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Microneedling: An Effective Anti-Aging Therapy

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Q. I am 42 years old and faithfully adhere to my skin care regimen to try to slow the signs of aging. What else can I do to help prevent the wrinkles and signs of aging?
A:
Maintaining a good skin care program is by far the most important aspect of maximizing the appearance and health of your skin. Your skin care program should address these key elements: cleanse, exfoliate, hydrate, color balance, protect, tighten, and rejuvenate; are all absolutely essential for beautiful and healthy skin. In addition to adhering to your skin care regimen, you may want to consider microneedling.

Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, is a minimally invasive treatment that uses tiny needles to create controlled micro-injuries to the skin in order to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. The skin’s repair process results in a thicker dermis while smoothing wrinkles and scars, in addition to improving the skin’s texture, tone, and color. Essentially, these micro-injuries stimulate the body’s natural wound healing processes to prevent and even reverse the signs of aging.

Microneedling works the same way lasers and chemical peels do, only you are creating a mechanical injury instead of using heat and light, as with lasers, or chemicals, as with peels. It has become increasingly popular over the past few years and it’s considered the next big thing in anti-aging.

Another advantage microneedling has over lasers or chemical peels is the minimal down time associated with it. The total healing time depends on the depth of the treatment performed. On average, patients have minimal redness for the first one to two days and are allowed to wear makeup on the second day.

Patients notice an immediate “glow” and tightening of their skin after the procedure. Visible changes to the skin develop over the course of several weeks. Results will continue to improve up to six months after the treatment as collagen production continues. It is recommended that patients receive a series of three to five treatments spaced approximately four to six weeks apart. Maintenance treatments can then be performed every three to four months thereafter to achieve optimal results.

The major appeal of microneedling is its ability to stimulate growth of collagen and elastin, which are essential to new, youthful-looking skin. The procedure helps to prevent new fine lines and wrinkles from forming, as well as noticeably reducing existing fine lines, crow’s feet and deep wrinkles on the forehead.

Microneedling is also used to treat acne scarring. In previous studies, nearly 100 percent of acne-scarred patients reported marked improvement in the visibility of their acne scars. When compared to laser treatments the results were shown to be comparable and effective. However, microneedling was noted to be better tolerated, with fewer side effects and less down time.

Additional benefits of microneedling include reversing sun damage and discoloration, shrinking pores, and improving the absorption of your skin care products, which will improve their effectiveness by enhancing their effects in the deeper layers of the skin. Once again, the stimulation of collagen growth is what leads to these additional benefits.

Microneedling is not limited to use in the face alone. It can be performed on any area of skin that needs to be repaired, including treating surgical scars and stretch marks. As few as three to five treatments can improve these problem areas as well. ■

Written by: Dr. Nathan A. Kludt

 

Dr. Nathan A. Kludt, a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, received a BS from the University of California, Davis, with highest honors, and his MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School, where he was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha, the National Medical Honor Society. He returned to UC Davis, where he completed his general surgery residency before being accepted into the plastic surgery program at UC Davis. Dr. Kludt has been published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and has presented at the California Society of Plastic Surgeons meetings and multiple other regional and national plastic surgery meetings. He is a member of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the California Society of Plastic Surgeons, the California Medical Society and the San Joaquin Medical Society.