During the summer, many people ask me what treatments are safe to do during the Oklahoma heat. As long as you take good sun precautions including: a sunscreen of at least 30SPF applied and reapplied every 2 hours, a hat, and avoid direct sun as much as possible, almost any treatment is safe. However, one my favorite treatment recommendations for summer is microneedling with PRP or chemical peels. With the small down time of these treatments, you are free to enjoy more time with family and friends this summer and still see some amazing results!
This procedure is used on all skin types. It helps improve texture, wrinkles, scarring, stretch marks, and pigment. Microneedling is done on the face, neck, chest, stomach, knees, or anywhere on the body that needs attention. Who doesn’t have an area that needs a little TLC?
A microneedling pen with small needles on the end punctures the skin creating micro-channels of injury in the dermis. This injury causes your skin to stimulate collagen and elastic tissue that produces smoother, tighter skin. What is actually happening is a series of events occurring in the microscopic dermal layers of the skin. First, the needle puncture results in microscopic bleeding which floods the area with many healing substances like platelets, growth factors, cytokines, fibroblasts, elastin and proteoglycans. Next, a matrix of type III collagen and elastic tissue starts to form. This occurs at 3 weeks and continues for 6 months which results in thicker skin. Finally, type III collagen converts to type I collagen to cross-link causing the skin tightening. This occurs at about 3 months.
Additional treatments such as PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma), a chemical peel, or certain skincare products immediately after needling can boost the process by adding further inflammation thus producing more results. The micro-channels created by the needles are open allowing these topical treatments to drive deeper into the skin. PRP is collected by drawing your blood and spinning it down with a centrifuge. This separates out your red blood cells and your plasma that is rich in your own growth factors. Growth factors, especially your own, amplify the collagen cascade. With a chemical peel, the type and strength is chosen based on your specific concern such as hyperpigmentation, acne scarring, or anti-aging. We will then assist you in choosing skin care products depending on the assessment of your skin. These may include products that stimulate collagen, pull in moisture, or improve pigment.
A series of 3 - 10 treatments performed monthly will achieve the desired results. The number of procedures required depends on the severity of the problem and the healing properties of each individual patient. Of course, adding PRP or a chemical peel can decrease the total number of treatments needed since these improve the results of each session.
An anesthetic cream is applied to the entire treatment area. If adding PRP, your blood will be drawn and separated while you numb. After about 20 minutes, the area is cleaned and alcohol is used to prep the skin. Since there will be multiple punctures in the skin, this is an important step to prevent infection. The microneedling pen moves over the entire area with 3 - 5 passes. The needle depth varies from .25-2mm for each area of the treatment as the skin thickness is different. Then the PRP, chemical peel, or skin care products are topically applied on the skin. You may be pink for 1 - 48 hours following the treatment. Adding PRP tends to speed up the healing process. Adding a chemical peel may lengthen the redness depending on the strength of the peel. You may or may not “peel’ with a chemical peel. You can wash your face that evening and wear makeup the next day. Most people can go back to normal activity the same day.