Truly beautiful skin is soft, supple, and glowing. Yet with sun damage, acne, wrinkles, fine lines, freckles, and sun spots, a luminous complexion can be difficult to achieve. A large body of research supports the use of an exciting technique to aid in getting great skin: Collagen Induction Therapy.
Collagen Induction Therapy, also called Dermapen Microneedling, or Microneedling, is a minimally invasive technique that boosts your skin's production of collage and elastin, two of the most important substances in maintaining plump, youthful, glowing skin.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Microneedling involves using a mechanized device called a dermapen to make thousands of miniscule needle punctures in the outermost layers of the skin. By precisely controlling the depth, spacing, frequency, and pattern of these needle pricks, the dermapen stimulates your body to make more collagen in the areas where it needs it the most. Microneedling has been scientifically demonstrated to show improvement in fine lines, freckles and sun spots, scars, burns, pitted and non-pitted acne scars, stretch marks, and large pores.
CAN MICRONEEDLING BE COMBINED WITH OTHER TREATMENTS?
Microneedling can be combined with a liquid treatment on the skin surface-- such as growth factors, vitamin C, or platelet rich plasma (PRP)-- to further improve skin quality, evenness, and texture. This is highly effective because the skin absorbs more of these growth factors as a result of microneedling treatment. The so-called "vampire facelift" (shown on Bar Rafaeli and Kim Kardashian, above) is an example of this combination.
HOW IS THIS DIFFERENT FROM A MICRONEEDLING OR DERMAROLLER TREATMENT IN A SPA?
Spa & home needles are shorter and less effective.
In a spa or home-use setting, microneedling devices and dermal rollers have needles that are much shorter than the ones used by a plastic surgeon. A spa or home device will have short, fine needles that are 0.2 mm in depth and can be used two times a week or more. In contrast, medical microneedling performed by a qualified plastic surgeon uses long, fine needles with depths ranging from 2 to 7 mm, depending on your concern (in other words 10 to 35 times deeper than the spa model).
Spa & home needles can hurt your skin and cause scarring.
Microneedling must be done with a device that hits your skin surface at a 90 degree (perpendicular) angle, in order to minimize scraping, scratching, or other trauma that could cause scarring. Inexpensive spa devices often have poor quality needles that are slightly angled or bent and can thus hurt your skin. Similarly, circular devices like dermal rollers don't hit the skin at a straight 90 degree angle and can be injurious for this reason as well.
A licensed physician or medical professional is required to supervise any procedure that breaks your skin. A vigourous Dermapen Collagen Induction Therapy session should do this, and thus should be medially supervised.
WHY NOT JUST USE A LASER OR CHEMICAL PEEL?
Microneedling is preferable to laser and chemical peels in many patients because it is safe for use in all skin tones, all parts of the body (including stretch marks on the abdomen), and all times of life (including pregnancy and breastfeeding). In addition, the downtime with Microneedling is quite short, with transient redness usually lasting less than a day (as compared to one week or more with peels or laser).
Microneedling Collagen Induction Therapy is also a great technique for those who are concerned with their complexions but are relunctant to try Botox or fillers. Because it is mechanical and doesn't involve any chemicals or neurotoxins, the technique is reassuring to many.
DOES IT HURT?
Although Microneedling sounds scary (thousands of needles going into your face!), it is actually quite painless. Dr. Devgan uses lidocaine numbing cream on your face to keep you completely comfortable, and you are wide awake during the procedure. The experience feels similar to a deep facial with a bit of extra vibration. At the end of the procedure, your face will be slightly red and tingly, as the growth factors, vitamin C, or platelet rich plasma absorb into your skin. By the next day, you will be able to return to work and play, with minimal downtime.
Improved skin appearance begins to occur almost immediately and continues for 4 to 6 weeks. For best results, Microneedling can be repeated as frequently as every 6 weeks, or as infrequently as 2-3 times a year, depending on your concerns.
IS IT EFFECTIVE?
The before and after photos of Microneedling speak for themselves. Although individual results and situations vary, this technique has been demonstrated to be effective in facial wrinkles, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, burns, surgical scars, and stretch marks.
WHAT IS THE DATA?
The scientific literature supports the use of Collagen Induction Therapy using a Dermapen Microneedling device. More detailed data can be found here:
- Fernandes D. Minimally invasive percutaneous collagen induction. Oral Maxillofac Surg Clin North Am.2006;17:51–63. [PubMed]
- Aust MC, Fernandes D, Kolokythas P, Kaplan HM, Vogt PM. Percutaneous collagen induction therapy: An alternative treatment for scars, wrinkles and skin laxity. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2008;21:1421–9. [PubMed]
- Fernandes D, Signorini M. Combating photoaging with percutaneous collagen induction. Clin Dermatol.2008;26:192–9. [PubMed]
- Aust MC, Reimers K, Repenning C, Stahl F, Jahn S, Guggenheim M, et al. Percutaneous collagen induction: Minimally invasive skin rejuvenation without risk of hyperpigmentation-fact or fiction. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2008;122:1553–63. [PubMed]
HOW DO YOU SET UP YOUR NEW YORK CITY DERMAPEN MICRONEEDLING TREATMENT?
If you are interested in Collagen Induction Therapy (microneedling dermapen treatment), please call our Manhattan office at (212) 452-2400 to schedule a consultation and treatment with Dr. Devgan. If you have specific questions, you can also reach out to us at info@LaraDevganMD.com.