Photograph is of a model.

Most healing or rejuvenating therapies involve creating a controlled injury in order to provoke a collagen response. Collagen is the protein building block of your skin, and when it is smooth and happy, your skin looks fantastic. Sun exposure, aging, diet, and injury all contribute to collagen damage and less overall glow.

There are many interventions for collagen building or remodeling, but one of the most promising recent ones is microneedling. Unlike lasers, which burn the undersurface of the skin, microneedling does not cause any thermal damage, and therefore does not produce some of the long-term side effects of repeated laser use (the “tell”).

Your skin makes its own collagen, and this natural process will yield the most natural and youthful appearance possible, when optimized. Microneedling involves using a special device shaped like a pen that has a series of tiny needles attached to its end. The practitioner applies the pen to the skin, allowing the needles to penetrate to a programmed depth over and over again, creating multiple microscopic punctures. Each of those punctures then stimulates the skin to heal itself by creating more collagen bridges, and this in turn leads to a smoother and more rejuvenated appearance.

While many minimally invasive techniques are of questionable efficacy, microneedling has been proven to help with everything from hypertrophic scars to acne, fine lines, and irregular pigmentation. Results from medical use devices are actually quite impressive, to the point where home versions have been proposed for individual use. Those models, on the other hand, rarely produce enough of a wound to stimulate the proper collagen response, so buyer beware. But fully vetted devices, in the hands of a trained physician, can be very effective.

In most cases, a full treatment course will involve more than one procedure. Different devices also have different needling mechanisms, and it is important to know which can be used in what way (like sliding across the face rather than placing and lifting and moving the pen). You should consult with an experienced practitioner to get more information, and when planning your treatment program.

All in all, in this age of high-tech expectation, there are few products that really deliver. I must admit that I have never performed many minimally invasive procedures, since none of them usually prove to work like surgery can. But in this case, I find myself humbled. The science makes sense, the device makes sense, and the results cannot be denied. Call us today to schedule your visit, and learn more about how microneedling became the first non-surgical option offered by The New York City Plastic Surgeon.