What is Micro-Needling?
I am so excited to introduce micro-needling into my Nashville practice. As many of you know, I am extremely conservative in the procedures I perform in my practice. I concentrate on procedures that give amazing, predictable results with little risk. I personally adhere to the Hippocratic oath "do no harm," and only do procedures, I would do to myself! I am very adverse to procedures with the potential risks of hypo or hyperpigmentation (lightening or darkening of the skin) as well as scarring.
When I was in Washington, D.C. last spring at the international dermatology meeting, I found a new procedure, micro-needling, that gives amazing results with little risk and short downtime. My aestheticians, Erin and Brittney, performed my first micro-needling in May. I loved going through it, and came back to work in two days. I'm ready for my next treatment! I have seen fantastic results in improved texture, restored plumpness and correction of discoloration in my face and neck.
Micro-needling, also known as collagen induction therapy, is a relatively new procedure that involves piercing the skin with tiny needles that gently injure the skin, thereby inducing new collagen production as the skin "heals." This process stimulates the skin to rejuvenate and appear younger clinically as well as microscopically. Micro-exfoliation also occurs. The micro channels allow delivery of hyaluronic acid to also make the skin appear fuller and more supple. This difference is seen immediately and improves over weeks. Micro-needling is best used to treat textural issues such as fine lines, wrinkles, acne scarring, and stretch marks as well as irregularities in pigmentation. Results include smoother, firmer skin; reduction of the depth in fine lines and wrinkles; increased skin thickness and density; reduction in pore size, as well as minimization of scarring; and reduction in hyperpigmentation. This breakthrough procedure may be the quickest, most reliable, and safest minimally invasive skin rejuvenation on the market today.
Dr. Langley protects her freshly micro-needled skin from the sun.
Like most advances in modern aesthetics, the advantages of micro-needling were discovered accidentally. In the late 1990s, a Canadian plastic surgeon, Dr. Andre Camirand, experimented with improving the look of thickened facelift scars by needling with tattoo pigment. As he saw his patients back for recheck, he noticed dramatic improvement. He then began treating with the needling device without the tattoo pigment and found that both the thickness and the hyperpigmentation improved without the tattoo pigment! The skin texture and the irregularities in pigment improved with just the micro-needling device. Over the years, micro-needling has evolved from manual roller devices and stampers to electronic devices that offer more precise vertical penetration with easily controllable depths in 0.5 mm increments! I have chosen the Eclipse Micropen Elite as the device to be used in my office as it is the most modern design available with predictable results and the best efficacy and safety.
Who is the ideal micro-needling patient?
Because the micro-needling is chemical-free and easily modified for depth of treatment, it can be performed on almost all skin types, sensitivity levels, and ethnicities. I am using it in my practice to treat mild to severe signs of aging and textural issues. I do not recommend micro-needling for individuals who are pregnant, suffering from active acne, or severely sun damaged skin with numerous actinic keratosis or frequent skin cancers on the area to be treated.
Micro-Needling Collagen Induction Therapy is the ideal treatment for the following skin conditions:
- early signs of aging including fine lines and enlarged pores
- moderate sun damage including loss of firmness, fine lines, and wrinkles
- acne scars
- scars due to past injuries
- hyperpigmentation due to sun damage or post-inflammatory acne marks
- stretch marks due to weight loss or pregnancy
How many treatments are recommended?
While visible results are achieved with just one Micro-Needling CIT session, repeated treatments offer more dramatic results. For general skin rejuvenation, I recommend one to three treatments once a year. For individuals with more severe issues such as extensive sun damage or acne scarring, I may recommend a series of six to eight treatments to achieve desired results. These treatments can be done every six weeks to continue to build on the desired results and the production of new collagen and micro-exfoliation.
What is the cost?
Micro-Needling CIT is very affordable starting at $350 for an individual session to treat the face and neck. It is an additional $50 to include the décolletage, or chest area. We are offering 15% off of a series of 3 or more treatments performed 6 weeks apart.
How are the treatments performed?
Micro-Needling CIT is performed by clinical aestheticians working under my close supervision. We start by applying a topical numbing cream to minimize discomfort. The skin is then carefully cleaned and sterilized to prevent risk of infection. A topical hyaluronic acid gel is applied to the skin in sections and the Eclipse Micropen Elite device is glided over the skin to create the microscopic punctures until the desired effect is reached. When all areas are completed, a hydrating serum and chemical-free sunscreen is applied. The entire process takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
How much down time is involved?
The amount of downtime experienced after Micro-Needling CIT depends on both the skin’s condition prior to treatment and the aggressiveness of the treatment. The skin is typically very red directly after being treated. Once the topical anethesia subsides, the skin will feel as though it has been sun burned. Younger or thicker skin may experience down time involving as little as 2-3 days of redness. More mature, sun-damaged skin or skin treated more aggressively may experience redness, skin peeling, and purpura (bruising under the skin) that usually lasts 7 days but may last up to 14 days. Makeup may be applied after the first 24 hours post treatment. While you do not need to hide out at home during this downtime, it is important to avoid sunny situations as much as possible.
To learn more about this exciting new treatment, call our office and request a phone consultation with one of our micro-needling schedule coordinators. They will be happy to answer any questions and set up your first appointment.
-Dr. Melissa Langley, board certified dermatologist in Nashville, TN
Above: LangleySkin Aesthetician, Brittney Schoessel, receives micro-needling treatment to correct acne scarring.