who may not see super-great results from microneedling, and that's hard-core sun worshippers. "Severely sun-damaged skin doesn't regenerate as well," explains Dr. Au.

On RealSelf, an online community for learning and sharing info about cosmetic surgery and other elective treatments, microneedling gets an 88 percent approval rating from people who've actually had it done, so there's that.

But while you may be tempted to cheap out and buy a kit that allows you to microneedle your own skin at home -- because such kits do exist -- Dr. Au doesn't think that's the best idea.

"You're creating a wound in the skin, which always carries with it the potential for scarring," she says. "This procedure is valuable and effective -- but best done by a dermatologist."

  

 

Image via marcinm11/Shutterstock

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