You’ve probably heard about the microneedling technique that, with the help of very fine needles, stimulates skin collagen and mitigates signs of aging. Currently, it is even carried out with the aid of a device called a Roller, which has about 200 needles, facilitating the application.
Microneedling or percutaneous collagen induction (IPCA) has attracted a lot of attention from people who bet on clinical or aesthetic treatments to take care of the beauty of the skin, as it can treat different aspects of the skin, especially the face.
Juliana Jordão, a doctor with a postgraduate degree in Dermatology, explains that the treatment is carried out through devices made up of small needles that cause microperforations in the skin. “These microperforations are responsible for inducing an inflammatory process at the site, capable of stimulating fibroblasts, which are cells responsible for local collagen production”, she says.
“In addition, through the small perforations caused, it is possible to reduce the pigmentation of spots, especially melasma. Recent studies show considerable improvement in melasma patches resistant to other treatments”, adds the dermatologist.
Juliana Vieira, dermatofunctional physiotherapist at The Spa, emphasizes that microneedling has as its main objective the percutaneous induction of collagen, angiogenesis (creation of new blood vessels) and an increase in vasodilation, causing an improvement in oxygenation and nutrition in the tissues. .
Juliana Jordão explains that the indications for treatment are diverse, but the main ones are:
- Melasma reduction;
- Reduction of acne scars;
- Wrinkle reduction;
- Reduction/improvement of stretch marks;
- Improves pores and skin texture;
- Reduction of traumatic and/or surgical scars.
Juliana Vieira reinforces that microneedling can be indicated for facial rejuvenation, treatment of stretch marks, stains, in addition to alopecia and sagging.
It is worth mentioning that microneedling can be used both on the face and on other parts of the body, including the scalp, to stimulate blood circulation in the region.
How is microneedling done?
Juliana Vieira explains that the skin is cleaned and asepsis first. “Then, we choose the needle to be used according to the proposed treatment. The Roller is passed on the skin in four directions (vertical, horizontal, right and left diagonal), five times each. During microneedling, we use an appropriate cosmetic for the skin type and treatment,” she says.
Dermatologist Juliana Jordão highlights that, in the specific case of treatment for the face, after skin antisepsis and application of anesthetic cream, IPCA is applied in several passes across the face. “According to the need, needles of different sizes are used: for superficial lesions, smaller needles; for deep wounds like scars, longer needles,” she explains.
“After the procedure, there is mild to moderate swelling, and redness in the skin that varies according to the intensity of the application. Recovery is usually faster compared to laser”, adds the dermatologist.
Juliana Jordão exemplifies that there are three types of melasma: epidermal (more superficial), dermal (deeper) and mixed (in both layers). “For each one, specific medications and concentrations must be used. If the treatment is not correct, it can cause the irritation and make the injury worse,” she warns.
It is worth emphasizing that, as it is an invasive procedure, microneedling or IPCA must be performed by a qualified professional, in order to ensure the correct assessment of indications and contraindications, as well as prevention and complications.
Thus, microneedling should preferably be performed by dermatologists, or even plastic surgeons specialized in the technique. Dermatofunctional physiotherapists with expertise in the technique can also perform it.
Does microneedling hurt?
Pain is always relative. But, in general, Juliana Vieira says that, in the case of needles with a length of 0.2 to 0.3, the pain is quite tolerable. “For needles above 0.5, patients report pain,” she says.
Juliana Jordão points out that, if high-potency anesthetic ointment or injectable local anesthesia is applied, microneedling becomes a very tolerated procedure, even when performed more intensively. “It is important to emphasize that only physicians are authorized to apply high-potency anesthetic ointment or injectable local anesthesia,” she says.
Results: what to expect from microneedling
Dermatologist Juliana Jordão explains that one to three sessions are usually indicated, depending on the severity of the condition and the indication.
“The IPCA post is generally peaceful, with minimal discomfort. Reduction of blemishes and improvement in skin quality are seen in the first 15 to 30 days. The peak of collagen production induced by IPCA is around 3 months, when we see the improvement of wrinkles, scars and stretch marks”, explains the dermatologist.
Physiotherapist Juliana Vieira explains that, generally, it can be observed that, after microneedling, for up to eight months there is still collagen production.
Regarding prices, there can be great variation depending on the location (city, clinic) where the treatment will be performed. The dermatofunctional physiotherapist highlights, however, that the value usually varies between R$400 to R$600 per session.
Generally, the interval time between one session and another is one month. Each session lasts about 30 minutes to 1 hour. But all this can vary according to the type of treatment.
Care before and after microneedling
According to Juliana Vieira, the main precautions before the procedure are:
- An evaluation must be carried out to indicate the best treatment to be done with microneedling;
- It is recommended that the patient suspend at least three days before the use of any type of acid she is using to avoid possible allergic conditions;
- It is necessary to carry out a good cleaning of the skin;
- It is also recommended to ingest vitamin C, as it helps in the production of collagen.
After the procedure, the basic guidelines are:
- Do not use sunscreen and makeup for at least 24 hours;
- Do not expose yourself to the sun during the inflammatory process (three to five days later);
- Avoid contact with animals and dirty hands in the treated area, thus preventing the risk of contamination;
- Use products with the authorization of the professional who performed the treatment, for better results.
Microneedling risks and contraindications
Juliana Jordão highlights that the contraindications are:
- Active infection such as herpes at the site or other infection;
- Tendency to scarring with keloids;
The dermatofunctional physiotherapist Juliana points out that pregnant women cannot perform the procedure because the risk of hyperpigmentation is very high due to hormonal changes.
Also according to the physical therapist, the technique is safe because, when perforating the skin, the epidermis is kept intact and, therefore, the risks of any complications are low.
Dermatologist Juliana Jordão explains that side effects can arise if there is an incorrect application or indication. “It can lead to scarring and blemishes at the treatment site. Post-procedure care by the patient, such as using a filter and preventing sun exposure, also helps to prevent post-procedure stains”, she emphasizes.
The dermatologist highlights that, associated with microneedling, anti-wrinkle and whitening creams should be used between sessions to improve and maintain results. “For patients with blemishes, sessions can be alternated with chemical peels. For scars and deep wrinkles, the dermal tunneling technique can be applied in the same session, which makes a detachment of the lesion and greater production of local collagen”, she says.
To ensure greater success in the treatment and general care of the skin’s beauty, microneedling must also be associated with a diet rich in proteins (which help to stimulate the formation of collagen in the skin), with daily sun protection (using sunscreen with SPF above 30) and adequate fluid consumption (especially water). Anyone who smokes should do their best to stop, as this habit is totally destructive to beauty and health in general.
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