Nobody likes getting older, but the effects of time strike us all at some time in our lives—wrinkles, sagging skin, brown spots, and dullness that creates a tired and worn look. Fortunately, there are more tools than ever for solving common skin problems and keeping skin looking youthful longer. For people with busy schedules, downtime and recovery is a major concern, but there are so many minimally-invasive options that won’t disrupt busy schedules. At his practice in Newburgh, New York, Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein offers a range of gentle, yet effective skin treatments that can help turn back the clock and keep skin looking young, supple, and glowing. One of these procedures, known as microneedling, can help improve overall skin health and aesthetics without surgery.
What is Microneedling?
In order to understand microneedling, it’s important to understand why our skin begins to wrinkle and sag in the first place. Collagen is an important component in skin—it’s the structural protein that provides the skin with its firmness, and prevents skin from sagging. Unfortunately, as we get older, collagen levels in our skin begin to drop. This is because aging makes our skin begin producing less collagen. The good news is that the body isn’t limited to this amount of collagen production—it is absolutely possible to stimulate extra production with skin treatments like microneedling.
Microneedling is also known as collagen induction therapy, and it works by precisely making a series of tiny holes in the skin to stimulate collagen production. This is accomplished with the use of a series of tiny needles attached to a proprietary pen-shaped tool. When the skin suffers any kind of wound, big or small, it responds with healing processes that produce more collagen. The microneedling treatment takes advantage of this by making slight injuries in the skin (typically 2mm or shallower) that will enhance collagen production without actually harming the skin. The treatment creates these injuries in a specific pattern to ensure consistent skin rejuvenation.
At first glance, microneedling might sound like a very strange skin treatment. However, it’s becoming a very popular treatment for good reason: it has excellent anti-aging benefits. People with mild to moderate wrinkles can look forward to reduced depth and definition, as well as tighter, smoother skin. Microneedling can improve overall tone, color, and texture for smoother, more youthful skin. Large pores will typically shrink following microneedling treatments, and it’s even effective for reducing the appearance of acne scars in most patients!
Following treatment, the effects of microneedling often make skin products more effective, maximizing the benefit of anti-aging creams and moisturizers. The best part about microneedling, however, is that it can accomplish a number of skin rejuvenation goals without significant discomfort and downtime. Patients can fit these treatments into their busy lifestyles without having to make sacrifices. It’s a great option for people who aren’t ready for laser treatments or surgery.
Combining Microneedling with PRP
Microneedling is an excellent treatment on its own, but it can also be combined with other powerful procedures in order to maximize anti-aging, rejuvenating results. One of these treatments is the method of using platelet rich plasma (PRP) to harness the power of the growth factors found in the patient’s own blood. This combination of using microneedling and PRP treatments is often known as the “vampire facial”, which rose to fame with the celebrity endorsement of Kim Kardashian for achieving more youthful skin.
The microneedling treatment with PRP works very well together, as each treatment offers the skin different benefits. The microneedling treatment boosts collagen in the skin, while the PRP boost cell rejuvenation and addresses dull, damaged skin that can occur over time. Both procedures are minimally invasive, with microneedling requiring little by way of side effects and recovery, and PRP requiring only that the blood be drawn and processed to separate the plasma before being driven into the skin via the microneedling in the area where it is needed. Many patients are thrilled with the results of this combined procedure.
Who is a Candidate?
Because it is a gentle and versatile procedure, microneedling can benefit a wide range of patients. Men and women with wrinkles, dull or damaged skin, acne scarring, minor loose skin, or enlarged pores can see improvement with microneedling. Though the procedure is appropriate for most healthy adults with realistic expectations, there are some factors that can make some people ineligible for the treatment. Patients should not undergo microneedling if they:
- Have used Accutane within the last 3 months
- Have undergone radiation in the last year
- Have open cuts or wounds
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Have a history of keloid or hypertrophic scarring
- Have a skin infection or herpes in the treatment area
The good news is that in most cases, the issue that is preventing a patient from undergoing microneedling isn’t permanent. Once the condition has cleared up or is no longer relevant, patients can consider microneedling.
The Microneedling Consultation
Before you decide to move forward with microneedling, you will need to have a consultation. During your consultation at our office in Newburgh, New York, we will evaluate your skin and make sure you are a good candidate for the procedure. If a different treatment will be more beneficial for reaching your goals, Dr. Rubinstein will give a recommendation for the treatment he feels is best for your situation. This is the perfect opportunity to get to know Dr. Rubinstein and his clinical staff and ask questions about your skin treatment options. Be sure to come prepared with a list of questions so you don’t forget to ask them during the meeting. Once you’ve made a decision, you can schedule an appointment for your procedure.
Because it is a minor, minimally invasive procedure, the process is fairly straightforward and quick. Before the procedure begins, the skin will be cleaned and topically numbed to ensure that the patient is comfortable throughout the treatment. A collagen stimulator or vitamin serum may be used before or after the treatment itself. Once the skin has been prepared, Dr. Rubinstein’s skin care specialists will use the microneedling tool to make tiny punctures in the skin—punctures that will heal very quickly following treatment.
Downtime and Recovery
Microneedling doesn’t require downtime, and patients can get back to their everyday activities right away. However, it’s important to protect the skin from the sun for a few weeks post treatment, and avoid ingredients like retinol and glycolic acid in the day’s prior and following treatment. This will help ensure optimal healing and prevent sun damage, which can interfere with the results. Many patients notice mild redness and swelling after the treatment, which usually subsides after a day or two. Makeup can be worn on the second day. Adding PRP, “The Vampire Facial” to your microneedling doesn’t prolong downtime.
What is the cost of microneedling?
The cost of microneedling is less than many of the laser treatments because the cost of the needling device and supplies are less expensive. Adding PRP to the microneedling procedure will increase the cost but the added benefit far outweighs the added expense. The procedures are packaged for additional discounts. Some patients elect to have PRP hair treatments at the same time as their PRP microneedling facial. This too becomes packaged with large discounts as there is only one blood draw needed for both procedures.
What are the risks and side effects of microneedling?
Microneedling is a very safe treatment. The injuries to the skin are so tiny that the risk of infection is extremely slight. There may be very minor pinpricks of blood, or a mild redness/swelling after the treatment, but healing occurs quickly. Complications are very unlikely, and the treatment is completely natural.
Will the treatment hurt?
During the procedure itself, the skin is typically numbed with topical numbing cream, and patients should experience little to no pain. Afterwards, some tenderness may be present, but most patients tolerate the procedure well.
What areas of the body can be treated?
While many professional skin treatments are limited to certain areas of the face, microneedling can be used on nearly any area of the body. Even very delicate skin can be treated, making this one of the most versatile treatments available.
When can I wear makeup after microneedling?
While you should use sunscreen following the procedure, most makeup should not be worn initially. Mineral makeup is fine following treatment, but Dr. Rubinstein prefers to wait 48 hours before regular makeup application.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments needed for good results varies based on the patient’s skin and goals. However, most patients need at least 3 treatments, and may need up to 6 for issues like acne scarring. These treatments are typically spaced 4-6 weeks apart. Once the initial treatments are complete, many patients choose to undergo 1 to 2 touchup procedures as time goes on and the results begin to fade.
Is microneedling safe for dark skin?
Many skin resurfacing procedures, especially lasers, aren’t recommended for patients with dark skin, because the heat from the laser treatments can trigger uneven pigmentation. Because microneedling doesn’t heat the skin there is very little risk of pigmentation changes, making the treatment suitable for all skin types.
Can I try microneedling at home?
While there are devices you can buy for home microneedling, you’ll get much better results by choosing a qualified plastic surgeon. The professional grade needles are often longer, producing significantly greater improvement, and a plastic surgeon will have the skill to give you the best results possible.
Are the results permanent?
Unfortunately, collagen stimulation is not permanent. For ongoing results, it’s important to get touchup treatments on a periodic basis. Dr. Rubinstein will advise you on how often you should come in for good results.
How will I look after my treatments?
Patients may notice some minor redness and swelling after the treatment, but otherwise, there should not be any other signs that the treatment was performed. When a PRP microneedling facial is performed (PRP) the PRP will leave your skin with a bronzed to reddish color until its washed off the next day.
What’s the right age for microneedling?
There’s no right age for the procedure—there are benefits that can be appealing to several different age groups. Younger patients may be concerned with acne scarring, while older patients may be noticing signs of aging.
The Right Provider
If you’re interested in learning more about microneedling, it’s important to choose a qualified provider. This will help ensure you get good results and have your questions answered accurately. Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein is happy to help patients in the Newburgh, New York area harness this procedure for beautiful skin. Call 845-863-1772 to schedule your consultation.