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The Evolution of Microneedling Therapy

Adding volume to skin surface improvements

By B. Maya Kato, MD

In today’s busy world, people are looking for aesthetic procedures that can make them look and feel rejuvenated with minimal downtime.  The number of cosmetic surgical procedures remains at a steady plateau, but the number of non-surgical cosmetic injectable procedures continues to rise every year.  These office procedures have become exceedingly popular, as patients can often return to work the same day while achieving similar youthful results without undergoing surgery.

Neurotoxins (such as Botox and Dysport), dermal fillers (Restylane, Juvederm, Voluma, etc.) are well established in the field of aesthetics.  Neurotoxins diminish wrinkles by reducing contraction of the muscles that produce facial lines.  Dermal fillers are gelatin-like substances that smooth out facial wrinkles by restoring lost volume.  These can be placed at varying depths into and beneath the skin.

Skin needling, also called microneedling therapy, is a minimally invasive skin-rejuvenation procedure using a device that contains fine needles. The needles are used to puncture the skin to create a controlled skin injury. Each microscopic wound triggers the body to heal by producing new collagen and elastin. Through the process of neovascularization and neocollagenesis, there is improvement in skin texture and firmness, as well as reduction in scars, pore size, and stretch marks. 

As a fairly new technique, microneedling therapy is being further redefined and the latest products such as the AquaGold fine touch now offer volume in addition to skin surface improvements. While the application is the same, this new technique differs vastly as it also delivers small droplets of customized treatment solution (prescribed by a physician) into the dermis, thus producing more than a simple puncture wound as other microneedles do.  A common treatment solution is made up of a combination of botulinum toxin and hyaluronic acid fillers. For those who are disinclined to use a neurotoxin, the customized solution can be made up of hyaluronic acid fillers and saline solution alone. Thus, in addition to stimulating new collagen growth, active hyaluronic acid and saline can add volume to the tissue while micro amounts of neurotoxin can also improve pore size.  Because treatment is delivered to the dermal layer of the skin, it is a nice adjunctive treatment to traditional fillers (which treat below the skin) and topical skin treatment regimens.

Areas commonly treated with this innovative technique include the face, neck, décolletage, and the back of the hands.  Often, improvement can be seen immediately with increased radiance and a moisturized glow to the skin; however, optimal results are achieved through a series of treatments, as determined by your physician.  Improvements in skin appearance and texture can continue over several months, as the action of collagen production builds and augments the deposition of the filler into the dermis.

Procedures take between 15-30 minutes. Patients receive a topical anesthetic cream first and generally experience minimal to no discomfort. Like other microneedling procedures, normal activities can be resumed immediately afterwards. 

Dr. Maya Kato is the founder of Aesthetic Art and can be reached at (760) 610.5558. For more information visit www.drmayakato.com.

Sources: 1. Multiple microneedling sessions for minimally invasive facial rejuvenation: an objective assessment. El-Domyati M, Barakat M, et al.  Int J Dermatol. 2015 Jun 20; 2) Microneedle applications in improving skin appearance. McCrudden MT, McAlister E, et al.  Exp Dermatol. 2015 Aug;24(8):561-6; 3)  Skin cell proliferation stimulated by microneedles. Liebl H, Kloth LC.  J Am Coll Clin Wound Spec. 2012 Dec 25;4(1):2-6.

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