Taylor R. Pollei, MD
Fellowship Trained Facial Plastic Surgeon offers microneedling in Beverly Hills and Mission Viejo CA
What is MicroNeedling?
MicroNeedling is one of the newer treatments offered at Pollei Facial Plastic Surgery in our Beverly Hills & Mission Viejo locations. Since it was introduced it has been met with overwhelming enthusiasm. The same treatment in known as “Collagen Stimulation Therapy” in many parts of Europe and the goal is exactly that. The concept of facial rejuvenation with needling is not new, but has become popular with recent developments in technology and the ability to truly customize treatment location and depth of treatment.
What Can MicroNeedling Do For Me?
Whether performed as a single treatment, or in a series 3 to 5 treatments, I tend to see improvements in leathery skin, wrinkles, fine lines, scarring, stretch marks, and thick sebaceous type of skin like rosacea. Additionally, patients that have abnormal skin texture, or just a lumpy-bumpy type appearance tend to benefit incredibly well. Although some patients definitely benefit more than others because they have more ground for improvement, I’ve yet to treat a patient that did not benefit at least moderately.
Needling as a result works for all types of skin, and all skin colors. The best candidates are those who have a specific concern that they’re looking to improve. Of all the skin complaints that I see, sunspots, areas of pigmentation, or discoloration are the least likely to improve with needling. This type of issue is better addressed with a series of chemical peels or laser treatments.
How Does It Work?
Areas of the face to be treated are physically drawn over with a small electronic pen-sized instrument with a disposable tip containing multiple incredibly small and sharp needles. The pen can be modulated to cause needle penetration from 0.1 mm up to 2 mm in depth. This allows for the ability to treat many different facial areas with the ideal number of passes and needle depth. At the time of needling micro-channels into the dermis are created leaving the epidermis relatively intact. This means that although some skin pinkness or a little bit of puffiness is common, there is no prolonged recovery like with laser resurfacing or a deep chemical peel. Over the ensuing several weeks to months after each procedure, the trauma induces collagen and elastin tissue production that results in more smooth and tightened skin. This works because the needle puncture results in microscopic bleeding which floods the area with growth factors and inflammatory cells. This results in a premature form of collagen and elastin fibers starting to form at 3 weeks and continuing for 6 months. Then around 2-3 months after the procedure and continuing up to 1 year the premature collagen remodels into mature collagen that replaces older damaged age-affected collagen layers.
How is MicroNeedling Performed?
Following an initial consultation where we discuss expectations, goals of treatment, and all possible treatment options, an appointment is made for the treatment itself. This is done as an in-office procedure. Upon arrival, the face is cleansed with surgical cleanser and a very strong topical anesthetic cream is placed. This is allowed to work for 25 to 30 minutes at which time it is cleaned and the face is further prepped with a thin lubricant. The needling itself takes 15 to 20 minutes (or slightly longer if the neck and upper chest serving treated) as the individual areas of the face are tracked over repeatedly to the desired depth and effect.
Ideally, a series of 3 to 5 MicroNeedle treatments are performed at monthly intervals to achieve the desired initial results. Each treatment requires the depth of the needle to be adjusted to the area of the face treated and the depth of the problem treated. Crow’s feet are only treated at 0.5t to 1.0 mm but deep acne scarring and wrinkles, especially on the lips, are up to and beyond 2 mm. Each treatment will go deeper with the number of procedures required depending on the severity of the problem and the healing properties of each individual patient.
What is the Recovery Process Like?
Your face skin may be pink for as short as one hour or up to 24 hours depending on how sensitive your skin is. It is not uncommon to have a little bit of peeling or flaking of the treated area several days following the treatment. At the end of the treatment, I apply a growth factor and hyaluronic acid serum. These two serums need to be reapplied twice daily for at least one week but can be used indefinitely. Keep out of the sun for 48 hours, and apply sunscreen if you are going to have any sun exposure. Most people go back to normal activity the same day, but avoid strenuous activity and swimming for 48 hours.
How Long Do The Effects Last?
The effects of MicroNeedling are long lasting, typically seen for months and even years. This is based on the collagen stimulation effects that we see continuing even after the treatments are completed. It is very reasonable to repeat a series of treatments months to years later, or even better to follow up a needling series with a series of chemical peels. I feel that the needling treatment is great as a standalone therapy, but becomes even more effective when combined with the daily use of effective growth factor, hydrating, and other active serum topicals.
Contact our practice to learn more about microneedling where we serve the Beverly Hills, Mission Viejo, and South Orange County areas.