Wondering where your vibrant, youthful, glowing skin went? Are you experiencing uneven skin tone, enlarged pores, fine lines, wrinkles, rosacea and other mysterious bags and droops? All these issues have one thing in common: they are caused by a lack of collagen and elastin. Collagen fibres give your skin its firmness, while elastin keeps skin tight. These fibres start to break down naturally as we age. Your health and lifestyle also contribute to this process.
In the last decade, fractional lasers have been the go-to treatment to best combat aging skin. However, this is no longer the case. Microneedling, also known as Collagen Induction Therapy, is readily becoming the most effective and affordable treatment available today. It’s not a new technology, but it has gained momentum in the last few years – and with good reason.
Move Over, Laser
Both laser and microneedling work on the principle of creating a controlled micro-injury to the skin to trigger your body’s natural wound-healing response. The difference between these treatments is how it’s done. Here’s my favourite analogy: imagine a white fabric sheet. The sheet represents your epidermis: the protective layer of your skin. We need to get through the sheet (your skin) to the other side to poke your fibroblast, which will in turn trigger the healing response to produce collagen and elastin fibres. The “other side” represents your dermis: the deep, structural level of your skin where all the magic happens. Both treatment options can accomplish this.
But here’s the difference: fractional laser treatments use heat, causing a thermal injury which vaporizes and kills healthy skin cells en route to the dermis. The white sheet is left charred. Your epidermis is collateral damage.
A microneedling device uses fine surgical needles between 0.5mm and 2mm long to enter the dermis. Very few skin cells are affected, as they literally “move over” for the needle. Poke a needle through the white sheet, and no damage is visible. The integrity of the epidermal layer of the skin is preserved. Less damage and inflammation occurs, which means less downtime and minimal chance for infections or complications that can occur with laser treatments. Recovery for microneedling is one or two days, compared with five to seven days from a laser treatment.
Laser therapies are also unsuitable for darker skin types, as the melanocytes (cells that produce the pigment melanin) can be damaged or over-stimulated, causing light or dark patchy discolouration. Since heat is not used in microneedling, melanocytes are left dormant and undamaged. Micro-needling is appropriate and effective for all skin types.
The Point of Effectiveness
Microneedling not only targets specific imperfections; it also provides an overall rejuvenation of the skin using specific growth factors and skin products to enhance the results. Micro-channels made by the needles create a portal to the dermis, allowing products to be absorbed one thousand percent more effectively than if applied without needling.
Microneedling is also effective for the treatment of acne scars, newer surgical scars, fine lines, wrinkles, stretch marks, hair loss and pore size, and diminishes redness caused by rosacea. It dramatically improves the overall thickness and health of the skin. Undergoing a series of microneedling treatments will not only provide visible results to the overall appearance of your skin, but will slow down the signs of aging.
The Truth about Treatment
Does microneedling hurt? Not really. Topical anesthetic applied prior to your treatment greatly minimizes any discomfort.
Multiple treatments performed six to eight weeks apart have a compounding effect, and produce phenomenal results. You can improve results even further with the use of a Dermaroller (.02mm) home microneedling device with recommended skin products between your treatments. (Dermaroller is the only device for home use that is approved by Health Canada.) Products applied with home rolling penetrate 300 percent deeper than without the device. However, be aware that certain ingredients are not meant to penetrate that deeply into the skin. Always obtain and follow professional advice.
Microneedling is the best weapon we have to combat aging skin. At one-sixth the cost of a laser treatment, it is also the most affordable. Leading authority and author of The Concise Guide to Dermal Needling, Dermatologist Dr. Lance Setterfield, stated, “It’s a great Cinderella Story in that it offers the opportunity of heathy skin to the many instead of the privileged.” Amen.
Ageless Living in Eagle Creek Village performs microneedling procedures more than any other treatment. Contact us for more information and to book your complimentary consultation. Visit us to purchase a Dermaroller with demo and instructions for effective home treatment.
We are located at 120-27 Helmcken Rd, Victoria, BC. Phone 250-940-1770.
By Michelle Bellerose, Ageless Living Skincare Specialist