Microneedling, dermal needling, derma rolling, collagen induction therapy.
All terms to describe the method of poking small holes into the skin in order to induce a wound that then, through the healing process, creates a thicker and healthier skin. This occurs through our skin’s amazing ability to heal itself and the process it goes through to do so.
Today I am going to go through the stages of the treatment and explain the different stages of healing.
My model has an oily skin type and has struggled with acne in the past. Her goal was to diminish fine lines on the forehead, improve overall texture due to acne scarring, and increase facial volume.
I started the treatment by cleansing the face with a gel-based cleanser and prepping the skin with a solution for dermaplaning. I used DermaplanePro’s AHA/BHA Prep Solution for this, and used a 10R butter blade from them as well. Below is a picture before treatment, but after cleansing and prepping.
The dermaplaning portion of the treatment is not required prior to needling the skin, but can be done. I will save the dermaplaning for another blog post, but here is a picture of what it looks like.
After dermaplaning I applied a numbing solution and covered the face with plastic. The numbing cream I used is by Lush Color and it sat on the skin for 2o minutes. I performed a tactile test prior to starting the needling to ensure that the skin was sufficiently numb. By numbing the skin we can ensure that our client has a comfortable experience during the needling treatment.
I then started needling on the forehead. I used the Eclipse Micropen from Salient Medical for this treatment. I used a depth of 1.5 mm on the forehead, cheeks, and chin. A depth of 0.25 mm was used around the eyes and over the nose. During the treatment I applied Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel as my glide. This hyaluronic acid based product is used to aid in easily gliding the pen over the area being treated and to increase hydration in the skin. You should confirm with the skin care lines you are working with that all products used during needling are safe to be used with the procedure, and have been tested as such.
Pinpoint bleeding was noted all over, with increased bleeding on the forehead, which in my experience, is quite normal. Bleeding ceased as soon as the area was wiped with sterile gauze and saline solution. This is what the skin looked like immediately following treatment.
A Vitamin C serum was applied immediately post treatment. I used Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Serum. The tiny holes that were created during the treatment allow the serum to penetrate deeper into the skin. This is best achieved in a 15 minute window post needling. After that 15 minutes, the skin then starts the healing process and you will not achieve the best penetration of products after that time. A biocellulose mask (also from Skinceuticals) was then applied over the serum, and was left to sit for 10 minutes.
The biocellulose mask is used to aid in calming the area and for increased penetration of the serum. Below is immediately post mask removal. At this point the skin has begun the inflammatory phase of wound healing. In this stage a variety of substances are being secreted by tissue cells and blood in order to help overcome potential pathogens overtaking the area. Pathogens are invaders that, if left, can attack our healthy tissue and cause infection and disease. The skin is attempting to “wash itself” and will try to flush out anything it perceives as foreign. This is why that 15 minute window is so important and also why we used a hyaluronic acid gel during treatment. The gel and the serum used immediately after were pushed deep into the skin prior to the skin flushing itself.
I had an amazing model to work with and she sent me pictures of her progress throughout the healing process, along with her experience. Below is 6 hours post treatment. Her face was red and felt swollen. This is because she was in that inflammatory stage of wound healing still. At this point in the inflammatory stage neutrophils have reached the wound site, and will be at their full capacity by 24 hours. They do the job of being the first healing cells on the job, and will, in very simple terms, neutralize foreign invaders. She applied Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Masque and Epidermal Repair to sleep in that night. Phyto Corrective Masque was created to be used post treatment for a variety of clinical skin procedures. It helps to calm and cool the skin, and is full of hyaluronic acid to bind water to the area.
17 hours post her face felt warm, but she noted it did not feel sore or tender. She had cleansed her face with witch hazel and then applied Skinceuticals CE Ferulic and Epidermal Repair. Epidermal Repair was used to create an artificial barrier over the skin, as the skin’s natural barrier had been damaged during the procedure. She was still in the inflammatory stage of wound healing at this point, and her focus was to keep the skin protected so it could continue a healthy healing process and move into the proliferative phase.
31 hours post treatment and her skin was starting to feel itchy and had a rough texture. She described her skin as feel quite “thirsty” and continued to apply Epidermal Repair throughout the day. The rough texture was due to the skin moving into a proliferative stage of wound healing. During the transition to this stage macrophages will begin to do their job. Macrophages are cells that are stationed in connective tissues and have some ability to move around during the healing process. When they move around, they secrete a variety of growth factors. These growth factors are vital in the transition between the two phases.
48 hours post treatment the skin began to flake and shed. She continued to apply Skinceuticals CE Ferulic every morning and Epidermal Repair throughout the day. She also slept in the Phyto Corrective Masque every night. The skin is now beginning to re-epithelialize and heal itself through the creation of more collagen. This process will speed up epidermal skin cell production, therefore increasing cell renewal factor, causing the skin to appear more youthful in the days and weeks to come.
72 hours and we have more flaking and shedding. Skin tone is beginning to become more uniform, especially on the forehead. She no longer feels the need to use Epidermal Repair, but continues to use CE Ferulic every morning. She is continuing through the proliferative stage, making more collagen and increasing epidermal cell production.
2 weeks later and she notes that she feels a smoother texture to the skin, increased volume, diminished fine lines, and follicles appear smaller. She continues to use CE Ferulic daily. I have advised her that she should abstain from UV exposure, continue with her skin care routine, and can have another treatment in 6 weeks time. She is now in the remodelling phase of the wound healing process. During this phase the collagen that was being produced during the proliferative phase is becoming more organized, creating a more uniform foundation for the epidermis. Shedding and flaking has ceased, and she is left with a renewed epidermis. The full effects of her treatment will not be seen until up to 6 months post, as the body will continue creating and organizing collagen.
I am very excited to watch her skin evolve from these treatments. We will talk more about needling treatments in future blog posts, so stay tuned for more to come.
Please note: I was not paid or endorsed for any products or the model used in this blog post. This post is for educational purposes only, and expresses my own thoughts and feelings. Dermaplaning and microneedling treatments should not be performed at home and should only be performed by a certified professional. Always ask your service provider where they received their certification in both procedures.
Until next time,
Audrey (a.k.a. #theskinteach)