Who is a good candidate for micro needling?
Micro needling is defined as the use of small solid or hollow needles to cause punctures in the skin for therapeutic purposes. It’s a simple, safe, effective and easy to perform procedure with a growing list of applications. Mainly, micro needling devices cause patterns of tiny wounds that stimulate the healing cascade to produce healthier-looking skin of even texture and tone; this can be harnessed for simple rejuvenation via dermabrasion, or more profound indications such as the revision of various types of scarring. So who is a good candidate for micro needling?
The better question is, “Who isn’t?” Because it’s minimally invasive, doesn’t cause significant wounding of skin, and isn’t light-based, virtually anybody can safely undergo micro needling therapy with minimal risk of long-term adverse effects. Typically important factors such as age or skin color don’t matter. Even areas of the body where skin is typically thin can undergo treatment with some micro needling devices, such as Dermapen, where depth of penetration is consistent and easily regulated. According to researcher and practicing plastic surgeon Gordon Sasaki, M.D. (Pasadena, Calif.) in a recent issue of THE Aesthetic Guide [Nov/Dec 2012, pp. 3-9], the main exclusion criterium for micro needling with Dermapen is the presence of some disease condition that may cause problems of one kind or another. “Contraindications are primarily disease-related’ you need to be careful of any active infections nearby because the technique is invasive, if only minimally so,” he said. While some patients will benefit more than others from micro needling therapy, nobody needs to be left out of the revolution. micro needling therapy is also inexpensive, especially when compared to other therapies which are usually energy-based and much more complicated, if more effective.
Micro needling with Dermapen is for anybody. Gordon Sasaki, M.D., quoted in a recent article about the Dermapen micro needling device [THE Aesthetic Guide, Nov/Dec 2012, pp. 3-9], explained. “By nature Dermapen micro needling therapy is color blind, meaning it can be used on any skin type. You may also safely use this device on areas where the skin seems paper-thin, such as the hand or inside of the arm,” he said. “Contraindications are primarily disease related; you need to be careful of any active infections nearby because the technique is invasive, if only minimally so.”
Additionally, micro needling is very affordable. Micro needle devices cause nowhere near as much as the complicated energy-based medical devices for skin rejuvenation , resurfacing or tightening, such as fractional CO2 lasers or radio-frequency devices, which cost tens of thousands of dollars. The need for disposables will be minimal to none as well, so the overall cost of treatment is much, much less. This translates into more profits for doctors and safe, accessible aesthetic therapies for potential patients.
One the main factors behind what’s sure to be serious growth in micro needling therapy is summed up in one word that applies to other standout therapies such as neuromodulators (botox) or dermal fillers: accessibility. When those therapies made a splash on the market, it was not efficacy that drove growth; more powerful modalities providing better efficacy for a range of conditions existed and still exist. Accessibility was the key.
In the aesthetic space accessibility is defined as the quality of being readily available to a large group of potential patients. Cost of treatment is the major factor because for decades, aesthetic medicine languished in the realm of the rich and/or vain, seen as a luxury few dared try to afford. The advent of injectables changed that because the treatments were effective and inexpensive. Middle class women could see themselves trying them, and might make different purchasing decisions in an effort to taste what once seemed unavailable. Safety is also a factor because lack of safety creates bad press; the perception of risk is powerful. Also, patients of any race or age could undergo treatment with expectation of results when under expert care. Another factor is more nebulous: Can potential patients wrap their heads around the idea of treatment and feel confident that they will see results?
Micro Needling therapy fits these criteria. Treatment is simple, easy to perform, minimally invasive, safe, and effective. Patients can fathom the basic concept of micro needling therapy and, with proper guidance, can understand the mechanisms behind results. Micro needling is also safe for anyone who doesn’t present with an infection or other prohibitive disease condition that may spread or be exacerbated by skin puncture. But more importantly, micro needling therapy is inexpensive; the combination of low cost, safety, and results is a powerful one and momentum is gathering.