Microneedling is a procedure in which a controlled injury is made to the top skin layer. The injury triggers a healing response from the body, thus stimulating the production of new skin tissues.
Though the technique has risen in popularity over the recent years, its usage goes back over two decades.
Microneedling is reported to have first been used for skin care in 1995 by dermatologists Norman and David Orentreich. They described the procedure as subcision for treating depressed scars and wrinkles.
The following year, the microneedling roller was developed by cosmetic surgeon Dez Fernandez.
Health Benefits of Microneedling
Continue reading below for details on the health benefits of microneedling.
1. Generates New Collagen
It is widely reported that microneedling generates new collagen, which is more bountiful than any other protein in the body. Collagen is developed by cells called fibroblasts, belonging to the second layer of skin known as the dermis.
The greatest amount of collagen is found in the skin, bones, and tendons. Collagen is linked to a number of health benefits, particularly regarding skin care.
It is certainly well known that collagen helps diminish signs of aging like wrinkles, dark circles, and fine lines. It also enables the skin to maintain its structure.
In a study, sixty-nine female participants were given collagen hydrolysate or a control substance every day for eight weeks.
Results showed greater improvement in skin elasticity of the participants in the collagen hydrolysate dosage group compared to those in the placebo group.
Collagen is also reported to help protect against skin damage from the sun’s UVB rays. A 2009 review states the daily usage of collagen peptides helped prevent the reduction of skin moisture and type I collagen by UVB rays in patients.
2. Treats Minor Scarring
Microneedling also treats minor scarring as it helps repair damaged tissues in the skin. The results of microneedling on acne scars have been widely investigated.
A 2015 study is one of the several to assess the procedure’s effectiveness. Over the course of three months, ten Egypt-based participants (half male, half female) were given treatment every two weeks.
Following treatment, the patients were instructed to use topical antibiotics and sunscreen of at least thirty SPF for protection throughout the day. Scars were improved fifty to sixty percent three months following initial treatment.
Furthermore, it is shown microneedling can treat non-acne scars as well such as those induced by surgery, burn injuries, trauma, and chickenpox.
3. Reduce Stretch Marks
As microneedling promotes collagen production, it reduces stretch marks. Stretch marks happen to very common among pregnant women.
However, they are prevalent in teenagers and individuals who recently lost a lot of weight as well. Microneedling promotes regeneration of skin cells within the areas where the stretch marks have occurred.
A number of studies support microneedling as being effective at treating stretch marks. A study with sixteen Korean participants exhibits microneedling as an effective treatment for stretch marks.
The participants underwent three treatment sessions with each conducted after every four weeks. Seven participants saw significant improvement compared to the other nine.
In another study with female participants, the group treated with needle therapy saw greater improvement compared to the group that received microdermabrasion treatment.
Research also suggests microneedling is more effective than CO2 lasers for stretch marks. Divided into two groups, Egyptian women underwent three treatment sessions monthly.
One group was given needle therapy while the other received CO2 laser treatment. A greater percentage of women in the needle therapy group saw results.
4. Reduces Hyperpigmentation and Age Spots
Evidence also indicates microneedling reduces hyperpigmentation and age spots, as it safely penetrates the top layer of skin, causing the old tissues to shed and generating new ones.
Hyperpigmentation is the outcome of excessive levels of melanin, the pigments that give the skin its color. When hyperpigmentation occurs, dark patches (age spots) form.
Hyperpigmentation can develop as the result of an injury, which can lead to inflammation, thus causing dark spots. Prolonged exposure to the sun is another cause for hyperpigmentation.
A recent evaluation study shows participants saw great improvement in hyperpigmentation following microneedling treatment. The participants possessed dark skin shades, which worsened their condition.
Final results were assessed four weeks following initial treatment. A 2015 review revealed melasma patients undergoing microneedling treatment helped reduce the appearance of their dark spots.
Treatment was performed using a 1.5-millimeter needle. With that, the participants used a depigmentation formula and tinted sunscreen with an SPF of sixty following the first procedure.
5. Prevents Premature Skin Aging
Another benefit of microneedling is it prevents premature skin aging. As mentioned, microneedling enhances the production of collagen, which is what provides the skin its elasticity. The decrease in elasticity causes wrinkles and lines to develop.
A review from 2018 details a study with forty-eight participants ranging from thirty-five to seventy-five years old. Four treatment sessions took place over the course of 150 days. Participants saw a significant reduction in wrinkles and lines. In addition to that, laxity of the participants’ skin was improved.
Additional research suggests microneedling may work better when combined with substances called human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived endothelial precursor cell (EPC) conditioned medium (CM).
Promising results are shown from a 2014 study documenting the results of microneedling for skin rejuvenation in female participants.
The researchers used 0.25-millimeter microneedle rollers along with hESC-EPC CM and another substance, saline, on the women’s faces. Treatment sessions took place every two weeks. In the end, the microneedling combined with hESC-EPC CM produced better results.