The wound healing response in the human body is quite miraculous. Whether those “wounds” are perceived (as with various skin rejuvenation procedures) or real, the body responds by producing new supplies of collagen and elastin, along with new skin cells, to heal the wounds.
In the case of microneedling at Dr. Barrera’s hundreds of microscopic punctures through the epidermis into the dermis trigger a healing response that actually lasts for weeks. This despite the fact that the microscopic punctures fully heal in just a few hours.
Dr. Barrera offers microneedling, adding platelet-rich plasma if desired, for his Houston patients.
What Is Microneedling?
We use the SkinPen for our microneedling. It has nine tiny needles that move up and down as the pen is moved across the treatment areas. We can vary the penetration of the needles up to 2mm depending on the area being treated. For instance, the forehead has thinner skin, so we shorten the penetration depth. These microscopic punctures begin to heal almost immediately, but the body perceives these as wounds and responds by increasing collagen and elastin production and improving the skin.
What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma?
Everyone knows how the platelets in our blood work to form blood clots when we cut our skin. But they do much more — our blood platelets are amazing little healing powerhouses. Professional athletes have been using concentrated platelets, called platelet-rich plasma (PRP), for a decade or so to speed healing after injury or surgery.
To create your PRP, we take a sample of your blood and place it in a centrifuge. We separate out the red blood cells. This leaves a concentrated mix of plasma, white blood cells, and blood platelets. The platelets have seven growth factors, making this concentrated serum great for your skin.
Then we perform microneedling on your target areas. After the microneedling, your skin has hundreds of microscopic channels down into the dermis, making it the perfect time to apply PRP to those areas. The PRP can make its way down into the skin and add the power of platelets and white blood cells to the skin improvement mix.
What Skin Problems Can Microneedling Improve?
One nice thing about microneedling, as compared to various laser resurfacing procedures, is that it doesn’t cause hyperpigmentation, so it can be used on all skin types and tones. At Dr. Barrera’s, we perform microneedling most often on the face, neck, and décolletage.
These are skin problems microneedling can improve:
- Fine lines
- Uneven texture
- Stretch marks
- Acne Scars
- Large Pores
How Is Microneedling Done?
When you come to Dr. Barrera’s for microneedling with PRP, we first take a sample of blood to create your PRP. We then put it in a centrifuge as described above to create the concentrated platelet-rich plasma.
Next comes the microneedling. First, we clean your skin on the treatment areas. Then we apply topical anesthetic to numb your skin. Next, your aesthetician holds the SkinPen and slowly moves it across the treatment area. Its nine microneedles rise and fall, puncturing the skin hundreds of times. Overlapping passes will be made over the treatment areas.
Now the skin is ready for the PRP. We cover all your treated areas with your PRP. It is able to easily penetrate the epidermis down into the dermis through the hundreds of microscopic punctures created by the microneedling. We leave the PRP on for a few minutes and then wipe it away and clean and moisturize your skin.
“Thank you so much for the fine care you gave me on my recent surgery. Even though it was minor by your standards, you treated me like your most important patient. The results made me very happy and I look forward to a lifelong relationship with you. Thanks to your fine staff also.”
– Patsy B.
“There are no words quite right to thank you enough for the kindness and care you have given me as your patient. Thank you so much for guiding me through this difficult time. God Bless you and your family.”
What Is The Advantage Of Adding PRP To Microneedling?
Microneedling by itself is a great procedure for improving skin texture, repairing fine lines, and improving other issues. But when you added the growth factors present in PRP to the process, it adds a whole new level of healing power and skin improvement. You may have heard of PRP treatments before, but combining them with microneedling enables the PRP to penetrate the outer skin. This is key because the skin’s healing doesn’t happen on the epidermis, but down in the dermis, the skin’s second layer.
Does Microneedling Hurt?
Because we apply a topical anesthetic prior to your session, microneedling doesn’t hurt. Most patients equate the feeling to that of a piece of light sandpaper being lightly dragged across the treatment areas. The PRP portion of the treatment is painless, except for the blood draw needle poke.
How Often Should I Have Microneedling With PRP?
These procedures provide some immediate rejuvenation of the skin, mostly due to the quick recovery of the microscopic skin punctures. But the real results occur as the body builds new collagen, elastin, and skin cells. This takes some time, so we like to allow 4 weeks between these treatments. Our patients like to schedule microneedling with PRP in a series of 3 treatments. This provides great skin firming and improved texture. After that, patients may come as needed for additional treatments
Is There Downtime After A Microneedling Session?
There really isn’t a true Downtime ( “recovery” time) after our microneedling sessions. Immediately following your session, your skin will appear red and flushed, as if you have a mild sunburn. The degree of redness correlates to how many passes are made over the area and the depth of the needle penetration. This redness usually passes by the next day. You may have some slight swelling, and your skin will feel a little tight for a day or so. If you can arrange it, it’s a good idea to have your microneedling session as an after-work procedure. That way, your skin can calm down overnight.