When you see someone with seemingly flawless skin, do you ever wonder how they achieved it? Is it birthright, luck, or an amazing skincare routine? At Skin Renewal of Tulsa in Tulsa, OK, we know it can be any combination of these factors, or even none of them. The truth is that most beautiful complexions are the result of external therapies. Microneedling, for instance, is a non-invasive procedure that can quickly address multiple concerns, and rejuvenate your skin.
How Long Does Microneedling Last?
Your skin is in a constant state of flux, combatting external stressors, turning over cells, and protecting the body from invasive bacteria. That said, treatment results differ greatly between patients because everyone is different. This means the timeframe of your results may also vary; in general, however, you can expect improvements to last between four and six weeks after your first session.
The reference to a “first session” means most patients need more than one treatment. The exact number of treatments we recommend will depend on your age, skin health, and the concerns you want to address, but three is often the magic number. Your treatments will be repeated approximately every six weeks until we reach your final session; it’s important we space them appropriately so your skin can heal and we can assess your progress.
Accurately timing your sessions also leads to cumulative results. This means that each subsequent treatment builds upon the last so your skin is continually improving. This is important because it prevents your skin from going back to its baseline, at which point all the positive effects of treatment would essentially be lost.
Once you’ve completed all sessions in your treatment plan, you can start looking at maintenance appointments. These commonly get scheduled between six and 12 months after your last session. Some patients, however, are able to spread this out to 18 months. Again, this depends on how well you respond to treatment, which will in turn be a reflection of your skin’s overall health.
Ways To Extend Your Results
The time you’re able to squeeze between treatments will also depend on how you care for your skin at home. This is where it becomes important to follow the guidelines we give you. Before treatment, we recommend the following.
Steps To Take
Avoid anything that can irritate or dry the skin, including creams and serums that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. The same is true of masks and exfoliants with these ingredients. Also avoid retinoids; if you regularly incorporate these products into your skincare routine, it’s best to discontinue use about a week before your appointment.
Six months before treatment, we recommend you stop using Accutane. Other aggressive skin treatments should also be discontinued. If you’re wondering what constitutes aggressive, check with our office. We’ll be happy to run through your prescription and non-prescription regimen to see what you can continue and what you cannot.
Your Skin Health
The idea is to come into treatment with your skin at optimal health. Microneedling is intended to cause trauma to the face. If your skin is irritated prior to treatment, your results will be less potent. In this vein, we further recommend that you avoid excessive exposure to UV rays for a couple of weeks before treatment. This means staying out of tanning beds and, when you will be outside, protecting your skin with sunscreen.
Steps To Avoid
Four days before treatment, you want to stop taking any medicines and supplements that act as blood thinners in the body. These can increase your chances of bruising after treatment. To be safe, you should avoid:
- Vitamin E
- Fish oils
- Anti-inflammatory medications
Also skip common hair removal treatments like electrolysis, tweezing, and waxing, though it’s still ok to shave. Depilatory creams can likewise damage your skin. On the day of your treatment, don’t shave; save this for a few days after, when skin is no longer at risk of irritation.
The days and weeks after treatment are among the most important in terms of dictating your results. To ensure you get the healthy, glowy skin you’re striving for, we recommend first and foremost that you stay out of the sun. The same goes for tanning beds and tanning creams/lotions; steer clear and give your skin a chance to breathe.
Keep in mind that treatment opens your pores, and they will remain open until the healing process is complete. Throughout this time, even wearing sunscreen can have a clogging effect. Your best bet is to stay indoors for about the first five days after treatment.
Choose Your Skincare Products Wisely
Remember those various skincare products we earlier recommended you avoid prior to treatment? The same holds true for immediately after. A great rule of thumb is to use those products our office recommends. This generally means a mild face wash that you apply with tepid water.
Skip the face cloth and electric cleansing brushes for at least a week. Anything more than just your fingertips will be too aggressive for post-treatment skin. A rich moisturizer will also help protect and nourish your face. Last, an antioxidant serum can soothe skin and help pave the path to healing.
We need to reiterate that anything you put on your face can quickly and easily get stuck in your pores. This means an accumulation of bacteria that works against your treatment. You can deter this by avoiding all cosmetics.
If you typically feel self-conscious with a bare face, take a day or two off from work. This works especially well if you schedule treatment mid- to late-week, and you can then use the weekend to finish recovering. The longer you can refrain from placing anything on your face, the better your results will be.
When you sweat, your pores automatically open. In general this is a very good thing, but it can serve as a gateway for bacteria to get into your skin’s tissues, which are already in a more delicate state after treatment. We therefore suggest you take a break from the gym and similarly skip long showers and baths. Also stay out of hot tubs. For physical activity, which is always important, some gentle walking will serve you well for at least a few days.
You already know that drinking water is critical to healthy skin. It becomes even more so after microneedling, as skin is slightly drier than usual. Hydrating from within will help boost moisture levels and promote healing.
It’s no secret that mobile phones are unsanitary. Keep this in mind after treatment; holding your phone to your face exposes open pores to all the bacteria that’s lying in wait. This can cause massive acne outbreaks that will impede your results. When a phone call comes in, use your speaker or earbuds so you don’t hold the phone directly against vulnerable skin.
What To Expect
At this point, it’s probably a good idea to explain the ins and outs of this treatment. It’s commonly referred to as collagen therapy because it stimulates collagen synthesis within the body. Using very thin needles on a handheld instrument, we create micro pricks on your skin in a process known as controlled injury. This is important, because microneedling allows us to decide precisely what areas of the face we treat.
In turn, the body perceives these pricks as skin damage and generates new collagen as part of its repair process. Collagen, a protein that provides skin with its underlying support network, is necessary for a smooth and vibrant appearance. By amplifying levels, we’re able to treat these conditions:
- Acne scars
- Uneven skin tone
- Stretch marks
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Large pores
- Broken capillaries
- Rough skin texture
The Day of Treatment
When you have an idea of what to expect, you can come into treatment feeling comfortable and confident. Here, we give you a general idea of how your session will go. We’ll start with your arrival, at which point your face should be completely clean. This means no sunscreen, moisturizer, serum, or makeup.
Once treatment begins, we’ll carefully and gently use our handpiece on your skin’s surface. The microneedles will make contact with tissues and create minute channels. We’ll then finish by applying a serum or moisturizer. In total, your session may take as little as 15 minutes. We’ll provide you with after care instructions specific to your needs and schedule your follow-up treatment (if necessary).
As cosmetic therapies have become more mainstream, a new trend for at-home treatments has started to emerge. Home microneedling kits might seem like good ideas, but they’re generally not. They pose the following limitations:
- Less aggressive treatment that won’t deliver full results
- Instruments that require sterilization, which can be hard to achieve in a busy household
- Difficulty with treatment because you’re doing it yourself
How Soon Do Results Show?
Your face will instantly be more dewy and glowy after treatment, so if you’re looking for a treatment that delivers immediate results, microneedling might work for you. Results will then continue to develop for the next two to four weeks. This means plumper, smoother, and clearer skin.
What Is Recovery Time Like?
It’s very minimal, especially if you follow the recommendations provided above. Most activities can be resumed immediately after treatment, so the impact on your life is felt little if at all. You won’t need to rest, skip household chores, or have assistance with childcare. The most marked difference will likely be in your skincare routine, as you’ll need to be gentle when washing your face and choose the proper products.
What Is the Most Significant Point of Treatment?
Microneedling can address multiple concerns, and it does this by increasing collagen production. Keep in mind the therapy itself doesn’t necessarily rejuvenate skin, but the jump in collagen does.
The most significant aspect of this therapy is therefore the way in which it induces collagen. With this protein comes higher levels of elastin, responsible for skin’s elasticity. Both of these lead to higher hydration levels, so the effects are like building blocks that rely on each other for progressive improvements.
Who Can Have Treatment?
It’s important to know this therapy works on all skin types to treat a variety of conditions. We will assess your skin to determine if you’re a good candidate, but in general, this treatment is suitable for most patients.
We want you to be reasonably healthy and have goals that can be adequately met, meaning that no therapy can restore your skin to a state of perfection. Patients who are not matches include pregnant and breastfeeding women and those with active cold sores.
Consider the Possibilities
Since its first appearance in 1995, microneedling is today seeing a resurgence in popularity. Why? Because it works with the body’s natural processes to give you a more youthful appearance. It’s relatively quick, delivers rapid results, and can revive the entire face (unlike treatments that deliver targeted results). Call Skin Renewal of Tulsa in Tulsa, OK, today to schedule your appointment.