Originally micro-needling was performed with needles of varying lengths on a roller. These were replaced by battery-operated hand-held "micro-needling" pens that were created based on tattoo machines. The purpose of the needle punctures was to stimulate wound healing, trigger collagen loss and production, and enhance skin remodeling.
Not too long after the introduction of the “micro-pens” the use of post micro-needling topical agents were introduced. Research showed that after having the treatment done, the procedure channels were open for 20 minutes allowing delivery of products and substances to the deep (active) layers of the skin called the deep dermis. These areas happen to be where a lot of the pigment is produced. At first, only antioxidant vitamins such as topical Vitamin A and Vitamin C were used, then bleaching agents (Hydroquinones and Kojic Acid) were added to the list of post treatment topicals.
As part of the new wave of research in the field of regenerative medicine, we have found that the single most active post procedure topical is autologous platelet rich plasma or PRP. This utilizes a specific part of your own blood to "supercharge" the healing process. The platelets contain proteins that act as messengers to get the body to deliver "repair materials" to the area your treating. The combination of micro-needling plus PRP has been found effective in repairing sun damaged skin, acne scarring, surgical scars, burn scars, hyper, and hypopigmentation, as well as crinkly skin and fine lines. Recently studies have shown this combination to be particularly helpful with stimulating hair growth in certain types of thinning hair conditions. Approximately 2 ounces of your blood is drawn and processed in a centrifuge, while a topical anesthetic cream is administered to the area to be treated. This is then spread during the procedure and immediately after the procedure. Any leftover PRP can be injected just underneath the skin to further stimulate the healing process.
Micro-needling is performed in a series of 3-5 treatments spaced out about 2-3 weeks apart. There really is not significant downtime. A flushed appearance and a recommendation to avoid the sun the next few days after the procedure are the only signs that a patient has had something done. After a couple of these treatments, your skin develops a beautiful glow signaling that your body has started recreating new collagen. A recommendation of a refresher treatment every 6 months to a year will help you keep your "glow on"!