Micro-needling, or collagen induction therapy, has been around for a number of years, but has recently had a new wave of enthusiasm. I just read an article in the New York Times™ about an at home device called GloPro® which is, apparently, doing very well on the market.
We have been performing micro-needling in office for a number of years and I thought I would touch on the difference between an at-home device versus a medical grade micro-needling treatment.
An at home device has one setting and is not made to penetrate deeply. It treats the very surface of the skin. Most people will have slight erythema (redness) which indicates the body is responding to the stimulation. I believe over time results can be noticed. However, not to the same extent as with a more aggressive in office treatment.
We utilize The Eclipse Aesthetics Micropen® device. This device is automated with a treatment tip consisting of 12 needles. The provider can choose how deep to penetrate the tissue depending on the area of the face and the treatment goals. We tend to be more aggressive on the fattier parts of the face, such as the cheeks. We adjust the depth of penetration of the needles for each patient, the treatment area, the patients goals and the amount of social downtime the patient can afford. We find that even an aggressive treatment, with pinpoint bleeding, can look presentable the next day.
In addition to being able to adjust and personalize the treatment with depth of penetration, we can also personalize which product to apply to help the treatment tip glide easily over the face. We utilize both a hyaluronic acid and MicroGlide GF™, a growth factor product.
The other option ,which has received a lot of buzz the last few years, is utilizing the patients own isolated platelet rich plasma (PRP). This is done by drawing the patients blood, utilizing a centrifuge to separated the plasma and then re-injecting the plasma with the micropen device. Most people refer to this type of treatment as a The Vampire Facelift®.
The delivery of an injury to the tissue is what creates the stimulation of the fibroblasts to make new collagen and elastin. Utilizing growth factors or PRP further stimulates the induction of collagen and elastin.
Who is an ideal candidate for this treatment? Virtually anyone wanting to improve the appearance of their skin. This treatment, when accompanied by a solid skin care routine at home, can make noticeable improvement in the texture, tone and color of the skin.
I think micro needling is here to stay and is an effective modality with little or no downtime.