21 Sep 2023 | by Leonard Miller, MD, FACS, FRCS
The aesthetic community is finally catching on to something that I’ve understood for 30 years — micro-needling works. As the person who introduced micro-needling in the United States, I have had a front-row seat to the incredible improvements that can be achieved with this cutting-edge non-surgical procedure. It can produce near miraculous results almost anywhere on the face, neck, or body, but is particularly beneficial for:
- lip lines around the mouth
- crow’s feet around the eyes
As these are two of the biggest problem areas for both men and women, micro-needling is truly a game changer in non-surgical facial rejuvenation. However, whenever any procedure takes off in popularity, it is bound to create patient misconceptions. I think the biggest one with micro-needling is that all micro-needling procedures are created equal. They are not.
Medical Micro-Needling is Different
The type of micro-needling that I can perform as a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon is entirely different from the kind of procedure that you will get at your local spa. First of all, I can use much longer needles. This creates a more dramatic result because the longer needles are able to penetrate deeper into your dermis where they create micro-injuries. The body’s natural response to any kind of injury is to produce more collagen and elastin. The first is a plumping and lifting agent while the second is what keeps your skin flexible, allowing it to “bounce back” after you laugh, scowl or cry. The end result is more lifted, glowing, and youthful-looking skin.
Second, I can personalize the length of the needles to each patient’s individual needs. For example, if you have deeper lines around your mouth then I will use longer needles there than the ones I use on your cheeks or around your eyes. I will also often combine micro-needling with topicals such as Vitamin C, peptides, or microfat grafting from one’s own body.View more before and after pictures
Micro-needling and Radiofrequency (RF)
Best of all, for those patients who are really looking for a non-surgical facelift-like result, I will choose a procedure that combines micro-needling with radiofrequency (RF) energy. The RF energy travels through the needles into the deep layers of your dermis where the heat induces a very strong collagen and elastin response. In patients with mild to moderate sagging in the skin, procedures such as EndyMed Intensif and Profound can produce some tightening and lift, but significant improvement cannot be achieved without surgery or an extensive thread lift procedure.
These micro-needling procedures with or without radiofrequency produce:
- Softening lines & wrinkles
- reducing pore size
- smoothing out “crepey” skin texture
- addressing acne and/or surgical scars
- improving the appearance of stretch marks
A huge benefit of medical micro-needling and micro-needling RF procedures is that they are also extremely effective on all skin types and ethnicities. This is something that can be a problem with other heat-based procedures such as lasers.
Benefits of Medical Micro-Needling
In addition to not inducing hyperpigmentation in patients with darker skin, one of the biggest benefits of micro-needling is that it is incredibly flexible. I can treat almost any area on the body including the:
- around the eyes
- belly button
- inner/outer thighs
Other benefits of medical micro-needling include the fact that it is:
- extremely effective
- non-surgical so no need for intravenous or general anesthesia
- no incisions needed
- fewer treatments in order to achieve one’s desired result
The latter is one of the biggest differences between what we perform at the Boston Center for Plastic Surgery and what you can get from an aesthetician. While the latter may offer zero downtime, it also requires multiple, ongoing treatments in order to achieve and maintain your results. A medical micro-needling procedure, on the other hand, is going to require some downtime, but the results are also going to last for many months, if not years. The amount of downtime is going to depend on your specific procedure, but, in general, micro-needling RF procedures require less recovery time than medical micro-needling alone.View more before and after pictures
Skill & Experience Matters
Last, I can not iterate enough that this is a procedure where skill and experience make a huge difference. While there seems to be a new spot cropping up daily in Boston that offers micro-needling for eliminating lip lines, at the Boston Center for Plastic Surgery, deep micro-needling micro-needling procedures are performed by either a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon or a Board-Certified Dermatologist. Both myself and my colleagues, Drs. Sean Doherty, Melissa Michelon, and Farah Moustafa, have undergone rigorous and ongoing testing of our skills. We have a deep knowledge of anatomy and how all of the components of the face, neck, and body work together. This is what enables us to customize your micro-needling procedure to your individual needs so that you can look and feel your absolute best.
To find out more about micro-needling and micro-needling RF procedures at the Boston Center for Plastic Surgery, contact us today or call (617) 735-8735 to schedule a consultation.