Microneedling Fact vs Fiction Asian Journal of Medical Science
Last updated on May 16th, 2022
Micro Needling Side Effects
The earliest form of microneedling was acupuncture of which micro needling side effects are non existent. This Chinese practice started centuries ago. In the 1990s, a Canadian surgeon by the name of Camirand, used tattoo guns to treat operation scars after plastic surgery. His aim was to perforate scars to decrease tension. This postoperative micro-needling technique soon disappeared from operation rooms because of how tedious it was. Nappage, a French skin rejuvenation technique, is another form of micro-needling in which micro incisions are made into the skin, placing a drop of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants into the wounds.
In the early 1990s, Orentreich started using the subcision method with a needle to treat wrinkles near the lip lines. Professor Horst Liebl, a German inventor, sought a new and considerably faster way of micro-needling. He integrated nearly 200 non-traumatic tiny needles of medical grade into a drum shaped device. Now, the previous ‘static’ needling was transformed into an exciting micro-needling process to treat larger skin areas in less time. He called his invention Dermaroller and patented and trademarked it in 2000.
The idea is to create a controlled injury, therefore forcing the body to respond by producing more collagen in the treated are. The needles create micro passageways without damaging the epidermis. It has been shown that rolling with a standard dermaroller over an area for 15 times will result in approximately 250 holes/ cm 2. Histological findings of skin tissue that was micro-needled with 0.5 to 1.5mm long needles revealed that they stimulated massive growth of elastin and collagen fibres and Neovascularization. Most studies were done on patients primed with topical Vitamin A and Vitamin C creams 4,5 and 6. The procedure is therefore also called “percutaneous collagen induction therapy” .
Micro Needling Side Effects and Post Procedure Care
Micro needling side effects are very rare if the treatment is done properly. Microneedling is generally well tolerated but erythema may be seen after treatment, lasting for 2-3 days. Skin may also feel warm, tight and itchy for a short while, this normally resolves in 12 – 48 hours. Photoprotection is advised for a week and local antibiotic creams may be prescribed. The pricking channels close within 60 to 90 minutes and therefore infections are unlikely. The procedure is well tolerated and well accepted by the patients, is cost effective, can be done on all skin types and on areas not suitable for peeling or laser resurfacing, such as near eyes. Microneedling with dermaroller can be combined with other acne scar treatments like subcision, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, fractional resurfacing thus maximizing the benefits to the patients.
Some studies have found that microneedling increased collagen deposition even more than intense pulse light (IPL), and therefore might be more effective than IPL for scar treatment. However, in most of the indications it works only by increasing the transdermal delivery of the drug used along with it.