Microneedling is an effective cosmetic procedure for rejuvenating the skin and improving its appearance, texture and clarity. While there are few side effects, one of the most commonly reported is redness. Our Ottawa cosmetic specialists discuss microneedling and some of the ways to reduce redness after this procedure.
What is microneedling?
Microneedling is a cosmetic procedure that is used to improve the skin's appearance, making it more radiant. Your cosmetic specialist will use a handheld tool containing needles that will pierce the skin, creating tiny micro-injuries. These injuries are so small that they will seal up immediately after treatment but will create the desired effect caused by the body initiating an immune response. This response tells your body to begin the creation of collagen and replenish the skin cells.
What can you expect during recovery from microneedling?
First 4 hours: Your skin will feel tight, dry, or sensitive to the touch. Do not touch your skin for the first four hours after having the procedure. After this time you may begin to gently pat your skin dry.
First few days: After microneedling you can expect your skin to feel as though you have a sunburn as well as some redness, swelling and bruising.
After 3 to 5 days: You will notice an increase in peeling, dryness, and flaking caused by the increased turnover of skin cells. Keep your skin moisturized at all times and avoid picking and scratching!
After 1 week: You will be able to safely and comfortably use your regular skincare products again.
During the first 1 to 2 months: After your microneedling procedure the levels of collagen and elastin in your skin will increase. The treatment is designed to create the desired result of soft, fresh and radiant skin. Most patients are very pleased with this result and will continue to schedule repeat visits every 4 to 6 weeks.
Are there any typical side effects from microneedling?
Before you begin receiving microneedling treatments, your cosmetic specialist will create a treatment plan consisting of a set number of treatments over a predetermined period of time suited to your specific needs. Your cosmetic specialist will have had a thorough consultation with you to ensure that you will be an ideal candidate and haven't had any adverse reactions to cosmetic procedures in the past.
While microneedling is considered a safe cosmetic procedure there is the potential for certain side effects. Some of the concerns that your provider will inform you of may include:
What causes skin redness after microneedling?
At Pure Medical Cosmetics we aim to always ensure that our patients are making the most informed decisions possible. This includes offering a thorough discussion of the side effects of the procedure with one of the most common being redness.
This redness is caused by an increase in the blood flow as your body responds to the tiny injuries caused by the tiny needles penetrating the skin.
How long does redness last after microneedling?
While this redness may last longer in some patients, the redness experienced after a microneedling procedure should begin to diminish after a few days. With a little patience, you will begin to witness the results of the procedure in no time.
Tips to Help Reduce Redness After Microneedling
Although microneedling does create an instant effect on your skin, it will take some time to start to see the desired results. While the pink or red skin discolouration that appears after treatment will clear up on its own after a few days, there are a few ways that you can help minimize the appearance of this redness:
1. Have your provider adjust the needle.
The device used by your provider is a type of handheld drill containing multiple fine-tip needles. In order to minimize the effect that the needle impact has on your skin you can request that your provider adjust the length of the needle to be shorter and slow the drill speed. Longer needles have the ability to create a more dramatic difference in the skin but also cause redness and bruising to be more noticeable.
2. Take acetaminophen prior to treatment.
Acetaminophen is a pain relief medication that can be taken prior to many cosmetic procedures including microneedling. It is important to note that NSAIDs such as Advil, Motrin, and Ibuprofen should be avoided since these contain anti-inflammatory properties that decrease the healing response of the body which is crucial for the skin to repair itself creating the desired effect. Discuss the use of any pain medications with your provider prior to receiving treatment.
3. Avoid wearing makeup after microneedling.
While you may be tempted to cover up your reddish skin tone with makeup, this is not recommended as the makeup will block the pores on your skin, causing breakouts. Our team at Pure Medical Cosmetics recommends waiting a minimum of 24 hours before allowing any makeup product to come into contact with your skin, although it would be best to avoid it completely while the skin returns to a normal state. Once you do begin applying makeup again only use clean brushes to avoid potential contamination and infection.
It is important to stay patient while your skin heals and limit the use of products and utilize gentle scent-free products until rejuvenation is complete.
4. Avoid the sun and protect your skin.
As with any skin treatment, your skin will experience an increased sensitivity to sunlight in the time following your microneedling procedure. Did you know that any sun damage prior to your visit could also result in your appointment being rescheduled? This means that avoiding the sun for the week leading up to your microneedling procedure is also a good idea.
You can also help avoid premature aging of the skin and skin cancers by protecting your skin at all times regardless of any cosmetic procedures. Staying in the shade, wearing a hat and applying sunscreen can all help you keep your skin looking young and radiant.
5. Take a break from the gym.
Sweating causes a number of skin concerns as perspiration combined with any oil or dirt on your skin can clog up the pores causing an acne breakout. This is something that you wouldn't want to happen during the time of your microneedling procedure so it is best to avoid the gym for a day or two prior to your visit. Your skin will also get extra flushed after a workout. The same goes for any hot and moist environment such as saunas, jacuzzis and steam baths.
6. Avoid alcohol and focus on drinking water.
If you have undergone cosmetic procedures in the past then you will most likely know that one of the main rules across the board is to avoid alcohol if you are receiving a cosmetic treatment. Alcohol is a vasodilator or blood-thinning agent that causes the blood vessel to dilate.
As microneedling is a cosmetic procedure that already increases blood flow to the skin it is recommended to avoid any activity that may increase redness and bruising.
7. Take some time off from your usual skincare routine.
Prior to your microneedling treatment, you may have routinely utilized a variety of skincare products such as AHAs, BHAs, scrubs, retinol, topical acne treatments, vitamin C serums, and other exfoliating products. Unfortunately, you will need to pass on using these until your provider says that it is okay to do so. These products not only cause redness, they also contain ingredients that could further aggravate your skin during recovery from treatment.
It may be difficult but avoid exfoliating the dry or peeling skin and instead focus on applying gentle, non-scented moisturizers until fully healed.
Is microneedling right for you?
Microneedling can be an effective procedure to improve the texture of your skin but we understand that you may have questions or concerns. If you would like to learn more about this service and if it is right for you, our medically licensed cosmetic surgeons and professionals at Pure Medical Cosmetics are always happy to schedule a consultation.