A generation ago, the only way to look younger was to go under the knife. Nowadays, we have so many more options in cosmetic medicine, especially if our only complaints are mild blemishes and minor sagging skin. One of these options, micro needling, addresses mild skin concerns that aren’t quite severe enough for surgery with a safe, non-invasive treatment.
This procedure has been around since 1995, but it’s recently gained popularity for its anti-aging and texture-improving benefits. You might be surprised to learn that rolling needles across your face can be good for you—but it’s true!
Microneedling is a procedure that involves using fine needles, mounted on a roller, to treat common skin concerns. During treatment, the needles are rolled across the skin to create microscopic puncture marks. In response, the body speeds up elastin and collagen production to rebuild the skin, improving its overall health and appearance.
The micro needling treatment can help with issues like sun spots, acne scars, wrinkles, and stretch marks, and provides general rejuvenation. It can be performed by a professional or by the patient in their own home, making it one of the most versatile and accessible skin treatments on the market.
Just like any other procedure, micro needling comes with its own risks and benefits. If you’re trying to figure out if the treatment is for you, here are some pros and cons to help you make your decision.
Pro #1: It’s Inexpensive
A professional micro needling treatment can cost $500-$1,200. The price depends on many factors including your skin type, the areas you want treated, and the number of treatments needed. That’s not so bad compared to the high price tag of laser resurfacing, regular Botox injections, or a facelift.
You can save even more by performing this treatment yourself with an at-home derma roller. The at-home version has blunter, shorter needles than what you might see in a medical office. At-home micro needling will produce limited results, but it still might be worth a shot for its affordability alone.
Professional treatments may cost more out of pocket, but don’t let that turn you away from seeking a professional’s opinion. The price of a professional micro needling treatment includes the doctor’s expertise and a targeted plan to reach your skincare goals. Considering this, many people find the cost of a dermatologist-administered treatment to be well worth the extra expense.
Pro #2: It’s Non-Invasive
Microneedling requires no stitches, injections, or surgery. It’s also virtually painless. Deeper treatments requiring longer needles might be slightly uncomfortable at most. In those cases, the provider will use a numbing cream to help keep the patient comfortable.
Because micro-needling is non-invasive, this treatment also has no required recovery period. Most people need 20-40 minutes to receive their treatment and can return to their normal activities right away. Once healed, the skin can continue to show signs of boosted collagen production for up to six months.
Con #1: It Can Be a Slow Process
It can be a while until micro-needling results are noticeable, sometimes taking up to six weeks to appear. Also, most people need two or more micro-needling sessions, which must be given 4-6 weeks apart, before they see the results they want. Many people will need a total of 4-5 treatment sessions. With this in mind, it may take multiple months before the full benefits of micro-needling will appear.
Other procedures, like laser resurfacing and chemical peels, might produce faster or more noticeable results. Of course, they all have their own benefits and risks.
Con #2: It Comes with Some Side Effects
In most cases, micro-needling is very safe and effective. Some swelling, redness, or sensitivity right after treatment is normal and should fade within a few days. Light bleeding during the procedure is also normal. However, microneedling still has some associated risks. In rare instances, some patients may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
Prolonged swelling, redness, or discomfort
These side effects are uncommon and expected to be temporary when they occur. Staying hydrated, avoiding sunlight, and following any other aftercare instructions is the best way to minimize the occurrence of side effects.
Is Microneedling Right for You?
The ideal micro-needling candidate has realistic expectations, first and foremost. Second, they must have a skin concern that is treatable with micro-needling. People with certain skin conditions should avoid treatment altogether. Those conditions are:
Active skin infection
Pregnant women and people receiving radiation therapy are encouraged to avoid micro-needling, as well.