Most of us can agree that looking good requires some effort, and that includes maintaining a strong skincare regimen. Are you even now looking for something new to build into that regimen – something sure to help you look more youthful? At Beautiful Eyes Customized Eyelid Surgery & Skin Enhancements in Wichita, KS, we recommend collagen induction therapy.
What Is Collagen Induction Therapy?
This therapy, routinely known as microneedling, simultaneously addresses multiple skin conditions. Among the most common are:
- Skin laxity
Our office uses the MD Needle Pen, made of stainless steel and designed to protect skin from damage. At the end of the pen are very fine needles used to cause trauma to the face via tiny micro-wounds. Those wounds are too small to be seen and are delivered in a precise, controlled manner to prompt the body’s natural healing responses.
Why This Is Beneficial
You’ve likely heard this before, but the body is chemically and biologically designed to heal itself. Modern medicine must take over when natural processes fall short, but that’s a discussion for another time.
In terms of repairing wounds – specifically those to the face – the body uses proteins to make new tissues. Chief among these proteins is collagen, and in turn, new tissues have a firmer, stronger texture and more even tone. This is how microneedling delivers results, by cueing the body to turn over old, damaged skin cells and replace them with new. Visibly, you see skin that is fresher and more vibrant.
The Importance of Collagen
Now might be a good time to talk about collagen and why it’s so important to your appearance. Collagen, woven into a supple, flexible network of fibers with the aid of vitamin C, comprises 80 percent of the skin. While the body produces this fiber throughout our lives, it does so at a reduced capacity starting in our mid-20s.
In mathematical terms, we lose about 1 percent of collagen every year after age 25. Skin subsequently grows thinner and weaker, with results showing gradually until you one day realize you’ve lost both tightness and volume in your face.
Does Microneedling Build Collagen?
Many over-the-counter products, including supplements, creams, and serums, promise to help build collagen. Unfortunately, these products typically fail to deliver. Topical remedies tend to sit on the skin’s surface, and ingested proteins commonly get used by other body parts before finally reaching the skin. By that point, not enough of the protein remains to help maintain healthy skin.
Microneedling, however, is designed to specifically address skin concerns. By applying the derma-roller to the face, collagen production is stimulated in that precise area. So the answer to our overarching question – does microneedling build collagen – is yes, and science supports this claim.
In 2018, a paper published on microneedling research found the treatment to be safe and effective for reducing wrinkles and scars. The American Academy of Dermatology further states microneedling can help minimize pores.
How It Works
Microneedling is known as a fractional treatment. This means it affects only a portion of the skin; tissues around each micro-wound are left unharmed to speed up recovery time. In addition, microneedling does not penetrate deep into the skin, so you won’t experience much more than a drop or two of blood during treatment.
We’ve already explained that collagen becomes more plentiful as the face heals. Elastin – just as important to healthy and youthful-looking skin as collagen – also increases. This protein is woven into the same cellular matrix as collagen. It allows skin to retain its shape while also moving and stretching; without elastin, skin sags and loses its plump appearance.
What to Expect
Your collagen induction therapy session will take between 60 and 75 minutes. In most cases, we apply a topical anesthetic before treatment starts to keep you comfortable. We would like to point out, however, this therapy is very well tolerated, and because it’s non-invasive, you don’t need to worry about the complications associated with surgery.
The therapy itself takes just over 30 minutes to complete, although this estimate varies depending on the treatment area. Once we’re finished with the microneedling, we will apply a calming ointment to your face to promote healing.
To prepare for treatment, we recommend you take a few steps:
- Do not shave the day of treatment
- Stop using retinoid products at least two days prior
- Don’t wax or use depilatory creams on the treatment area at least a week prior
- Stop blood-thinning agents at least one week prior
- Avoid unprotected sun exposure at least two weeks prior
Collagen induction therapy requires little downtime. The night of treatment, we recommend using tepid water and a gentle cleanser to wash your face. Use your hands or a light towel to pat skin dry so you don’t rub and cause irritation. With this in mind, always remember to clean your hands before touching your face.
It’s important that you avoid ibuprofen for at least a week after treatment. The healing process depends on natural inflammatory reactions that stimulate new cell growth. Medications like ibuprofen suppress these responses and may delay your recovery and/or negatively impact your results.
Peeling Is Normal
Around three to five days after treatment, you will begin to notice peeling. This is not only normal but also a critical part of your body’s healing process. The peeling reflects cell turnover; as old skin cells die, they’re naturally sloughed off so new ones can surface and become visible.
Once peeling begins, it’s crucial that you not scratch or pick your face. Instead, let the body push away dead skin cells on its own. Use a thick, nourishing moisturizer to reduce itching and keep emerging skin cells healthy. If you need help in choosing a face cream, please let our staff know.
So your skin can breathe, we suggest going bare-faced for 24 to 72 hours. This means no makeup, and especially no makeup brushes. Before you do start using cosmetics again, we recommend washing or replacing all of your current brushes to avoid bacteria transfer. Also, steer clear of products that can clog your pores. We recommend mineral makeup once your three days have passed.
After treatment, you’ll need to stay out of the sun for at least two weeks. When you are outside, wear a hat and use sunblock. Avoid activities that cause sweating for 48 hours, and keep your head elevated when sleeping to further promote healing.
Reasons to Have Microneedling
This skin condition is characterized by skin thickening and a ruddy complexion. It is caused by a rapid collagen breakdown, meaning it can be improved with microneedling. After treatment, your skin will appear less irritated and less inflamed.
Wrinkles and Fine Lines
These are the concerns patients most commonly address with microneedling. Several treatment sessions can visibly reduce the appearance of crow’s feet, deep horizontal wrinkles in the forehead, and fine lines around the mouth.
Because this therapy works with the body’s natural healing techniques, results are very natural. You’ll look considerably younger, but others won’t be able to tell you’ve undergone therapy.
Immediately after treatment, the micro-holes in your skin are primed to receive skincare products and deliver them deeper below the skin’s surface. This can dramatically improve their efficacy, especially when speaking of anti-aging and anti-acne serums. Sticking to a regular regimen can further improve your skin’s appearance.
As collagen production revs, your skin naturally becomes plumper. This helps give you a more lifted and healthier appearance, but it also helps shrink pores. Even the largest and most visible of pores can seemingly disappear as surrounding tissues gain volume. This is an unexpected boon for patients who want to refine their complexions.
Speaking of complexions, your skin is constantly being battered by UV rays, toxins in the air, and unhealthy ingredients in processed foods. You may not even realize it, but over time, you begin to lose a youthful glow and instead acquire a dull skin tone. But thanks to renewed collagen growth, you’ll see an improvement in clarity that brings with it a natural radiance.
These effects extend to reversing the signs of sun damage and hyperpigmentation. Again, this comes as a result of higher collagen levels.
Microneedling vs Other Treatments
While the effects of this therapy are comparable to laser treatments and chemical peels, microneedling comes with fewer side effects. Essentially, this boils down to less downtime and a decreased risk for developing hyperpigmentation.
With microneedling, you can start to see results in just three days; laser requires up to 10 days, and peels can take between two and three weeks. Full results also show more quickly with microneedling, and for treating acne scars, it was determined to be more effective and better tolerated than laser by the Dermatologic Surgery journal.
According to Harvard Health Online, patients experience between 45 and 55 percent improvement in the appearance of their skin after a treatment. This is a highly specialized therapy that requires clinical delivery to ensure results. Some patients ask if it’s possible to acquire the same results from home microneedling as that provided by our office. The answer is an emphatic no.
Attempting to microneedle at home is not only ineffective, but it can also make you susceptible to bacterial infections caused by dirty equipment. By coming into our office, you receive:
- Professional treatment
- Comfortable processes
- Safe and effective delivery
Patients tend to ask if microneedling is safe for sensitive skin. We want to reassure you that it is. This therapy is in fact safe for most patients, excepting those with open wounds and/or cystic acne on their faces. When you come into our office for your consultation appointment, we can discuss this in further detail.
Another common concern is the safety of using microneedling near the eyes. This therapy can be used across the face, lending it another advantage over many other therapies. Finally, when patients ask how many treatments they will need, we explain it depends on your treatment area and goals. A helpful guideline is this: the most effective results show after two or three treatments, with maintenance sessions scheduled regularly thereafter.
Look Your Best
Collagen induction therapy helps you look your best by safely and effectively reducing wrinkles, scars, discoloration, and pores. It’s well-tolerated by most patients and gentle enough for all skin types and tones. Call Beautiful Eyes Customized Eyelid Surgery & Skin Enhancements in Wichita, KS, today to learn more and schedule your appointment.