In the past, women have used all kinds of concoctions to try and get rid of stretch marks, from coconut oils and sugar scrubs to seaweed wraps and Vitamin A creams.
Research shows that topical creams and oils are not effective on stretch marks as they do not penetrate deep enough into the skin. Microneedling or skin needling has emerged as a safe and effective way of getting rid of stretch marks – and it’s proven too. Have you ever thought of using skin needling for stretch marks?
Although stretch marks on our bodies can be considered as honourable battle scars, they can still be an aesthetic distraction and reduce our self-confidence with their visibility.
Microneedling also called collagen induction therapy, is a minimally-invasive cosmetic procedure that uses a roller with multiple very fine needles to penetrate the skin, gradually inducing the formation of new collagen, which can help eliminate unwanted stretch marks.
What is Microneedling?
Originally referred to as PCI (Percutaneous Collagen Induction), or Collagen Induction Therapy, Micro-needling has been used in numerous non-surgical cosmetic treatments for acne scar reduction and skin rejuvenation.
Micro-needling was initially used as its own form of treatment when it was first introduced as a solution for dermatological conditions. However, it was eventually discovered that micro-needling could also be used as a highly effective method of delivering other forms of treatment directly into the problem areas of the skin.
Though the term micro-needling may seem a bit intimidating at first to those who are squeamish to sharp objects, the process is quick, simple, and relatively painless – with some patients even claiming that they actually fell asleep during the treatment.
Microneedling is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that’s used to treat skin concerns via collagen production. Also known as collagen induction therapy, this treatment may help those looking to reduce the appearance of acne scars and stretch marks.
It’s also used in certain anti-aging procedures, such as eyelid surgery and sunspots. Microneedling isn’t effective for hair loss, despite the possible role of collagen in hair growth.
You may be an ideal candidate for this procedure if you’re in good health and have certain skin concerns that haven’t responded to home treatments or other types of dermatologic procedures, such as peels.
This may also be a final step before considering cosmetic surgery for anti-aging and other concerns. Learn more about microneedling and talk to your dermatologist to see if this is the right option for your skin.
How does microneedling work?
Microneedling is a skin rejuvenation technique that uses fine needles to make microscopic punctures into the skin to boost collagen and elastic development.
This technique can be used on different areas of the body: most commonly on the face, to help rejuvenate the skin, and on the abdomen or thighs to eliminate the signs of stretch marks.
The derma roller device has hundreds of tiny needles that gently create small punctures in the skin as it passes to and fro. These punctures heal quickly to produce a brighter complexion and smoother texture.
Microneedling provides long-lasting results by promoting collagen and elastin growth and skin cell regeneration to enhance the overall appearance of the skin.
Procedure for microneedling
During the procedure, your doctor makes small pricks under the skin with a pen-like tool. The pinpricks are so small that you likely won’t notice them after the procedure. Your doctor will move the tool evenly across your skin so that the new skin that rejuvenates will be even, too.
Before getting started, your doctor will use a topical anesthetic to reduce the chances of pain. This is done about an hour before your treatment. Emory University says the actual microneedling process takes approximately 30 minutes.
Your doctor may then apply a serum or calming treatment. In total, you can expect to be at the office for a couple of hours at least.
Are there any risks or side effects?
Like all cosmetic procedures, microneedling isn’t without risk. The most common side effect is minor skin irritation immediately following the procedure. You may also see redness for a few days. Call your doctor if you notice more severe side effects, such as:
Bleeding is an uncommon reaction to microneedling, though it may be more likely to occur after a deeper treatment.
Bleeding may also be more of a risk for people who have bleeding disorders or who are taking blood-thinning medications. It is important to disclose this information to a doctor before receiving this treatment.
You may not be an ideal candidate for microneedling if you:
- are pregnant
- have certain skin diseases, such as psoriasis or eczema
- have open wounds
- have had radiation therapy recently
- have a history of skin scars
What to expect after microneedling
A topical anesthetic cream is applied to the scar, burn or stretch mark prior to treatment, so there is little to no pain during the treatment.
Immediate effects vary among patients and can include redness, flaking, and mild irritation on treated areas. These should disappear in 24-72 hours. There is very little downtime after a micro-needling treatment. You should expect your skin to look and feel sunburned for about 24 hours afterwards. Your skin will also start to flake after a day or two as the skin cells slough off. It can be difficult to apply makeup over flaking skin, but don’t exfoliate – it will only irritate your skin. After about a week, you’ll see new, bright, smooth skin.
To get the best result, multiple treatments are needed. Six treatments have been found to deliver the best results, but the response is highly individual, and there’s no way to predict who will respond best to scar reduction.
An interval of 8 – 10 weeks between treatments is recommended. There’s no limit to the number of treatments.
Microneedling isn’t invasive like plastic surgery, so the recovery time is minimal. Most people require very little downtime if any at all.
Microneedling for stretch marks
Microneedling has been around, in some form or other, for over the last two decades; however, it’s used, and methods of delivery have changed and improved as time passes and cosmetic science evolves. These modern variations and new uses for Microneedling have made the treatment quickly become one of the top choices for those hoping to obtain healthier, more youthful-looking skin – without having to go under the knife. Since it was discovered that Microneedling was also an excellent delivery system for other products, the process is typically coupled with other skincare creams or serums to enhance the treatment’s rejuvenating abilities further.
Microneedling is becoming very popular at skin clinics and laser clinics, including right here at Clinica Lase. The concept of microneedling for stretch marks is the same as derma rolling.
In a clinic, the skin therapist uses a Dermapen (which is like an electric derma roller that is more advanced and precise) to make microscopic pricks on your skin to break down the scars and boost the collagen production process.
When the skin is primed and ready, your skin therapist will apply a suitable collagen-infused serum to rejuvenate the skin area affected by stretch marks. The whole process takes about 45 minutes to an hour. Some people do it over their lunch break as stretch marks are often located in discrete areas under your clothes.
.Microneedling utilizes the body’s natural healing process to help rejuvenate and improve the skin. During a treatment session, a handheld device containing fine needles, usually stainless-steel or ceramic needles, is gently pressed or rolled against the problem areas of the skin to create small areas of trauma that activate the body’s internal healing mechanism. This mechanism works by encouraging the natural production of new collagen and elastin, which will, in turn, lead to improved skin elasticity and smoother, plumper looking skin.
Microneedling is quickly gaining traction in the world of cosmetics as a simpler, safer, and more affordable alternative to surgery. Unlike invasive cosmetic procedures, the process of skin needling has little risk for complications when performed by a professional in a clean, sterilized environment. Any treatment or procedure that involves the skin will come with at least a slight chance for complications like infection or bruising. Still, Microneedling complications are actually very rare and mild when compared to other cosmetic procedures.
Usually, complications occur in cases where Microneedling was carried out in unsanitary conditions, or proper post-treatment care was not taken. This is why it is so important always to ensure that a reliable, trustworthy source handles any treatment or procedure you undergo and that you always adhere to post-treatment instructions.
The notion of poking a bunch of tiny holes in your skin may sound strange or even scary to those squeamish of needles. Still, the process is fairly painless, and patients often find that the results far outweigh the slight discomfort that they experience during a session. Additionally, a topical anesthetic is used prior to needling in order to keep the patient comfortable and minimize this discomfort.
How Are Stretch Marks Formed?
No matter how healthy you are, how many times you hit the gym every week, or how awesome your diet is – there will likely be some point in your life where you get a stretch mark or two or ten. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that stretch marks are often inevitable. Women are especially prone to getting these troublesome lines, but men can get them too!
Stretch marks commonly begin to manifest during puberty, while our bodies are growing and changing (as if this hormone-ridden time in your life isn’t difficult enough). They also tend to occur with rapid weight gain or pregnancy.
Stretch marks occur when a rapid increase in growth stretches your skin. Though our skin contains a decent amount elasticity, when it is stretched too far, the body’s natural collagen production is disrupted, which leads to the formation of these scar-like fine lines we know as stretch marks. Though stretch marks can occur anywhere on the body, they are typically seen on your breasts, stomach, thighs, upper arms, and buttocks since these are all areas that are prone to rapid increase or decrease in size from weight gain/loss.
There are also certain adrenal gland disorders, such as Cushing’s Syndrome, that cause the body to produce more cortisone, which is a natural hormone that can reduce the skin’s elasticity and lead to an increased susceptibility to stretch marks at heightened levels.
Who Should Try Microneedling?
Anyone looking to improve the appearance of their skin, prevent signs of aging, treat pigmentation or wrinkles, or fade acne scars or stretch marks is an excellent candidate. (Um, so basically all of us). Still, there are limits—it only works for scars and wrinkles that are on the superficial side, so if you have something really deep, this isn’t right for you.
What Should You Know Before Your First Treatment?
You should book a consultation to go over your expectations with the dermatologist or esthetician you’ll be seeing, says Rodriguez. They’ll be able to review the most appropriate home-care products and discuss pre- and post-care precautions, she says. If your skin is infected, inflamed, or if you have eczema or open acne lesions, call the office to see if you can reschedule your appointment. Why? Because microneedling could spread bacteria around your face and possibly cause further infection. Want to try an at-home device? “Be sure to consult your dermatologist to make sure this treatment is right for you and if the products you use can be accompanied with microneedling,” says Engelman.
What’s the Pain Like?
While every person’s pain tolerance is different, most experts describe the sensation associated with microneedling as a tolerable discomfort. Generally, it can be performed without any numbing solution or anesthesia (though if you get it done at a doctor’s office, you may be able to opt for a numbing product if you feel you need it). There is typically no pain associated with a needle length less than .5 millimetres, the makers of GloPRO, an at-home microneedling device that uses .3 millimetre needles. That being said, expect some redness post-procedure (this should die down in a few hours).
How Often Do You Need Treatments to Maintain Results?
A series of six treatments every two to four weeks is recommended, depending on your skin’s condition. “After you’ve achieved the desired results, it’s recommended you do single treatments every four to six weeks for maintenance,” says Rodriguez. And keep this in mind: According to Realself.com, the largest online cosmetic surgery community, a package of sessions can run you up to $700 (the GloPRO, for comparison, costs $200).
Is microneedling safe?
Yes! But micro-needling is a procedure that requires a bit more knowledge.
For example, with creams, your only task is to put some of the creams on your fingers, massage it into the stretch marks and wait for it to dry. Simple, straightforward, fast.
Now, this changes with micro-needling, as more care needs to be taken. Even though it is at a small scale and not painful, piercing still takes place and with it the possibility of an infection.
It is always advised to visit your doctor or dermatologist, as you might have some other skin conditions that need to be approved first. If not, these skin conditions can turn worse, as not all of them will improve if you start needling yourself. Don’t know where to get a consultation? Use our Clinic Finder to find a Dermapen practitioner new you!
If you follow the pre- and post-procedural instructions of your practitioner, microneedling is safe and can have good results with lessening stretch marks, but do not expect a total removal as the skin on its own can only do so much, no matter how much you try to stimulate it.
When micro needling, tiny needles are used to puncture the skin over the stretch mark area. When doing this, the needles that are rolled over, pierce through the first skin layer into the second layer, creating microscopic damage. In response, the body starts producing more healing material (collagen) around that area speeding up the healing time. To better imagine this, it is similar to muscles. When muscles are under pressure, they get little microscopic damages, and after a while, a stronger muscle grows around it. The same happens with skin, which in turn, when you start needling, slowly replaces the skin cells with newer improved ones much faster.
Microneedling is generally a safe and effective procedure that can improve the appearance of the skin. It may reduce wrinkles, diminish scarring, and tighten or rejuvenate loose or aging skin.
While home microneedling is widely accessible and more comfortable than the professional version, home treatments will not provide the same results and may increase the risk of side effects.
Anyone interested in microneedling should consult a dermatologist or doctor who is specially trained and experienced in these types of procedures.