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Ask the Experts: Microneedling

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Ask the Experts: Microneedling

Pricking the outer layer of the skin with tiny needles may seem like a strange way to make it look better, but that’s what microneedling is.

It’s a non-invasive, FDA-approved procedure that’s used for many reasons including reducing fine lines and scarring, minimizing enlarged pores, blurring stretch marks, among others. 

If you’re not familiar with how microneedling works, it’s easy to be intimidated just by hearing its name. After all, no one really likes to hear the word “needle” when it comes to any kind of procedure.

This brings us to the question of pain. Because there are needles involved, is microneedling painful? If so, how much?

Does Microneedling Hurt?

Although microneedling works by creating microscopic punctures in the skin, it’s not as painful as you imagine it to be. That’s because the needles are really tiny, really sharp, and don’t go in too deep—from 0.5mm to 3.5mm—and at this range, it can already target different layers of the dermis.

After the procedure, your doctor will apply a gel mask or saline pads to reduce inflammation and calm the skin. When done by a professional, microneedling is a safe procedure that’s virtually pain-free.

Getting Up Close and Personal with Different Microneedling Tools

Microneedling has one key feature: the needles. However, there’s more than one tool used to hold the needles:

Microneedling Pens

A microneedling pen is a handheld device that looks like a pen (thus, the name). One of the key features of this tool is the depth of the needles which can be adjusted so they don’t go in too deep especially in sensitive areas.  

Some microneedling pens also have adjustable speed settings which can go anywhere from three to six speed levels. 

What’s the speed level for?

As a general rule, the faster the speed, the deeper the needles will penetrate the skin. Having different speeds can help you adapt to the sensation, especially for beginners. 

Microneedling pens also require the use of needle cartridges. It can either be a nano cartridge, a twelve-pin cartridge, or a 36-pin cartridge.

For beginners, it’s best to use nano cartridges because they pierce the skin only at a superficial level—just enough to treat fine lines and minor skin concerns. For those with heavier skin issues such as wrinkles, discolouration, and stretch marks, a 36-needle cartridge is the best option.

Dermarollers

Another tool used in microneedling is a dermaroller. This device looks like a miniature paint roller but instead of bristles, it has lots of micro-fine needles.

The needles—which can have a diameter of 0.5 to 2.5 millimetres—are fitted onto a cylinder. This cylinder is then gently rolled across the skin in different directions.

If it’s going to be used on the face, technique is important. Mentally divide your face into four sections: top left of forehead, top right of forehead, left under eye down to the left chin, right under eye down to the right chin. The area around the eyes must be avoided completely.

What needle size should you use for dermarollers? 

Anything thicker than 0.3 millimetres can potentially damage your skin. The risk is higher on delicate areas such as those around the lips and eyes.

A close-up shot of a dermaroller

At-Home Microneedling vs. Professional Microneedling

One major advantage of at-home microneedling is the price: it’s significantly cheaper than a professional treatment. However, it also comes with a higher risk. 

Devices intended for home use have duller, shorter needles that when used incorrectly, can cause infections, scarring, and hyperpigmentation.

The devices used by skincare professionals, on the other hand, are more advanced. The needles are longer and sharper for a more controlled “wounding.” 

Longer needles also provide better, more noticeable results, but can be harmful in amateur hands. This is the reason longer needles should only be used by professionals

Another reason why at-home microneedling can never compare with professional microneedling is technique. Dermatologists and skincare professionals have the right training and experience to perform this treatment safely with quality results.

Your Skin Deserves Only the Best

Ready to get brighter, younger-looking skin? Book your microneedling treatment at APT Medical Aesthetics today.

With years of experience in skincare coupled with our world-class clinic, you can be sure to  reap the full benefits of microneedling. Contact us today and let the experts at APT Medical Aesthetics take care of your skin for you!

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