Before we all jump in line for the next new thing that supposedly makes us beautiful, let’s pause and take a look at what we are actually doing. When I first heard about skin needling, I was a tad weary, simply because you’re telling me that if I poke myself with a whole bunch of needles that might make my face bleed, I’ll look better. Call me crazy, but on first glance, I’ll stick to my masks and exfoliating scrubs.
Upon further research, it started not to sound so excruciatingly horrible, and by that I mean only moderately horrible. But anything that could possibly help with anti-aging could be worth a shot. So let’s begin with the basics, what is it?
Skin Needling is the process of using little tiny needles, the size of the needle depending on what you are using it for, to penetrate the skin. These tiny punctures promote new growth of collagen and elastin. According to Dr. Des Fernandes, one of the pioneers of Skin Needling or Percutaneous Collagen Induction, “Because the needle only penetrates through the epidermis and does not remove it, the epidermis is only cleft and will rapidly heal.” The way I understand it, the trauma caused to the skin by the punctures activates our skin’s natural healing process, without scarring our skin.
In a 2008 study, The Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal concluded that “Percutaneous Collagen Induction has proved to be a simple and fast method for safely treating wrinkles and scars. As opposed to ablative laser treatments, the epidermis remains intact and is not damaged.” The study goes on to say that “on average, the patients in Germany rated their improvement between 60 and 80 percent better than before the treatment.”
The obvious advantage to skin needling is that it only requires approximately two days of recovery time, while Laser Resurfacing can require two weeks. It can diminish the appearance of wrinkles, scars, stretch marks, cellulite, lines, hair loss, and acne scars. Some disadvantages include: mild discomfort, redness of the skin, and minimal bleeding. Also, it is not recommended for keloidal scars. Be careful of over-aggressive needling, Dr. Fernandes says, “over-aggressive needling may cause scarring and potential hyper pigmentation.”
Another aspect of skin needling is that you can buy a Derma Roller and do it at home but the needles are not as agressive. Most of the products come with detailed instructions and are somewhat easy. The best rated one seems to be the Scientia Derma Roller, which costs around $90.
Kudos to anyone who can do this at home, but as for me this recipe might just equal disaster. I would much rather start with a doctor who specializes in skin needling to perform this procedure and show me how to do it at home. Getting it done professionally can range from $180 per hour to $300 per session. While this may seem expensive, it is relatively cheaper than laser resurfacing, which can cost upwards of $2000.
The possibilities with this treatment are definitely exciting and definitely worth further exploration, but, like with anything relatively new that promises beauty, make sure that it does not cause you or your skin unnecessary damage. Now that you know what skin needling is are you going to try it?