Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, is one of the most popular aesthetic services offered at the Center for Women’s Health in Oxford, NC. By inducing your skin’s production of collagen, we can treat just about any skin concern you can imagine. Today, we’re looking at how often you need treatment, what you can expect, and more.
How Often You Need Microneedling
Generally, you will need microneedling once every four to six weeks for approximately eight to 12 months. However, the exact frequency of required sessions depends on several factors, like the type of skin problem you’re treating, the severity of the problem, and how healthy your skin already is.
For example, if you are trying to treat keloid scars or stretch marks, you may need six to eight sessions spaced four to six weeks apart. If you’re just trying to treat loose, sagging skin, you may only need one to three sessions spaced four to six weeks apart.
What to Expect Before Treatment
Before you can receive treatment, you must come in for an initial consultation. At this time, we will go over your medical history, assess your health, and talk about your aesthetic goals. Bring a list of all medications and supplements you’re taking to your consultation so we can ensure there are no potential contraindications to treatment.
Once we determine that you are healthy enough for treatment, we will ensure collagen induction therapy is the right treatment method for you. If it is, we will advise you regarding how to prepare for treatment. Alternatively, you may be better suited to receive Forma skin tightening treatments.
How to Prepare for Treatment
During your initial evaluation, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide explaining how you should prepare for treatment. To summarize the steps briefly, you should avoid sources of UV radiation, such as tanning beds, tanning booths, and sunbathing in suntan lotion.
You should also avoid anything that can elevate your blood pressure, such as nicotine, alcohol, excessive caffeine, and excessive sodium. You should also drink at least half a gallon of water daily and stop taking medications that can thin your blood, like NSAIDs and MAOIs.
What to Expect During Treatment
Every woman’s experience during collagen induction therapy is unique. Some women come in looking for skin tightening of the face. Others are concerned about wrinkles and other types of sun damage affecting the chest. Others still wish to smooth away surgical scars, trauma scars, keloid scars, or stretch marks.
Regardless of the parts of your body being targeted for treatment, we will start by cleansing the treatment area with an alcohol-based antiseptic. This ensures you do not receive an infection because there was a pollutant or other irritant on your skin. Then, we will numb the treatment area and roll the SkinPen across the targeted area for approximately 30 minutes.
What to Expect After Treatment
After treatment, you will experience no pain, discomfort, or other side effects. You are free to return to work or school and there are very few restrictions regarding your typical daily routine. For example, you must protect your skin from harmful UV rays, but you should be doing this every day anyway!
Furthermore, you should avoid excessive heat in the first 72 hours after treatment. In other words, you should stay out of tanning beds, steam rooms, and dry saunas. Moreover, you should avoid elevating your blood pressure by skipping any high-intensity exercise you had planned and laying off the caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco products. Finally, continue avoiding blood-thinning drugs.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Treatment?
One of the most exciting things about collagen induction therapy is it is right for nearly everyone. Other treatments that induce your skin’s collagen production, like chemical peels and laser treatments, are only safe for a small number of people. Contrastingly, collagen induction therapy is safe for anyone with any skin type, tone, or texture.
With that being said, there are certain medical conditions that preclude a woman, temporarily or permanently, from being a good candidate for this type of treatment. Here are a few examples:
Pregnancy will preclude you from being a good candidate for treatment. During pregnancy, your body is under a great deal of stress, but stress is bad for the fetus.
Unfortunately, collagen induction therapy works by creating “micro-injuries.” While there is no evidence that receiving these micro-injuries would be harmful to you or your fetus, the FDA has neither researched nor approved such treatments. Therefore, you should hold off on treatment in case it causes stress that might be bad for the baby.
The FDA has also not tested or approved this treatment for women who are nursing. Since your health and safety are so important to us, we cannot recommend this treatment for women who are nursing. For the sake of your health, please hold off on treatment for at least six weeks after you are done breastfeeding to allow your body plenty of time to heal.
Future Plans for Pregnancy
If you are concerned about loose, sagging abdominal skin, you may want to hold off on treatment until you have had your last planned child. You may also want to hold off on treatment if you are concerned about stretch marks affecting your inner thighs, breasts, or upper arms.
Keep in mind, there’s no risk to the health of you or your future child if you get pregnant after collagen induction therapy. It’s just important that you understand you may need a maintenance treatment depending on your aesthetic goals and the effects pregnancy has on your body.
Certain blood disorders and other medical conditions can preclude you from treatment. For example, if you can’t stop taking an NSAID, MAOI, or corticosteroid for two weeks preceding and proceeding your session, you may be a poor candidate for this treatment.
The FDA has approved this treatment for individuals who are at least 18 years of age. Furthermore, you may be better suited for a different treatment if you are over the age of 65. To be a good candidate for this treatment, you must be fairly healthy. If you’re 66 or older, an evaluation of your health may determine that this isn’t the right anti-aging treatment for you.
If you smoke regularly, you may not be the best candidate for this treatment. Primarily, it’s important to not consume tobacco products in the weeks leading up to and following your treatment. If you smoke regularly, you may have trouble going for such a long time without nicotine.
Secondarily, tobacco products contain nicotine. Nicotine destroys your collagen and negates some of the effects of treatment. In other words, you will need more treatments to get the look you want. Even worse, the results won’t last as long because your collagen is aging prematurely due to the effects of the nicotine. Therefore, you will need touch-up treatments more regularly.
Why You Shouldn’t DIY
There are several reasons why you shouldn’t try collagen induction therapy at home. The most important of these reasons is safety. Only the SkinPen device is FDA-approved to induce your skin’s production of collagen safely. The single-use needles are sterile, the treatment is performed in a sterile environment and we sanitize the treatment area before the session begins.
If you tried to perform this treatment at home, you run several risks. First, the at-home dermal roller’s needles may not be sterile. Therefore, you will need to sanitize them before treatment. Then, you will need to cleanse the treatment area and sterilize your bathroom. Finally, you will need to sanitize the needles again after treatment to mitigate the risk of infection when you give yourself a touch-up.
The second most significant reason why you should try microneedling at home is efficacy. At-home dermal rollers simply aren’t effective. First, you can’t customize the size of the needles. Second, you can’t customize how deeply the needles penetrate your skin. Third, you haven’t undergone months of training to teach you the appropriate angles and depths to perform treatment at.
These are just a few reasons why at-home dermal rolling isn’t an effective means of encouraging your skin to produce more collagen. If you’d like further information about why you shouldn’t try dermal rolling at home, please contact us at the Center for Women’s Health in Oxford, NC. We are more than happy to answer all of your questions.
Comfort is the most commonly overlooked reason to avoid trying collagen induction therapy at home. At the Center for Women’s Health in Oxford, NC, we can provide you with a topical anesthetic so you don’t feel anything during treatment. While you can try to use ice to numb the treatment area, it won’t be very effective.
Furthermore, certain parts of your body, like your lower back, may be hard for you to reach. You may hurt yourself while trying to reach somewhere you’re not quite flexible enough to reach effectively. Moreover, you risk applying too much pressure to sensitive areas, such as under your eyes.
Forma: The Ideal Alternative to Collagen Induction Therapy
Collagen induction therapy is excellent for reversing sun damage, smoothing wrinkles and scars, treating hyperpigmentation, and tightening your skin. However, if you need significant skin tightening, you may need Forma. Forma is a radiofrequency-based skin tightening treatment designed to tackle the toughest cases of loose skin with ease.
Good Candidates for Forma
Like collagen induction therapy, radiofrequency skin tightening is safe for any skin tone, type, or texture. There are very few medical conditions that preclude someone from being a good candidate. Generally, it comes down to having realistic expectations about the results and wanting results that are dramatic enough to warrant radiofrequency treatments.
What to Expect During Treatment
Treatment with the Forma device feels like a relaxing hot stone massage. As the radiofrequency energy is absorbed by the deepest layers of your skin, it gently encourages your skin to produce more strong, healthy, effective collagen. Treatment is usually over in half an hour, and there is no downtime or recovery.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
Depending on your aesthetic goals, you may need microneedling every four to six weeks for several months. If you’re treating keloid scars or stretch marks, you may never need a follow-up treatment once your skin is smoothed the first time. Other skin concerns, such as laxity, may require follow-up treatments every six to 18 months.
To learn more about collagen induction therapy, please contact us today at the Center for Women’s Health in Oxford, NC to schedule your initial consultation. Our experts will review your medical history and aesthetic goals to develop a treatment plan that works for you and your unique needs.