Micro-Needling is better? Why?
We looked at many different methods of skin rejuvenation before choosing our micro-needling pen. The science behind it and results achieved make it, quite simply, better.
Most skin rejuvenation options work by causing mild injury to the skin. The body immediately starts to repair the injury by replacing the injured skin with new skin. The injury has to be just serious enough to trigger healing, but not serious enough to permanently damage the skin.
Laser rejuvenation, chemical peels and other invasive methods are considered ablative, meaning they remove tissue to start collagen production in your skin. Lasers either remove the top layers of skin or remove only small parts / fractions of the skin (like a Fraxel or CO2 fractional laser).
Both micro-needling and lasers result in collagen production that continues slowly months after treatment, but the lasers remove tissue resulting in a much longer recovery time. Micro-needling is better than lasers because it creates micro-injuries (tiny vertical channels in the dermis) without using heat and does not remove layers of skin. This is why the skin heals so rapidly from micro-needling when compared to the recovery time from lasers. For this same reason, micro-needling is much less prone to infection.
The down time of the various skin treatments is dependent on the amount of injury caused to the skin. Microdermabrasion has very little downtime. Deep chemical peels can cause pain for as long as 2 weeks. Laser resurfacing can leave you red and swollen for up to 10 days. Treatments that do not destroy tissue like Thermage and IPL don’t cause significant down time, but you may get redness and swelling that lasts 2-3 days. With micro-needling you can expect your face to look and feel "very sunburned" for one day. On day 2, most people feel comfortable going out in public with makeup.
Micro-needling can go very deep into the skin, up to 2 mm, to stimulate new skin growth and reduce scars. Ablative methods such as acid peels and CO2 fractional lasers that remove tissue cannot go as deep because of risk of scarring and skin damage. Lasers and IPL (intensed pulsed light or photofacial) use heat and can cause damage including burns, skin color changes, and scars. To learn more, read our Scars and Stretch Marks page.
Micro-needling is better than other skin rejuvenation methods because it is less expensive. Lasers, microdermabrasion and chemical peels came to the market with a huge marketing push. Lasers that do not do not remove tissue such as Fraxel Repair, Fraxel 1500, Thermage (radiofrequency), Sonalift (ultrasound) and IPL (photofacial or photorejuvenation) have been shown to be effective, but these devices are very expensive and their costs are passed on to you. Needling also releases growth factors, which nonablative (lasers that don’t remove tissue) methods do not. Remember, the growth factors are what cause new, beautiful skin to be formed.
Unlike lasers and chemical peels, micro-needling can be applied to any skin type, dark or light. Not every skin type can safely have laser treatments. In general, cosmetic lasers work better on people with light skin. All skin tones have a risk of hypo-pigmentation or hyper-pigmentation. Asian skin in particular is more prone to hyper-pigmentation, especially with high strength or deeply penetrating cosmetic lasers. In some cases, dark spots treated with a laser will darken before they get lighter. Lasers can also cause a distinct line between areas treated and those that were not treated. This most commonly occurs around the eyes, lips, and at the jaw line, where the laser causes a loss of pigment. Sometimes these lightened areas go away on their own over a period of time - 6 months or more. Currently, there is no way to reverse it aside from more laser treatments on the previously untreated areas or covering them with makeup. While trauma to the skin often causes pigment changes, a study by Aust in the journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, found that micro-needling / CIT does not activate the cells responsible for hyper-pigmentation.
Micro-needling is better because it adds thickness to the skin and can be used almost anywhere on the body, including areas with thin skin such as the neck or top of the hands. Most lasers cannot be used close to the eyes due to risk of eye injury.
As we age our skin thins, so treatments that make the skin thinner like microdermabrasion, which removes the entire top layer of skin, don’t make sense. Microdermabrasion, while having few side effects, is superficial and cannot treat deeper imperfections like acne scars, brown spots, wrinkles and stretch marks.
Micro-needling pens do a better job than dermal rollers, even though both are micro-needling devices. Dermal rollers, because of the way they move over your skin, make V shaped channels. These channels are larger and require more healing time than the smaller perpendicular channels of a micro-needling pen. Because the pen is able to make channels very rapidly, it is less painful than a dermal roller. Also, because of the size of the roller, it cannot reach places that a micro-needling pen can, leaving areas of your face untreated.
Need more information about the basics of micro-needling? Read our article, What is micro-needling? Still not sure if micro-needling is what your skin needs? Read this blog post, You’ve decided to do some skin rejuvenation, but how do you decide what to work on first?
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Micro-needling is better! It works beautifully to reduce scars and restore your skin!
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The Information provided on our website is not medical advice and should not be viewed as such. By law, only a medical doctor can diagnose or give medical advice. As a registered nurse, my goal is to educate, so I provide information on skin care, skin care products, and skin care treatments. If you have any condition that concerns you, please see a medical doctor. While most skin conditions are benign, some - like melanoma - can be deadly. If there is any doubt, please, please consult your physician. Thank you!