No matter what our age, we all tend to look in the mirror and see things we wish we could change. Age can do a number on our skin, but younger people also have to deal with their own set of complexion issues. At Reno Sparks MedSpa in Reno, NV, we’re committed to helping our clients address all their areas of concern by using the latest and most innovative treatments available, including microneedling.
What Is Microneedling?
This popular treatment is also known as collagen induction therapy. It uses a handheld device, called a CosmoPen, that has disposable tips, each containing 12 hair-thin needles. When the device is turned on, the needles pulse, creating 100 micro-injuries per second. The depth of penetration can be adjusted and customized for each client. Your skincare specialist can dial the depth between 1/100 to 1/10 of an inch, this setting depends on:
- The condition of your skin
- Your areas of concern
- Your desired results
How Does Microneedling Work?
When all those micro-injuries are created, your body’s healing process is kicked into overdrive. This treatment “tricks” your body into thinking it’s been injured, though it won’t look or feel like it. This healing process is what creates amazing treatment results.
The Healing Process
Your body responds to these micro-injuries by healing your skin in increments or phases. Each phase helps your skin to become stronger, smoother and younger-looking. Because these are small puncture wounds, they heal quickly, providing you with fast results.
The first phase is to stop the bleeding. You won’t bleed in any significant way. By the time you leave the office, your skin will be ready to face the world. What these tiny pinpricks do is trigger this clotting response so your body will send nutrient-rich platelets to the skin. These are packed full of growth hormones and facilitate healthy cell turnover.
Your body will next respond by producing inflammation to protect the skin. Again, your skin won’t swell up, but you may just see a bit of a healthy pink color flush your face. Your skin is opening the blood vessels to increase blood flow to the area.
Increased blood flow means more oxygen to your cells, and oxygen carries with it a ton of nutrients to heal the skin. All your dead and dull skin cells are being replaced with fresh and healthy cells.
This is where the real magic happens. Your body now feels the skin is clean and stable, so it begins to rebuild. It sends in red blood cells to create new tissue. Think of this as building a new house from the foundation up. Collagen is the key to a strong foundation. As collagen ramps up, you’ll notice:
- Diminished appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- An evening of tone and texture
- Improvement of skin laxity
- Diminished appearance of acne and injury scars
This protein makes up 80% of our skin and is what gives youthful skin its strength and resiliency. It’s a fibrous protein that connects our skin cells together and forms strong layers. In our middle layers or dermis, collagen acts as a scaffold for the skin above. When we’re young and our skin is healthy, this foundation is smooth and strong.
As we get older, our collagen production drops off by about 1% per year starting in our early 20s. While this doesn’t seem like much, it’s enough to cause disruption in the dermis that form dips and crevices. Our skin becomes lax and falls into those areas creating wrinkles, lines and acne scars.
Another protein, this helps our skin keep its elasticity so it will snap back to place when stretched. When collagen dissipates, so goes elastin. The decline of this protein is the reason our skin begins to sag, our eyebrows droop and we develop crepey skin on our faces and neck.
Stretch marks result from our skin being stretched beyond its ability to bounce back. The only way to correct these marks is to ramp up our collagen and elastin.
You know the dewy and supple look of young skin? That’s a result of a naturally produced sugar called hyaluronic acid. Its function in the body is to attract and keep moisture so our skin and connective tissues stay well lubricated and hydrated. It works will collagen, so its prominence in our skin diminishes as collagen levels go down.
You’ll notice your skin will look dull, dry and develop patches of uneven texture when it is low on this sugar.
What Conditions Does Microneedling Treat?
What sets this apart from other cosmetic treatments is the sheer volume of issues it can address. This isn’t just for signs of aging, although it is a go-to for anti-aging concern because it’s so effective.
Lines and Wrinkles
One of the first signs of aging to appear are fine lines and wrinkles. These mostly develop because of a weakening in the foundation of our skin because of the loss of collagen and elastin. When your body heals the skin that’s been treated, the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles improves, and your skin becomes smoother and younger-looking.
Most scars can be treated using this technique. The excess production of collagen works to replace the damaged tissue of a scar with healthy tissue more resembling the surrounding skin. For scars that have resulted in a small crater on the skin, collagen fibers will build up the layers that are missing, and the result is a smoother surface and a reduction in the appearance of the scar. The scars that respond well to this treatment are:
- Stretch marks
Otherwise known as the dreaded sagging skin, skin laxity is caused by the missing collagen that forms a tight bond between layers of our skin and elastin that makes our skin pliable. When these two proteins deplete, it can leave us with skin that is crepey and loose. It’s not just age that results in skin laxity. Other causes are:
- Weight gain and loss
- Lost muscle mass
- Poor posture
- Genetic disposition
The greatest single culprit of skin imperfections, discoloration and signs of aging is the sun. Your mother wasn’t wasting her breath when she nagged you about wearing sunscreen. Nothing breaks down collagen faster than the harmful UV rays of the sun.
The sun also changes the pigment in your skin. UV rays increase the amount of melanin in our skin, which is what gives our skin color. The more melanin we have, the darker our skin. But it also causes sunspots, or age spots, because our skin tries to protect itself by producing more melanin. As time goes by, these patches become noticeable. New, fresh and even skin cells produced by more collagen can replace these darkened cells.
Lack of Hair Growth
This treatment can help both men and women with the distressing notion of losing their hair. Alopecia affects not only men but also 50% of women over the age of 65, who will experience some sort of hormonally related hair loss. When this treatment is used on the scalp and the healing process begins, hair growth may improve.
During the first part of the healing phase, as platelets are sent to the site of the micro-injuries, the area is flooded with stem cells that carry growth factors. This can cause an increase in hair growth-related genes to trigger more hair production.
Can This Treat More Than My Face?
The wonderful part of this treatment is not just how effective it is but also how versatile. While many resurfacing treatments are limited to one or just a few body parts, this can be utilized almost everywhere you have concerns. Aging concerns or skin imperfections are never limited to just the face, so treatment shouldn’t be either.
Talk to your skincare provider about all your areas of concern to see if this is the right treatment for multiple areas of your body. Areas effectively treated include:
- The scalp
- Sagging skin on arms, thighs, and face
- Stretch marks on the abdomen, back, hips, buttocks, arms, and legs
- Sun damage on arms, legs, face, and neck
This list is not comprehensive. A consultation with your skincare specialist may uncover other areas that can effectively be treated with microneedling.
What to Expect
This treatment can sound a little daunting, but it’s a very comfortable process start to finish. It’s minimally invasive, doesn’t use heat and requires no downtime. During your consultation, you and your skincare specialist will determine which areas of concern you’ll treat. You’ll also be given basic instructions to follow before treatment.
Because this is non-surgical, you don’t have to worry about getting a laundry list of things you need to accomplish before treatment. Many of these instructions are intuitive and won’t require effort on your part:
- Avoid sun or tanning bed exposure a few days before treatment, including the use of self-tanning products
- Avoid deep treatments on your skin like chemical peels and retinoids for two weeks prior to your appointment
- Don’t wax the skin or use depilatories for two weeks before
When you arrive for your appointment, a numbing cream will be applied to the treatment site to ensure you’re comfortable during your session. After about 20 minutes, the CosmoPen will be turned on and gently passed over the skin. You’ll feel the vibration of the instrument, but most clients report not feeling discomfort from the needles.
During treatment, your skincare specialist may apply serums specifically designed to target your areas of concern. The treatment creates micro-channels that allow deeper absorption of these serums, increasing their effectiveness. These serums can promote:
- Skin rejuvenation
- Acne reduction
- Skin tightening
- Hair growth
- Skin lightening
Once your session is finished, you can get back to most of your normal routine immediately. Some people even schedule this treatment during a break from work and go back to the office right after their session. Your skin will be slightly pink, but it’s nothing that would keep you from being out and about.
You will be given post-treatment instructions designed to maximize the results of your sessions:
- Do not pick at the treated skin
- Be gentle with the skin, using tepid water and gentle cleanser for a few days
- Do not exfoliate for a week after treatment
- Avoid strenuous exercise, saunas or anything that will cause excessive sweating for a week
It’s All About Results
Most clients see a smoother, brighter and more radiant complexion after just a few days, depending on the starting condition of their skin and the area treated. Results are gradual and progressive, so as collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid regenerate new and healthy cells, your results will improve. The best results will appear a few months after treatment and can last up to a year.
How Many Sessions Will I Need?
The number of sessions needed varies between clients. Many factors determine how many sessions you need until you reach your desired results:
- Starting condition of your skin
- Areas of concern being addressed
- Ultimate goals of treatment
- Your skin’s healing process
- Your natural level of collagen production
Some clients will see the results they want after just one session, while others with more severe concerns may opt for a longer series of treatments. You and your specialist will decide the right course of treatment for you and your concerns.
Maximizing Your Results
After treatment, you’ll notice your skincare products will work better than they ever have. That’s because you have micro-channels immediately after treatment that are a direct line to the deeper layers of your skin. After a few weeks, you have new and healthy cells that will be more receptive to topical treatments.
It’s important to use high-quality products that address your main concerns. This will prolong and improve your results. Many specialists will direct you to the best products for your skin.
After your session, your specialist may recommend you take advantage of your skin’s new state and receive other offered treatments that can help you reach your ultimate aesthetic goals. PRP or platelet rich plasma is the most commonly paired treatment because it amplifies the amount of collagen your body makes to give a huge boost to results. Other appropriate treatments to increase and improve your visible results are:
- Injectables like Botox and dermal fillers
- Customized facials
- Light chemical peels
Microneedling is so successful because it’s so versatile and pairs well with other treatments to increase already stunning results.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
Another reason this treatment is so popular is that it’s appropriate for almost all skin types, tones, and colors. Unlike lasers and other heat induction therapies, darker skin tones don’t have to worry about permanent pigmentation issues with this treatment because there is no use of heat.
Because the tip’s depth is adjustable, this works for sensitive and thinner skin types. There are a few exceptions, but only your skincare specialist can decide if this treatment is right for you.
Why Wait for Better Skin?
We believe everyone deserves to look and feel their best, no matter their age. There’s no reason to put off improving your skin’s appearance and boosting your self-confidence.
Call Reno Sparks MedSpa in Reno, NV to schedule your consultation with one of our skincare specialists. We work every day to help our clients reach all of their aesthetic goals by highlighting their inherent beauty and restoring a more naturally youthful and healthy appearance. We look forward to partnering with you as you being your journey to a happier, healthier and more vibrant you!