Microneedling in Orange County
Lift and revive your skin with Microneedling!
Our face changes as we age. These changes are commonly manifested by the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Part of these changes results from decreased production of collagen and elastin, thus affecting the quality of our skin.
Many medical and aesthetic procedures are available to improve our skin quality and make us look youthful. One such procedure is collagen induction therapy, also known as a microneedling treatment or percutaneous collagen induction (PCI). Microneedling causes a controlled trauma that boosts the body’s natural production of collagen, an essential protein that improves our skin’s health and gives a smooth and firm texture.
What is Microneedling?
Microneedling, otherwise known as collagen induction therapy, uses ultrafine needles to create micro punctures in the skin which stimulate the body’s natural wound healing mechanism and boost the production of collagen. This rush of collagen and elastin helps the skin regain a healthier, firmer, and youthful appearance.
The first recorded use of micro-needling was in 1905 using dental burs powered by a motor-driven flexible cord that was used to treat scars, birthmarks, and hyperpigmentation. In 1995 microneedling using a stamping technique was developed. Now the most common forms are utilizing pens with needles that oscillate back and forth creating tiny punctures in the skin. Other forms of microneedling include radiofrequency.
Although there are several home-based microneedling devices available, these devices generally do not allow for adequate depth of penetration and may not yield optimal results. These devices may not be equipped with surgical-grade needles and can be dangerous if not used properly. It is important to note that there are risks involved such as developing an infection or damaging your skin.
Microneedling can be combined with hyaluronic acid, growth factors, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), or plasma-rich fibrin (PRF) for enhanced results.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelet-Rich Fibrin (PRF)?
Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) is similar to platelet-rich plasma (PRP) but may be considered next generation. Both products are derived by drawing your own blood into a test tube and then spinning it in a centrifuge to separate the blood into different layers. PRP is spun at much faster speeds, as compared to PRF, which causes the heavier cells in the blood (white blood cells (WBC) and stem cells) to fall to the bottom part of the test tube while the lighter cells (platelets and plasma) collect at the top part of the test tube. The platelets and plasma are then extracted from the upper part of the test tube and then injected into areas of concern. PRF is spun at a much slower speed as compared to PRP and the layers of the blood do not separate out as distinctly, allowing some of the white blood cells and stem cells to remain within the platelet layer that is extracted for treatment allowing more factors to be used during treatment. Also, a slower spin helps avoid trauma to the blood which may result from faster spins.
Another difference between PRP and PRF is the concentration of platelets extracted in the final product. PRP contains approximately 5 times the level of platelets found in the body versus PRF which contains approximately 10 times the platelet concentration that is found in the body.
Another difference between PRP and PRF is the use of an anticoagulant, a substance that keeps the blood product from clotting too quickly, in the preparation of the final product. PRP requires an anticoagulant and PRF does not require an anticoagulant. This makes PRF more natural and allows the natural fibrinogen in our blood to be converted to fibrin forming a spongy fibrin matrix. This matrix activates platelets and allow for a slow release of growth factors. The anticoagulant prevents PRP from forming this fibrin matrix and thus once injected to the area of concern PRP may quickly dissipate into the tissue not allowing for a prolonged release of growth factors.
Research suggests that a higher concentration of platelets, WBC, and stem cells may be more effective, giving rise to PRF.
What are Exosomes?
Microneedling is a non-surgical, minimally invasive skin rejuvenation technique that does require a local anesthetic to make the treatment comfortable. The clinician will use a pen-like device or a device that has a handheld component with built-in needles that may or may not include radiofrequency. The clinician controls the depth of needle penetration from 0.1mm-3.5mm depending on the area being treated or your skin condition. The treatment can be safely performed on delicate areas of the face like upper and lower eyelids, the upper lip, and the cheeks. The treatment time is about 45 min. There is minimal downtime associated with this treatment but it is expected to have some redness for the first 24 hours and you may sensitivity for about 72 hours.
- Stimulating collagen production
- Reduction in fine lines and wrinkles
- Reduction in the appearance of acne scars
- Reduction in the appearance of stretch marks
- Improving skin elasticity or tightening the skin
- Balancing out uneven skin tone
- Reducing the appearance of sunspots or age spots and other damage caused due to environmental exposure
- Reduction in the pore size
Microneedling Pre & Post Care Instructions
- Do not wear makeup on the day of treatment.
- Medications or supplements that may increase your risk of bleeding should be avoided 3-7 days before treatment. These include, but are not limited to, anticoagulant medication, antiplatelet medication, aspirin, aspirin-containing medications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, fish oil, flaxseed, garlic, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, omega 3 fatty acids, St. John’s Wort, and vitamin A or E. You should consult with your physician before discontinuing anything prescribed or recommended by your physician.
- Avoid antihistamines and anti-inflammatory drugs 1 week prior to treatment. These negate the effects of the procedure. The body’s histamine and inflammatory responses are needed post-treatment.
- Excess hair may need to be shaved. Men should be clean shaved.
- Avoid sun exposure and tanning beds for 4 weeks prior to treatment and use a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 daily to ensure coverage against UVA and UVB rays.
- Avoid self-tanners 4 weeks prior to treatment.
- Consult with your physician if you have been on photosensitizing medication within the last 12 months.
- Avoid chemical peels and laser treatments in the area to be treated for 4 weeks prior to your treatment.
- Avoid skin irritants (products containing hydroxy acids, hydroquinone, retinoids, vitamin C, etc.) 3 days prior to your treatment.
- Avoid waxing, tweezing, and use of chemical depilatories 1-2 weeks prior to treatment.
- If you have a history of cold sores of Herpes Simplex Virus, you may be recommended to take an antiviral medication before treatment.
- Avoid neuromodulators and/or dermal fillers 2 weeks before your treatment.
- Notify the office staff if you develop a cold sore, acne, open lesions in the area being treated, or experience any type of illness prior to your treatment.
- The initial 72 hours post-procedure are the most critical.
- Avoid direct sun and heat. This includes simple day-to-day tasks such as gardening, cooking over a hot stove for a long period of time, sitting next to a bonfire or fireplace, etc.
- Discontinue the use of any Alpha-Hydroxy products. You may resume your home care regimen when the skin is no longer flaking and peeling.
- Use hydrating and reparative products. Products rich in soothing and healing ingredients are best to encourage new, healthy cell growth. Peptides, antioxidants, stem cells, Vitamin A, C, and E, and growth factors work very well.
- Use physical sunscreen. Suncare products should be applied no less than every 30-90 minutes. Do not go outside without sun protection (even on a cloudy day).
- Minor peeling and flakiness will occur after a few days. Don’t pick at the loose skin.
- Limit exercise the first week.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Call our office if you experience excessive redness, swelling, pain, or drainage as they might indicate an infection.