While there’s a wealth of non-surgical cosmetic procedures that are capable of quickly revitalizing the skin, microneedling is fast-becoming one of the most popular, and for good reason. This short, in-office treatment is designed to minimize the appearance of superficial skin issues, remodel patients’ existing collagen stores, and promote marked increases in ongoing collagen production. As such, it’s capable of producing both immediate and continued benefits. To achieve optimum treatment results, however, there are several things that patients should do both before and after their microneedling procedures.
What to Expect Immediately After Microneedling
During a microneedling treatment, a small device is passed over the facial skin or other targeted area. This appliance is affixed with several rows of tiny needles that create micro-punctures in the dermis, thereby allowing a nutrient-dense, topical solution like PRP to seep in. This manner of controlled damage is meant to both tear down dead skin and help the skin build itself back up. Due to the depth at which microneedling is performed, the skin’s natural collagen layer receives micro-punctures as well. This is what facilitates post-treatment remodeling of the patient’s existing collagen stores. It aids in the preservation of facial fullness, the minimization of wrinkles and fine lines, and the manifestation of many other anti-aging and cosmetic benefits.
Due to the local stress caused by the controlled damage created in the patient’s collagen and skin, there are some normal aftereffects to be expected after the treatment, and they generally abate within just hours. Many people are still able to resume their regular activities immediately after their appointments, and without looking as though they’ve had any major cosmetic procedures performed. At this stage of the healing process, however, the skin will be vulnerable to outside organisms, and significantly more susceptible to sun damage, so it’s important to protect it.
Do Not Pick at or Otherwise Agitate Your Skin
Immediately after your treatment, you may be tempted to caress or examine your skin, particularly while standing in the mirror and assessing any immediate treatment results. Given that the microneedling process creates micro-punctures that travel all the way down to the skin’s collagen layer, you want to be extra careful not to inadvertently introduce any bacteria to the treatment area. Microneedling is a safe and effective treatment for various skin complaints across various areas. Minimal touching is important across all treatment zones. In fact, you should avoid irritating your skin in any way until the earliest stages of healing are complete.
The typical response to the microneedling process is not unlike that of a chemical peel. Within just days of this procedure, you may notice some occurrences across the entire treatment zone. This is dead skin gently sloughing away. You should not attempt to speed up this sloughing process by exfoliating or using other aggressive measures. Instead, continue using only gentle cleansers and light, water-based moisturizers along with the recommended sun protection.
Why Sun Protection is So Important
After the microneedling treatment is finished, the professional may apply a light, water-based moisturizer or sunblock. This product will be rich with nutrients that both aid and expedite normal healing. It will also offer a suitable level of sun protection for preventing sunburn and other forms of sun damage while your skin heals. Once you get home, you’ll need to be diligent in applying a quality sunblock whenever going out and in minimizing direct sun exposure. Like many other skin resurfacing and revitalizing procedures, microneedling effectively removes the dead and damaged topmost layers of skin to reveal the healthier skin beneath. This is what gives patients their bright, vibrant, and youthful-looking complexions shortly after their procedures. But it also leaves new, vulnerable skin at the mercy of the elements. Wearing a sunblock, donning a sun hat, and staying indoors as much as possible will prevent any issues from developing. Given that microneedling is frequently performed to minimize sun spots and other forms of skin discoloration, you certainly don’t want to engage in any post-treatment behaviors that exacerbate or worsen the very conditions you’re trying to treat.
Hold Off On All Forms of Strenuous Exercise
Immediately after your treatment, you’ll want to hold off on any strenuous exercise that gets your heart rate up and causes you to sweat. While your skin is still vulnerable and healing, excess sweat can cause surface-level irritation. Moreover, microneedling and the resulting healing process also leave the pores vulnerable and open. Most patients are clear to resume their regular fitness plans within just days of the treatment. You can check the needs-specific recommendations that the specialist provides to find out how long you should wait.
Using Moisturizers to Soothe Your Skin
In addition to not touching or agitating your skin during the first days of healing, you will also be limited in terms of the types and amount of topical moisturizers that you can apply. While the pores are still open and the surface layers are still vulnerable, you definitely want to avoid heavy, oil-based creams even if these have long been a part of your daily or nightly skincare routine. Any topical agents that the professional applies to your skin will be light and unlikely to cause irritation. In most cases, microneedling patients will need to wait a set amount of time before returning to their normal skincare products and methods.
There are, however, several things that you can do to alleviate any irritated skin. For instance, staying hydrated by drinking small amounts of water all throughout the day is a very natural way to keep your skin soft and dewy-looking even as it heals after the treatment process. Keep in mind that optimum hydration is never achieved by gulping down large quantities of water at once. It is far better to load up on water-dense foods like fruits and vegetables, and to make water your first choice in beverages all day long. You should also stay away from caffeine, nicotine, and other skin-drying substances.
Follow the Professional’s Instructions
Although patients can definitely find a wealth of post-treatment advice online, nothing will prove better-suited to the individual than the needs-specific instructions provided by the skin expert. Every patient is different, and every microneedling treatment is guaranteed to have a slightly different outcome. The skin expert can recommend or even provide the best post-treatment moisturizers and sunblocks for your skin’s unique needs. If there are any special concerns or treatment risks that you’re facing, your post-procedure recommendations will reflect these as well.
Over-the-Counter Medications and Their Impact On Treatment Outcomes
Generally speaking, certain store-bought medications should be avoided both before and after microneedling procedures. These are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. NSAIDs are powerful blood thinners. They include Ibuprofen and aspirin. If you are using these products regularly for aspirin therapy or pain management, you will need to discontinue them a set amount of time before your procedure is performed. You should also avoid taking them immediately after. Using these and any other blood-thinning medications can increase the likelihood of unnecessary issues that could have been avoided, and it can also increase the severity of unwanted aftereffects.
Establish Healthy Life Habits That Support Skin Renewal
The absolute best way to support post-treatment skin renewal and the remodeling of your skin’s collagen layer is by maintaining a healthy diet and keeping your body properly hydrated. Many people require a series of microneedling treatments in order to reach their cosmetic goals. The number of procedures each patient requires is generally determined by the type and severity of the skin issues being addressed, among other factors. Eating well and staying hydrated will give your skin the support that it needs to fully recover in between each scheduled procedure. Fruits and vegetables are packed with phytonutrients, antioxidants, and many other skin-supporting substances. Many options like pineapple are also great for lowering post-treatment inflammation. As such, try to eat a colorful array of fresh produce. Quality protein is another essential addition to your diet at this time given that it supports both tissue healing and formation. However, it’s always important to discuss any diet changes with your primary care physician.
Limit Your Alcohol Consumption
Much like NSAIDs, alcohol is a known blood thinner. As such, you want to avoid drinking on the night just before your procedure, and you should ideally limit your alcohol consumption for a set amount of time after. This will minimize the chance of any immediate issues while reducing the amount of time that it takes for any residual discoloration to fade. This is also a good time to quit smoking if you happen to be a tobacco user. Tobacco use greatly undermines the health and integrity of both the collagen layer and the skin. It additionally slows healing by restricting the blood vessels and limiting blood flow. Being good to your body in every way that you possibly can will support your skin as it works to repair procedure-related damages that have been sustained throughout each of its layers.
Is Microneedling Right for You?
Microneedling can minimize the appearance of many superficial skin issues like sun spots, dark spots, age spots, melasma and hyperpigmentation. It is also an excellent solution for fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, enlarged pores, and other unwanted blemishes on the skin. It is a safe, simple, and minimally-invasive treatment that entails very little downtime and no surgery whatsoever. Apart from applying adequate sun protection, you’ll mostly need to avoid agitating your skin while it mends itself. Eating right and keeping hydrated will help speed up the recovery process by giving your body the support it needs for advanced skin healing.