What is Microneedling?

September 2023

FAQs About Microneedling and the Different Types of Treatment Options

Interested to learn more about microneedling? We sat down with Jill Bickford, BSN, RN, based at our Stratham, NH location, to learn more about this treatment method, the conditions it treats, and the results patients can expect. Microneedling is a minimally-invasive skin treatment that uses ultra fine needles to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and to tighten and tone the skin for a younger, healthier looking appearance. 

However, like any skin treatment, it’s important to know the facts before making a decision. We always recommend speaking with your dermatologist or provider to determine the best treatment for your specific concerns, but we’ve put together some frequently asked questions about microneedling to help get you started. 

What is microneedling? 

Microneedling is a great option for common skin concerns because it is minimally invasive, and uses ultra fine needles to make microscopic holes in the top layer of the skin. Doing so stimulates a healing response in the skin, encouraging the production of collagen and elastin, which both help to keep your skin firm and smooth. 

What are the different treatment options for microneedling?

There are two treatments we offer at Optima Dermatology that are widely used and trusted: INTRAcel™ and SkinPen®. They are different treatment approaches, but have both been shown to be highly effective. 

INTRAcel™ microneedling is a safe, quick, and effective option for patients who want to rejuvenate their skin to a healthier, more radiant appearance and treat skin laxity, fine lines and wrinkles, scars, textured skin, or enlarged pores. 

Through a combination of microneedling and radiofrequency (RF) technology, INTRAcel™ microneedling can precisely target areas of the skin for treatment to improve skin tone, complexion, and texture, as well as other skin issues. INTRAcel™ microneedling is safe for all skin tones and types. 

SkinPen® is the first FDA-cleared microneedling device with little to no downtime that is made in the USA and rigorously tested for safety. The SkinPen® microneedling device uses tiny, sterilized needles to prick the skin and create micro-wounds. These micro-wounds trigger the repair mechanisms in the skin, stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, both of which contribute to skin health and luminosity. 

What specific skin concerns does microneedling treat?

Microneedling can treat common skin concerns such as fine lines, wrinkles, and skin laxity, all of which can be caused by age or skin damage. In some cases, microneedling can treat certain medical conditions.

SkinPen® microneedling are typically ideal for:

  • Sunspots
  • Scars
  • Stretch marks
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Reduced skin elasticity

Medical conditions that can be treated with SkinPen® microneedling include:

  • Alopecia (hair loss)
  • Enlarged pores
  • Acne scars  

INTRAcel™ microneedling treatments are typically ideal for:

  • Firming up and smoothing skin around the jawline, neck, and face
  • Treating areas of scar tissue from acne, surgical, or other scarring
  • Reducing the appearance of enlarged pores or rough, uneven skin textures
  • Wrinkle reduction and skin tightening around the eyes and mouth
  • Treating stretch marks 

In some cases, INTRAcel™ microneedling can also be used to treat skin laxity on other areas of the body such as the thighs, arms, abdomen, or knees. 

Who is a good candidate for microneedling?

While we always recommend speaking with your dermatologist to determine the best treatment option and approach, microneedling is safe and effective for anyone looking to treat common skin concerns caused by aging, injury, or a medical condition. 

However, if you have any of the following conditions, microneedling may not be recommended and you should consult with your primary care provider or dermatologist prior to pursuing this treatment:

  • Acne
  • Blood disorders
  • Cancer
  • Skin rashes or cold sores
  • Chronic skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis

What can I expect from a microneedling treatment?

Because treatments are noninvasive, they’re relatively quick – a SkinPen® treatment takes between about 30 minutes, and INTRAcel™ microneedling takes about 30-60 minutes. 

Both treatment approaches immediately begin stimulating the body’s natural healing process to produce tighter, firmer skin in the treated area. 

If you’re receiving a SkinPen® treatment, your provider will apply a topical numbing cream to the treatment area to make the SkinPen® procedure comfortable. The SkinPen® microneedling device itself will be moved around the affected area of your skin, and tiny needles within the device will make micro-injuries on the surface of the skin. Minor bleeding from the treatment is possible.

SkinPen® microneedling has relatively minor side effects, but you may experience any of the following:

  • Pain and redness: Because of the needle pricks, you may feel mild irritation and redness for a few days after the treatment. Pain at the treated site or have redness for a few days. 
  • Peeling: As with any injury to the skin such as sunburn, you may have dryness or peeling while the skin is healing.

If you’re receiving an INTRAcel™ treatment, there is a sensation of heat, tingling, and pressure during the treatment. There is typically and patients typically report slight tingling or pressure during treatment.

What is the downtime like following a microneedling treatment?

There is virtually no downtime following a microneedling treatment, and healing from the treatment typically takes only 24 hours, but can be longer depending on the treatment. While microneedling is usually considered a ‘no downtime’ procedure, depending on the aggressiveness and condition being treated, patients may experience mild inflammation and redness for several days.

Patients can return to normal activities immediately following treatment, and patients can resume exercise 48-72 hours after treatment. 

How soon following treatment can I expect to see results?

If you’re receiving a SkinPen® microneedling treatment, you can expect 4-6 visits to see the full effects.

If you’re receiving an INTRAcel™ microneedling treatment, many see improvement after three treatments. you can expect to see improvements after just one  treatment. The number of treatments you will need depends on your skin type, skin condition, and the size of the area.

How do I get started?

Make an appointment at the Optima Dermatology location closest to you and come in for a free consultation to learn what microneedling treatment will work best for you. We recommend a thorough consultation before beginning treatment so you understand what to expect from microneedling before and after the treatment. 

Schedule your appointment today!