One of the most popular topics we get asked about is microneedling, the collagen-boosting, skin-perfecting treatment that has become a top request in doctors’ offices in recent years. Though there are different types of microneedling—some treatments employ radio-frequency energy for enhanced results; others rely solely on the wound-healing response from the tiny punctures into the skin (and the subsequent boost from powerful topicals applied post-treatment). Here, leading dermatologists and plastic surgeons across the country answer six questions we repeatedly receive from you, our readers, to help you achieve an optimal outcome.
How can I boost the results of my microneedling treatment?
“Microneedling of any kind is an opportunity to apply anti-aging products like growth factors that will penetrate better through the needle punctures,” says New York dermatologist Macrene Alexiades, MD. “When you combine microneedling with topicals, you have a shot at some collagen building. I typically apply a lab-based, highly potent hyaluronic acid with standard microneedling, and PRP with RF microneedling.”
How should I take care of my skin after my treatment?
“Stay out of the sun and avoid scheduling any major events for a week,” Prospect, KY dermatologist Tami Buss Cassis, MD advises. “Use gentle cleansers and great hydrating products that will help stimulate healing. I really like Alastin’s formulas. Also, don’t worry if you look a little scary—it’s normal. The skin heals and you will love your results.”
Who should avoid microneedling?
Those who have active inflammatory acne, active bacterial or viral infections such as cold sores, or active inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis or rosacea. If you are on a blood-thinning medication, consult with your doctor first. “If you have sensitive skin or already ‘perfect’ skin, I wouldn’t recommend microneedling, as it will incite inflammation,” adds Dr. Alexiades.
Can microneedling mess up my filler?
According to Chapel Hill, NC dermatologist Beth Goldstein, MD, the tiny needles do not go deep enough to disrupt the results of fillers or neurotoxins. “However, we recommend that patients wait at least two weeks after neurotoxin injections for microneedling, and about one month after filler,” she says. “At the two-week mark, your toxin is at its best and cannot be manipulated by any swelling that can occur after microneedling. Hyaluronic acid filler patients will actually have the benefit of advanced collagen stimulation with microneedling.”
Can microneedling also help with hair loss?
While microneedling with PRP can be used to address hair loss, Beverly Hills, CA facial plastic surgeon Kimberly J. Lee, MD finds it more effective when PRP is injected directly into the scalp, which allows it to penetrate deeper. “Because the hair isn’t shaved with PRP, microneedling can sometimes be a little bit cumbersome and uncomfortable,” she explains. “By injecting PRP into the scalp, it can spread to adjacent areas of the scalp for improved results.”
Is it safe to microneedle at home?
Though some at-home microneedling tools claim to be safe, most doctors don’t recommend them. “At-home rollers are only 0.1 millimeter in depth and require someone to have the knowledge of cleansing their skin properly before using them,” says Dr. Goldstein.