Microneedling — What began around 2000 (the first paper on skin needling was presented at the International Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Society (IPRAS) in San Francisco, in 1999), has taken off like a hot potato and continues to be a hot topic in skincare and anti-aging for good reason. It works!
Four to six (4-6) microneedlings performed with a 1.0-mm roller at 7 day intervals provide the most reliable results with the use of tGF-b3 and IL-10 on skin that sees regular use of topical Vitamins A and C. (summary of article written by Desmond Fernandes, Dept. of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Cape Town, South Africa; February 10, 2020, Dermatological Reviews, John Wiley & Sons). Very interesting point paraphrased from the article below:
Research that began in the 1980’s demonstrated that after “a normal life” injury tGF-b3 is a transient molecule and it disappears within 24 hours whereas tGF-b1 and tGF-b2 remain upregulated for several weeks and are responsible for scar formation. The disappearance of tGF-b3 within 24 hours explains why we cannot regenerate tissue after injury. In a fetus however, tGF-b3 and IL-10 dominate, resulting in tissue regeneration without scars (when fetuses are operated on intrauterine.) NOW, work has been done to show that one can prevent scarring by using tGF-b3 with microneedling. When the collagen network has been destroyed by photoaging or scar tissue, tGF-b3 remains upregulated for about 1-14 days after microneedling (1.0 mm depth at a minimum). This is exactly the opposite of what happens in normal wound healing. It’s postulated that the depth of the needling (not exposed to surface oxygen levels) enhances the growth factors and possibly the efficacy of tGF-b3 and also IL-10.
NEEDLING DOES NOT CAUSE SIGNIFICANT INFLAMMATION. (yes, it hurts a little but the cytokine response to needling is “anti-inflammatory” as compared to laser resurfacing with the creation of heat.) Vitamin C and Vitamin A users (retinol and tretinoin) will have better results, almost four times greater thickening of the skin than those who do not! Needling in intervals of 2-3 months did not match the results obtained from shorter intervals. Needling at weekly intervals gave almost four times thicker skin than needling once every 2-3 months. Use of topical anaesthetic (EMLA, Ebanol Numb520 or NumbMaster 5 for example) can make the home treatments more comfortable.
It is advisable to only use ingredients during microchanneling and microneedling that are considered native to the human body, as foreign material introduced during needling can be presented to the immune system as a dangerous molecule, and granulomas can often form around them. The short list of ingredients advisable to use are:
- sterile saline
- pure High Molecular Weigh Hyaluronic Acid
- certain concentrated human growth factor products that lean more anti-inflammatory, like the Bone Marrow Stem Cell Growth Factors.
The final results from needling only truly become evident about 6-8 months after needling.