What is microneedling?

Microneedling utilizes a proven concept of collagen regeneration induced by micro holes in the skin using the relatively simple mechanical technology of very many small needles puncturing the skin. The idea is that by creating very small, bore-like holes in the skin a reaction occurs in the deeper part of the skin that produces collagen, giving the skin a more youthful look and feel.

The concept in dermatology was first most widely used with fractionated lasers. Fractionated lasers create small holes in the skin with high-energy, single wave length photons. Although the fractionated lasers are very effective, they have several problems. First is the tremendous expense of the laser itself, which can cost several hundred thousands of dollars – a cost that must be passed on to the patient. The second problem with fractionated lasers is that they are painful. Finally, fractionated lasers can cause darkening of the skin, especially in patients who have dark skin tones.

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Collagen PIN Microneedling Washington DC Maryalnd

What are the advantages of microneedling?

Microneedling is inexpensive, involves minimal discomfort with appropriate topical anesthesia applied prior to the procedure, and can be performed on all skin tones. Additionally, the down time for microneedling is typically several days shorter than with a fractionated laser. When I say down time, I am not suggesting that a patient who undergoes microneedling is somehow incapacitated during this time. During microneedling “down time” the face is typically red and peeling (similar to a sun burn) and patients may not want to engage directly in some high pressure social settings. Although everyone’s reaction is different, most people have no problem going back to work or other similar settings about 3-4 days after the procedure.

What is microneedling used for?

Patients find microneedling beneficial for fine facial wrinkles, scarring, and even hyperpigmentation (dark spots in sun exposed areas). Microneedling is helpful for most scars, including acne scarring (on the face and body), burn scars anywhere on the body, and injury/surgical scars anywhere on the body.

How often should microneedling be performed?

While it depends on the condition and severity, typically the most benefit is seen when patients are treated at least three times at one month intervals. Maintenance procedures can be performed once or twice annually.

Are there any conditions in which microneedling should not be done?

Microneedling is not typically helpful in keloid scars (scars that are very big and raised above the skin). It should not be done on active acne (if there are only a few pimples, those can be avoided while treating the rest of the skin), and in the case of an active cold sore/infection. Patients who have had cold sores in the past may want to consider using a viral prophylaxis prior to and after the procedure to prevent inducing a cold sore.


Microneedling is a safe, effective, and inexpensive way of treating wrinkles, scarring, and dark spots anywhere on the body with minimal recovery.


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