Microneedling (Dermal Needling) for Ultimate Skin Rejuvenation
To avoid presenting information from skewed sources aimed towards selling their needling device, this article is largely based on the research and findings expressed in, “The Concise Guide to Dermal Needling,” written by, Dr. Lance Setterfield M.D. Recognizing Setterfield’s widely respected reputation as a needling expert and pioneer, it seemed appropriate to consult his work for a general understanding of the treatment as well as an explanation for its widely respected reputation and miraculous results.
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How Microneedling Works
Known also as collagen induction therapy (CIT), and percutaneous collagen therapy (PIT), microneedling is a non-surgical procedure involving the use of a specially designed device containing fine needles. The needles puncture the skin, creating tiny micro wounds. This triggers the body’s natural wound healing process, thus initiating rejuvenation (production of new collagen and elastin). Specially formulated, nutrient rich topicals are applied to the skin before and after the device is operated, as the micro channels created allow for an 80% increase of product absorption by the skin.
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Goal of Microneedling
We can all agree that when our skin is healthy, it looks its best. In this condition, the skin is smooth, firm, evenly pigmented, well hydrated, and able to maintain a defensive skin barrier. Microneedling seeks to restore the skin to its optimum health. This is done by regulating cell function.
Regulating Cell Function to Optimize Skin Health: 2 Key Factors
What Makes Microneedling Unique?
The treatments utilization of the body’s healing process as a means to achieve rejuvenation is nothing new, and is not unique to microneedling (chemical peels, CO2 laser, Fraxel, etc.). However, Dr. Setterfield explains that unlike other treatments, microneedling fills all the requirements of a successful rejuvenation treatment, rather than simply focusing on a few. Clinically speaking, are two qualities in particular that seem to be giving microneedling a leg up on its competitors:
Unlike other collagen stimulating procedures, like laser resurfacing and chemical peel treatments, needling spares the epidermis (skin’s protective barrier) and dermal papillae (layer beneath epidermis) of any harm that would affect their ability to function properly. In fact, medical needling will actually enhance their functionality. As with any treatment that utilizes the body’s response to injury, the trick is to induce the healing process, while keeping inflammation at a bare minimum. Less inflammation, means less recovery time and faster visible results. It makes no sense to damage our epidermis as it is our main line of defense against external threats. Likewise, the significance of the dermal papillae should not be underestimated, as it binds with epidermis to exchange valuable nutrients and adds structural support. When the dermal/epidermal junction has been compromised, separation and deterioration between the layers occur, resulting in wrinkles and lax skin.
Perhaps, the most beneficial quality of the procedure is its ability to target all three main cells:
Setterfield explains how other treatments tend to bypass the keratinocytes and melanocytes, favoring the fibroblasts, failing to respect all three cell types. More times than not, melanocytes are damaged by the heat involved in other treatment modalities (chemicals peels, lasers, etc.). In comparison, needling is able to safely preserve and regulate this cell type’s function, helping maintain and fix pigmentation.
Recent years have proven the stimulation of keratinocytes to be of equal or greater importance than that of fibroblasts. Although fibroblasts are fundamental for the production of collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans, keratinocytes grant them the opportunity to do so through the release of growth factors and enhanced cell-to-cell communication. Each type has to pitch in and do its part, full rejuvenation is certainly team effort. By paying equal attention to each of these important cell types, microneedling is able to achieve its goals to the max.
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