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Micro-needling is the use of a hand-held device (such as the Collagen Pin) that has small needles at the tip, similar to acupuncture type needles. These needles penetrate the skin at varying depths, depending upon the area treated or what is treated (scars vs wrinkles). As these micro punctures heal, they promote collagen formation from the healing process, as well as reshaping the superficial layers of the skin-similar to a fractionated laser resurfacing. This helps to boost the remaining collagen patients have, as well as form some new collagen in areas where it may have been depleted. One can also apply certain solutions prior to use allowing deeper infusion of these solutions compared to topical applications. Some examples are solutions containing hyaluronic acid or vitamin c.

Micro-needling is also very effective for scarring, in particular acne scarring. The healing process used helps build the collagen in the areas where the scarring caused depressions in the skin. Micro- needling helps even out the skin texture, leading to an overall improvement in feel and appearance. Micro-needling also has very minimal downtime – patients may experience a little redness or swelling similar to a sunburn for the first day or two after treatment, but it does not require the amount of downtime seen with other ablative techniques used for scar treatment.

Micro-needling can also be effective in treating pigmentation issues, like melasma or photodamage. For these treatments, a vitamin c serum can be applied prior, which micro-needling causes deeper infusion of the serum, making it more effective in lightening pigmentation than the topical preparations alone.

Several sessions are required, the number of which depends upon the degree of correction needed and the location of the problem. Micro-needling done in conjunction with a good skin care regimen (see our previous blog about moisturizers and creams) can help repair and restore the skin to a more even, youthful appearance.

Meghan Berger Pocius, PA-C Physician Assistant Certified

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