What is Collagen Induction Therapy (also known as Microneedling)?
Collagen Induction Therapy (better known as micro-needling), is a procedure that improves the facial appearance by reducing wrinkles, stretch marks, and acne scars by stimulating the skin’s natural ability to repair itself. Microneedling utilizes tiny and extremely sharp needles to create multiple micro-channels in the dermal and epidermal layers of the skin. The uses of these adeptly named microneedles stimulates the body to release growth factors and cytokines, which trigger the wound-healing process. During this process, the body produces more collagen—a fibrous protein that contributes to the structural integrity of the skin—resulting in a thicker and more youthful-appearing skin. This is scientifically proven to be a natural, long lasting, collagen reformation technique.
How does Microneedling work?
The needling breaks up old collagen strands that tether together to create the appearance of the skin sinking (aka - the wrinkle). Each microscopic needle insertion immediately causes the release of platelets and fibroblasts by the body. These platelets, in turn, produce a series of growth factors that stimulate the body’s own production of natural collagen and elastin.
The needles penetrate through the epidermis, but unlike other treatments such as Chemical Peels and Derma Abrasion, micro-needling does not remove the epidermal layer of the skin, and instead allows the epidermis to heal rapidly at a fraction of the cost (and time). As the skin swells, the needle pricks fuse and the edges of the epidermis begin to adhere. Collagen induction therapy stimulates the superficial layer of the skin, promoting the remarkable healing response of the body.
The micro channels are formed by the small needles penetrating the skin layers which aid in infusing therapeutic serums for greater penetration. This allows the enhancement of the overall procedure and makes collagen induction therapy the perfect choice for non-surgical and non-ablative treatments for various skin conditions and rejuvenation. This technique can be used in places that are hard to reach, such as the area around the eyes, nose, lips, and other regions. The treatment can be classified as an organic treatment due to the natural healing which occurs after the procedure is complete, owing to the natural wound healing property of the skin, promoting the collagen stimulation.
The benefits of Microneedling
Microneedling has been shown to be effective in a number of skin concerns including:
Quality of the Skin (Skin Rejuvenation)
Fine lines and wrinkles
And the research is sound. Research on the effects of microneedling for scarring by Majid, et al in 2009 saw that 90% of patients saw a reduction in the severity of atrophic facial scars (these type of scars are deep and recessed). 80% of the patients receiving the treatment assessed it as "excellent" on a 10 point scale and no adverse effects were significantly noted in any patient. This was facilitated through multiple microneedling treatments with a 1.5mm derma roller. Another study found that microneedling increased new collagen fibers by 206% 6 weeks after treatment (Yadav, 2016) and that 4 Collagen Induction Therapy sessions, 1 month apart, resulted in up to 400% increase in collagen and elastin deposition at 6 months (Yadav, 2016). Microneedling also caused lightening of skin stains in patients wiht melasma (Lima, 2015) and current research is being facilitated comparing twice daily 5% Minoxidil (like Rogaine) alone versus with weekly microneedling and the results are very interesting (Rachita Dhurat, 2013).
The results of micro-needling are both, immediate and gradual. Most patients see results after the first microneedling session but individual results vary depending on your individual skin health. The skin reddens and swells slightly immediately after the treatment, but by day 2-3, the skin returns to a moderate pink flush and the mild swelling decreases. It is most common to begin to see true changes or positive results as soon as 1-2 weeks after the first treatment. Many patients comment on positive changes in even less time but we usually recommend taking follow up photos 6 weeks after your session to ensure maximal collagen formation is seen.
For collagen induction therapy or microneedling, we generally recommend starting with 3-4 treatments, with a minimum separation time of 4 to 6 weeks between sessions. For scar reduction, an average of 3 to 6 treatments is recommended to achieve an optimal result. Again, this is all based on the current research and the results seen with your follow up and starting photos.
Once you have completed your series of treatments, we schedule follow-up visits for 6 weeks. Microneedling requires maintenance treatments at some point, but if you continue to maintain an effective home care regimen, in addition to, regular skin care treatments you should be sitting very pretty for years to come.
Is this Health Canada Approved?
The Dermastamp micro needling pen is a state-of-art device intended for professional use alone. This ensures that only those properly trained with the experience required to trust your face to are able to utilize the equipmment. At Cornerstone Naturopathic we use the only micro needling machine approved by Health Canada. We then increase our results by utilizing topical applications such as platelet rich plasma (PRP) or peptides, antioxidants, hair loss applications and hyaluronic acid.
What risks are involved with microneedling?
Collagen induction therapy/microneedling done by a qualified professional is a very safe procedure with minimal risks. Patients may experience redness and mild swelling of the treatment area for 48 hours following their treatment. Our medical team facilitating the procedure provides patients with a hyaluronic acid sheet mask following microneedling to reduce redness by about 50% within 30 minutes. This mask also provides soothing hydration and promotes collagen production. We also send you home with hyaluronic acid and another mask to be placed on your face the next day, which facilitates that redness reduction again. A study done in 2009 found no adverse effects from microneedling treatment when treating atrophic facial scars (Majid, 2009).
It is important that you relay information to your physician regarding any allergies and serious medical conditions that you may have, and inform us about any medications that you are taking. Our team recommends avoiding sweaty exercise for the first 12 hours and excessive sun exposure for the first 72 hours. If you have a history of bleeding disorders, are currently on blood thinning medication, or have had a diagnosis of skin cancer in the past 2 years, schedule a complimentary consultation with our doctors to talk about your options.
If you are looking for a safe and effective treatment to address scarring, hyperpigmentation, melasma, fine lines, or wrinkles, collagen induction therapy or microneedling is something to highly consider. For more information about whether or not this is the right treatment for you, book a compliemtnary 15 minute consultation so we can discuss your individual needs and map out the best protocol for your skin goals.
Most extended insurance plans cover Naturopathic Medical Services.
We are happy to direct bill for select plans at our Halifax office. Please call the clinic at 902.820.3443 to inquire if your plan is able to be direct billled.
©2018 Cornerstone Naturopathic