If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know by now that I’m excited to try new innovations in beauty. Yes, we are talking wire lift, lasers, under-eye filling, lip filling, a “liquid face”… The list goes on. Now, before I start thinking this is too much for a person, I didn’t start this experimental journey at 30 and I’m 41 now, so all of these treatments have spread over the last decade. Because I am in favor of skin care at home beauty tools like microcurrent to maintain optimal skin health — these are the product workers I swear to! Any dermatologist or beautician will tell you how important it is for your skin to be in the best shape before you have a professional treatment, especially with several lasers, a PDO wire lifter or one of my new favorites, when you are considering micro-needles with PRP.
Now, I have tried microneedling in the past (and I love it) and have also experienced it as a PRP serum after a Clear & Brilliant laser, but I hadn’t tried to combine microneedling with PRP injections before. After learning my favorite dermis, Dr. Nancy Samolitis—Council dermatologist and owner / founder of Facile Dermatology + Boutique— was now offering treatment, I knew I had to give it a try, and I wasn’t disappointed. I can honestly say that with prp microneedling is completely variable in terms of skin texture, tone and vitality.
If you’ve been thinking about treatment, I turned to Dr. Samolitis to ask all the usual questions so you can make an informed decision, but trust me on this one, it’s 100% worth it! Continue reading with PRP to find out what microneedling is, the benefits, who should get it and much more.
Above you will find a picture of my skin after microneedling prp, and then a picture of my skin about 10 days after treatment.
What exactly are micro-needles?
Microneedling (MN) is the use of a device with multiple small needles to create a large number of punctures in the skin. This process allows greater penetration of topical medications applied to the skin and initiates new collagen production to heal wounds. It’s been more than 100 years since the needles were first used to treat acne scars, but techniques and devices have evolved rapidly since the introduction of the MN commercial roller in the 1990s. As MN’s popularity has exploded as a medical procedure in recent years, the FDA has approved only a few devices as safe to use in the medical environment. These devices are small hand tools that have needles that vibrate with a direct vertical penetration into the skin. They have safety covers and disposable needle tips to prevent the infection from spreading.
What are the benefits of a micro-needle?
The goal is basically to create tiny wounds on the skin, which creates an environment where the cells start as repairs, thus removing the damaged tissue and replacing it with new healthy skin cells and new collagen. This is most beneficial in improving the quality and texture of the skin, strengthening and strengthening the dermal tissue.
How effective is micro-needles / PRP for acne and acne scars?
Microneedling has become the gold standard for the treatment of acne scars because it is effective, with a relatively painless recovery and is safe for all skin types. Traditionally, laser resurfacing was used to treat acne scars, and when you try to achieve the same depth of wound with a laser (with heat), you create much more pain, inflammation, and recovery time. In my experience, patients have the option of choosing microneedling, because with one type of treatment, it usually takes several sessions to get optimal results.
Is it effective for hyperpigmentation and melasma?
Microneedling may be effective for hyperpigmentation and melasma, but not in itself. It does not in itself enhance pigmentation, but can be used to provide a topical medication that brightens the skin. When medications (in my office, we use tranexamic acid) are applied when micro-needles are made, we are basically taking some of the most stubborn pigmentation to the dermis. Unlike some lasers, microneedling is likely to cause post-inflammatory pigmentation or worsening of melasma, but should not be used in conjunction with home skin care to prevent excessive pigmentation.
What about hair growth?
Microneedling alone is not commonly used for hair growth, although some anecdotal reports show some effectiveness (which means no major studies). As described with pigmentation, microneedling can be used regularly to help apply a topical hair growth product such as minoxidil (Rogaine) or PRP. Because skin micro-needles can be messy and painful, we typically only use PRP injections, which have been shown to be effective in larger studies.
What skin types / concerns are appropriate for microneedling?
Almost anyone is a good candidate for MN treatment. It is very safe, can be used more slowly or aggressively as needed, and is relatively painful, and has a recovery period that is easier and faster than other laser or skin restoration treatments. I have used microneedling to treat acne scars in patients under 12 years of age and wrinkles in patients under 85 years of age.
Who shouldn’t get it?
Someone with active acne, inflammation, or other active skin diseases in the treatment area is not a candidate until the disease is under control with medical therapy. Even a person with severe hyperpigmentation would not be a candidate. Because microneedling is at risk of increasing pigmentation and some people create excess pigment so easily, it is not worth the risk when there are other therapies that are safer and more effective for pigmentation.
What is PRP?
PRP is a “platelet-rich plasma” that is extracted from the blood. The blood draw is done in the office, in a special type of tube that rotates in the centrifuge to separate the blood elements. PRP is made into syringes for application in skin treatment. Platelets are a type of cell that concentrates in solution and when there is an injury to the skin (by injection or microneedling, laser, etc.), the platelets are activated and release growth factors that help in the healing process. that the growth of new tissue is caused by new collagen that causes hormones, stress or inflammation to stop the hair.
Why is it often associated with micro-needles?
Because microneedling is a safe and effective type of birsurfacing, PRP has typically been used with it, but it can be used in conjunction with any type of birsurfacing that results in minor skin lesions.
What are the benefits of combining PRP with micro-needles?
As mentioned above, the micro-needle process creates an injury that causes the release of growth factors from the PRP platelets and helps to encourage the application of a topical product. Adding the application of PRP to the microneedling treatment will improve collagen production and speed up the healing process.
What is the topical application of PRP when injecting microneedles?
We are able to apply PRP a little deeper and apply a larger amount of PRP in an area focused on injections. For example, I often inject deeper acne scars with PRP. Injection needles and fluid separation from the associated scar tissue cause an injury under the acne scar to help lift it. It is a technique known as subcision and was only used for the treatment of acne scars, but has been shown to be more effective in split face studies when combined with PRP injections.
Can you explain your micro / PRP process and why you do both?
- The patient arrives at the office, applies a detoxifying cream to the treatment area, draws blood and processes PRP.
- Skin cleansed by antiseptic technique is injected into all areas where we want to concentrate PRP collagen production, including acne scars, skin around the eyes, fine lines / wrinkles, etc.
- Then the micropuncture is performed throughout the treatment area (often the face, neck, chest) with topical application of PRP.
- Apply healing cream and give post-care instructions.
- We recommend a gentle, moisturizing moisturizer after at least three days of post-care, with no active ingredients and avoiding sun blockage and sun exposure.
With that in mind, how should you prepare your skin for microneedling / PRP, if any?
No specific preparation is required unless there is hyperpigmentation or melasma, in which case we will often order an enlightening treatment to be used before and after the treatment session.
What is the stop?
Most people experience redness and tenderness that feels like a sunburn for the first few days or two. It may have a slight flake or bleach and the redness may last for three to four days. Some people may have specific bruising, especially in areas where we make the treatment more aggressive (above the scars) or under the eye, on the upper lips, and in delicate areas like the nasal bridge.
How should you take care of your skin after treatment?
When can you expect to see results?
Most people notice smoother and smoother skin after two weeks, but the full results can last six months and require at least a series of four treatments.
How many treatments do you need to do?
At least four, but may require more severe scars or wrinkles. There is no limit to the number of treatments you can do and I always suggest quarterly treatments for long-term maintenance against skin aging.
How much is it?
The cost will vary greatly depending on the geographical location. We charge $ 475 for microneedling only and $ 1500 for microneedles + PRP. We also have discounts on package prices over four sessions to encourage patients to get enough treatment to achieve their goals.
What is the difference between office micro-needling and home procedures?
My concern with household micro-needle devices is that the needles will usually be boring after a session, so reuse can cause more discomfort, irregular skin tears, clean and sterile wounds instead, less results and spread of infection. they are not properly sterilized. There are no FDA regulations or approvals for household microneedle devices. Some home appliances come with serums that are applied along with the microfibers or some people may use their skin care products at home along with the microfibers. I do not recommend this because most skin care serums / ingredients are not applied to the deepest layers of the skin and can cause allergic reactions when used. Several case reports have been published in the medical literature where this occurs.