|The Ultimate Skin Rejuvenation Treatment|
|Written by Amy Chalmers|
Skin needling offers a new alternative to light and laser therapies.
For over a decade, industry leaders in Australia, Europe and Asia have been using a simple new treatment to get the kinds of results that were previously available only from light- and laser-based modalities. The treatment is called skin needling, and it’s fast becoming a preferred treatment option of leading physicians and skin practitioners the world over.
What Is Skin Needling?
Skin needling or “collagen induction therapy” involves the process of using a sterile roller comprised of a series of tiny needles to puncture the skin, not unlike cosmetic acupuncture. The device is rolled over the face or body to create microscopic channels deep into the dermis.
The body senses these tiny channels and responds by launching a wound healing cascade, localized to the treatment area, which results in a burst of collagen and elastin production as well as the release of powerful growth factors. This increase in natural collagen results in skin tightening, reduction of lines and wrinkles and remodelling of scar tissue. Skin needling produces dramatic collagen increases even in peri- and post-menopausal women for whom collagen production has drastically slowed down.
Skin needling works with the skin’s natural healing process by stimulating the release of growth factors (substances that cause the cells to grow and divide) and cytokines (chemical messengers between cells). These processes are responsible for the regulation of a variety of cellular activities such as cell division, new cell and blood vessel growth, including collagen and elastin production and distribution. These natural substances work together to regulate cell function and optimize skin health.
What Can Skin Needling Treat?
Studies show that skin needling normalizes and restores cell function to damaged melanocytes (pigment cells), keratinocytes (epidermal cells) and fibroblast cells (dermal cells). It is, therefore, a very effective treatment solution for stubborn skin conditions such as melasma, hyperpigmentation, rosacea, UV damage, hair loss and stretch marks. What’s more, skin needling treats all these conditions simultaneously. No other treatment modality can claim the same.
Skin needling can be used to treat all areas of the face and body and is especially effective at targeting saggy skin around the knees, thighs, stomach and upper arms. It is a preferred method of treatment for stubborn wrinkles around the eyes, lips and forehead.
Why Choose Skin Needling?
The ideal rejuvenation treatment is one that could preserve the epidermis while promoting an increase in normal collagen and elastin formation in the dermis. Finding a treatment to deliver on this promise remains the holy grail of skin rejuvenation.
Options such as IPL and laser treatments can cause burning of the superficial layer of the skin (epidermis), resulting in redness, swelling, discomfort and downtime. Recovery can last six weeks or more. Blood vessels can be affected by photorejuvenation and stem cells may be affected by laser hair removal. Post treatment, these ablative modalities require long-term avoidance of sun, which makes them an unsuitable summer treatment option for most people. Laser treatments may also carry the risk of unintended burns, pigmentation problems, coagulated vessels, abnormal collagen production, and the undesirable loss of connective tissue.
Skin needling, on the other hand, brings us much closer to the ideal rejuvenation method. Skin needling has minimal downtime because it leaves the epidermal layer intact. It is low-risk, sun compatible and virtually pain-free. A topical anaesthetic is used to numb the skin prior to treatment. Recovery usually consists of one to three days of mild redness and three to five days of a dry, tight feeling. Frequent use of moisturizers helps alleviate this feeling and speeds the healing process.
Treatment and Results
Skin needling can be safely performed on all skin types and is of particular value to those with darker skin, as there is no risk of PIHP (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation). This is a major distinguishing safety feature between skin needling and ablative procedures. A typical treatment series requires four to six sessions, with treatments spaced four to 12 weeks apart.
Skin needling typically provides a 30 to 90 percent improvement in the condition being treated. Results are both long-term (new collagen lasts five to ten years) and accumulative, so additional treatments will net additional results. It is also a more affordable treatment option, usually coming in at about one-third the cost of ablative laser treatments.
Specialized training is required to perform skin needling in a safe and effective manner. It should be performed only by trained practitioners including doctors, cosmetic nurses, and qualified cosmetic dermal therapists.