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Trend Alert: Microneedling, Dermarolling, and Smoother Skin

by Riley Rant

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Microneedling. It sounds kind of little and cute. But then again, we hear “needles” and the whole vibe changes.

So what is this thing they call microneedling? Is it effective? Is it painfully prickly? Do we secretly want in?

Let’s find out.

What is microneedling?

Microneedling is a minimally invasive dermaroller procedure that uses teeny tiny needles to evenly prick the skin to boost collagen production. The skin responds to these micro tears by repairing itself and creating new collagen-rich tissue, which reduces the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and smooths your skin’s overall texture.

Who most benefits from microneedling?

This procedure is effective for people with acne scars, sun spots, fine lines and wrinkles, large pores, uneven skin tones, and reduced skin elasticity. The process, which sloughs off dead skin and causes micro injuries to the epidermis (the surface of the skin), rejuvenates skin for a brighter, smoother, firmer complexion.

Needles sound sort of painful. Does the procedure hurt?

People choose microneedling because it’s relatively painless. Again, we’re talking about needles here, so while it’s not considered painful, it isn’t considered completely pleasant either.

Doctors will apply a numbing cream to your skin about an hour before the procedure. On average, the actual dermarolling takes about 30 minutes, where the dermatologist uses a pen-like tool to make these pricks evenly across your skin. After you’re finished, your doctor will likely apply a calming serum, cream, or mask to reduce the chances of redness and irritation.

What’s the difference between a Microneedling Pen and a Microneedling Roller?

The Microneedling roller (aka dermaroller) came out first. This device uses thousands of teeny tiny needles to prick the skin to boost collagen production.

The Microneedling Pen was later created to help target harder-to-reach areas around the eyes, nose, and upper lip.

The Pen allows doctors customize the depth of the needles in the skin to penetrate at different levels for the best results, whereas the dermaroller only operates at a single depth.

Lastly, the pen penetrates the skin vertically, which creates a cleaner prick vs the dermaroller which tears skin at an angle, requiring a slightly longer recovery time.

Is it safe?

If you’re in overall good health, not pregnant, and not using certain acne medications, microneedling is a safe option to treat scars, wrinkles, and large pores.

Are there side effects?

There’s a chance of itchiness, redness, and a feeling of raw skin. But these tend to last only for a few days. You’ll also notice your skin products will feel like they’re penetrating deeper into the skin. That’s because they are!

How immediate are the positive effects?  

You’ll likely see brighter, firmer, smoother skin after the first few weeks. But for the best results you’ll need up to four sessions.

Is there any downtime required after the procedure?

Not really. The procedure itself takes about two hours, but you can go right back to work if you don’t mind your skin looking slightly irritated.  The if you’re using longer needles to penetrate deeper scars or wrinkles, the wounds will be deeper, requiring longer the recovery time.

Please note that your skin will be more sensitive to the sun after the process, which is just another good excuse to slather on your SPF!

How much do these sessions cost?

Costs vary from $100 - $700 per session, though most run around $300 per session. It really depends on the size of the area you’re looking to smoothen.

We recommend having a consultation before taking the plunge to get a better sense of the final cost. Just know that insurance won’t cover microneedling since it’s considered a cosmetic procedure.

Can I just do a home dermaroller instead?

You absolutely could, but it wouldn’t be exactly the same.

Home dermarollers are great for skin brightening and temporary collagen production. The difference is, they don’t penetrate the skin as deeply as microneedling, which is performed by a certified doctor who know exactly how far to prick the skin for optimal rejuvenation.

If you are going to buy a dermaroller to use at home, make sure you get it from a dermatologist or aesthetician. This way you know the needles are sharp enough and made from the right materials so as not to injure your skin.

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