Microneedling Before and After: What to Expect

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If you’ve been considering microneedling but have hesitated due to those misconceptions, it’s time to put your worries aside and explore the journey that countless individuals have taken to achieve their skin goals. Here, we’ll share what you can expect from microneedling before and after.

We all want to look and feel our best, and achieving healthier, more youthful skin is a common goal. Microneedling is a popular cosmetic procedure that promises to enhance your skin’s natural beauty. However, many people may think of it as a terrifying procedure because it involves “needles” that will puncture through their skin. In reality, microneedling is far less intimidating than it may sound, and the results it offers can be truly remarkable.

What to Do Before a Microneedling Procedure

Before undergoing a microneedling procedure, there are essential steps to follow to ensure a safe and successful treatment. Let’s explore what you should do to prepare for your microneedling session:

Consultation with a Skincare Professional

The first and most crucial step is to request a consultation with a licensed dermatologist or skincare specialist. During this consultation, you’ll discuss your specific skin concerns, goals, and medical history. This conversation helps determine if microneedling is the right choice for you and allows your provider to tailor the treatment plan to your needs.

Follow Pre-Procedure Guidelines

Your skincare professional will provide you with pre-procedure instructions. These instructions may include:

  • Avoiding Certain Skincare Products: You might be asked to discontinue using specific skincare products, especially those containing retinoids or alpha hydroxy acids, a few days before your treatment.
  • Medication Considerations: Inform your provider about any medications or supplements you’re taking, as certain medications may need to be adjusted or temporarily stopped.
  • Sun Protection: It’s really important to protect your skin from the sun in the days leading up to your scheduled procedure. Sunburned or tanned skin is usually more sensitive during microneedling.

Arrive with Clean Skin

On the day of your procedure, ensure that your skin is clean and free of makeup, lotions, or creams. This helps minimize the risk of any infection and ensures optimal treatment results.

Discuss Pain Management

While microneedling is generally well-tolerated, you can ask your provider about your pain management options. They may recommend applying a numbing cream before the procedure to reduce discomfort.

What to Expect During the Microneedling Procedure

Before undergoing a microneedling procedure, there are essential steps you must follow to ensure a safe and successful treatment. Let’s explore what you should do to prepare for your microneedling session:

Numbing Cream Application

As mentioned earlier, your provider will carefully apply a numbing cream to the treatment area. This cream takes roughly 20-30 minutes to take effect, ensuring that you remain comfortable throughout the procedure. Most patients report minimal discomfort, typically described as a mild tingling or light pricking sensation.

The Microneedling Device in Action

Once your skin is adequately numbed, your skilled skincare professional will use a specialized microneedling device equipped with fine, sterile needles. With precision, they will gently move the device across your skin, creating controlled micro-injuries. The depth and speed of needle penetration are adjusted based on your specific needs and the areas being treated.

Treatment Duration

The length of a microneedling session varies depending on the size of the treated area. Smaller areas, such as the face, may require around 20-30 minutes, while more extensive treatments can extend up to an hour for thorough coverage.

Sensation During the Procedure

Throughout the microneedling process, you may experience a mild sensation of pressure and the previously mentioned tingling or pricking sensations. However, it’s crucial to understand that any discomfort is generally quite tolerable, primarily due to the numbing cream applied beforehand.

What to Do After Microneedling

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Now that you know what to expect from microneedling before and after, proper aftercare is essential to maximize the benefits and ensure a smooth recovery after the procedure. Here are the steps to follow in the post-microneedling phase:

Post-Procedure Redness

It’s common to experience some redness immediately after microneedling, similar to a mild sunburn. This redness should begin to subside within a few hours, and in most cases, it will diminish over the next few days. To soothe the skin, you can simply apply a gentle, hydrating moisturizer recommended by your provider.

Reduce Swelling and Minor Discomfort

Some individuals may experience mild swelling and discomfort, which is generally short-lived. To reduce the temporary swelling, you can apply ice packs wrapped in a clean cloth for short intervals during the first 24 hours. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers like ibuprofen can also be taken as directed to manage any discomfort.

Avoid Sun Exposure

Always protect your skin from direct sun exposure for 7 days after microneedling. Sunscreen with broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher is a must if you need to go outside. Sunburned skin can react more sensitively to the sun post-treatment.

Gentle Skincare

In the days following your procedure, stick to a gentle skincare routine. Avoid using harsh or active ingredients, such as retinoids or alpha hydroxy acids, until your provider gives you the green light. Your provider may recommend specific post-procedure skincare products to enhance healing and results.

Avoid Makeup

It’s advisable to avoid wearing makeup for at least the first 24 hours post-microneedling. This allows your skin to breathe and recover without potential irritation.

Follow Provider’s Recommendations

Your skincare professional will provide you with specific post-care instructions tailored to your skin type and the depth of your microneedling treatment. Be sure to follow their guidance diligently to ensure the best possible outcome.

Patience for Results

While some individuals notice immediate improvements in their skin’s texture and appearance, the full benefits of microneedling typically become more noticeable over several weeks to months. Collagen production continues, leading to ongoing skin rejuvenation.

What NOT to Do After Microneedling

After your microneedling session, proper aftercare is essential to maximize the benefits and guarantee a smooth recovery. Here are the steps to follow in the post-microneedling phase:

Avoid Direct Sun Exposure

Sunburned skin is more sensitive and susceptible to damage after microneedling. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, and when you do need to be outdoors, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, along with protective clothing like hats and sunglasses.

Skip Harsh Skincare Products

It’s crucial to stay away from harsh skincare products, such as those containing retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids, or benzoyl peroxide, for at least a week or as per your provider’s guidance. These products can be irritating to freshly treated skin.

No Swimming or Saunas

Avoid swimming in chlorinated pools, hot tubs, or saunas for the first few days after microneedling. These environments can introduce bacteria to the skin and increase the risk of infection.

Don’t Pick or Peel Skin 

As your skin heals, you may experience some flaking or peeling. It’s important not to pick, scratch, or peel the skin during this phase. Let the old skin naturally shed to reveal the fresh, rejuvenated skin underneath.

Refrain from Intense Physical Activity

Strenuous exercise and activities that cause excessive sweating should be avoided for at least 24-48 hours after microneedling. Sweating can potentially introduce bacteria into your pores, so it’s best to let your skin heal undisturbed.

No Harsh Exfoliation

Do not use abrasive or granular exfoliants on your skin for at least a week post-microneedling. These can further irritate your skin and impede the healing process.

Avoid Alcohol-Based Products

Stay away from skincare products that contain alcohol, as they can be drying and potentially irritating to your skin.

Don’t Rush the Healing Process

Be patient. Microneedling is a process, and the full results will become more evident over time as collagen production continues. Resist the temptation to undergo additional treatments too soon; it’s essential to give your skin ample time to heal and rejuvenate.

Final Thoughts

Microneedling is a gateway to healthier, more radiant skin. It can help you achieve the youthful and vibrant look you desire. Now that you know what to expect from microneedling before and after, you’ll be able to enjoy this procedure like any other cosmetic treatment. But like any beauty journey, it requires care, patience, and attention to detail, both before and after the procedure. Remember, every person’s skin is unique, and results may vary, but with the guidance of a skilled skincare professional and your commitment to proper pre and post-care, you’re on the path to glowing, refreshed skin.

For more information and to explore your microneedling options, schedule a consultation with Continental Lifestyle Medicine today.

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