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Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure for your skin. Your healthcare provider uses thin needles to make tiny holes in the top layer of your skin. The damage helps stimulate your skin’s healing process, so it produces more collagen and elastin. These proteins keep your skin firm and smooth.

What is microneedling?

Microneedling is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that’s used to treat skin concerns by stimulating collagen production. Also known as collagen induction therapy, this treatment creates micro-punctures in the skin using miniature, sterilized needles.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), the skin’s healing process after microneedling can help reduce the appearance of scars and dark spots as well as improve skin elasticity.

Also, though more research is needed, a 2021 reviewTrusted Source suggests that microneedling may promote hair growth in people with alopecia.

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 chemical peels.

This may also be a final step before considering more intensive cosmetic procedures. A dermatologist can help you decide if this is the right option for your skin.

Benefits of microneedling

Microneedling has gained popularity for its growing list of benefits. It is said to rejuvenate and plump the skin with minimal discomfort and very little downtime, and it can be adjusted to fit each person’s needs.

Benefits of microneedling can include:

  • reducing the appearance of scars, including acne scars
  • reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • reducing enlarged pores
  • reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation, or dark spots
  • smoothing uneven skin tone
  • improving skin elasticity
  • reducing the appearance of stretch marks
  • reducing the appearance of scars
  • promoting hair growth in people with alopecia

Microneedling is considerably less expensive than laser therapy and may work better for some people. Laser treatments involve the use of heat, which can affect your skin’s pigmentation.

People with darker skin tones may prefer microneedling to laser therapy because of safety concernsTrusted Source associated with certain types of laser treatments on skin of color. Research on the effectiveness and safety of using laser treatment on darker skin tones is still lacking.

Targeted areas for microneedling

Microneedling is most often used on the face.

In addition to facial concerns, microneedling is sometimes used to treat stretch marks in other areas of the body. One studyTrusted Source found that microneedling was effective for stretch marks on the thighs and abdominal area when combined with fillers.

Scarring on other body parts may also be treated with this procedure.

How much does microneedling cost?

According to estimates by Dermapen, microneedling may cost anywhere from $200 to $800 per session, depending on the extent of treatment needed. If you only need a light session, you may pay as little as $150.

Since microneedling is considered a cosmetic or aesthetic procedure, it’s usually not covered by insurance. In the rare event that a doctor deems the procedure medically necessary, it’s recommended that you check with your insurance provider before your appointment.

A doctor may be able to help with the affordability of your treatments by structuring a payment plan for you. Some clinics may offer to finance your care.

However, there are other costs to consider outside of the treatment itself. While most people don’t require significant downtime, you may need to consider whether you’ll take time off from work.

You might also think about the cost of potential follow-up treatments. While microneedling is effective, it often requires touch-up treatments as part of a long-term maintenance plan.

How does microneedling work?

Microneedling works by encouraging your skin to make more collagen. The pinpricks from the procedure cause slight injury to the skin and the skin responds by making new collagen-rich tissue.

This new skin tissue is more even in tone and texture. It’s common for the skin to lose collagen with age or injury. By encouraging the skin to make new tissue, additional collagen may help make the skin firmer.

Microneedling may also be combined with topical serums, radiofrequency, and platelet-rich plasma. A dermatologist can help you navigate the decisions regarding additional treatment options and their estimated costs.

Are there any risks or side effects?

Like all cosmetic procedures, microneedling carries some risks. 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
  • bruising
  • infection
  • peeling

You may not be an ideal candidate for microneedling if you:

  • have certain skin conditions, such as psoriasis or eczema
  • have open wounds or active acne
  • have had radiation therapy recently
  • have a history of skin scars

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