The Guide To Microneedling (Collagen Induction Therapy)

Microneedling is a skin-boosting treatment that encourages the production of collagen by your own skin cells. This is done by using microscopic needles to cause tiny holes in the skin, triggering the healing process and causing collagen production and improved skin elasticity. It is a common and safe procedure that is gaining rapid popularity in the UK.

What Is Microneedling? 

Microneedling – also known as collagen induction therapy – is a common cosmetic procedure that uses tiny needles to improve the appearance of the skin. It can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, acne scarring and pigmentation, and is a very safe and effective treatment option for skin complaints like these. It is usually used on the face and neck area to rejuvenate the skin but can also be used on other parts of the body such as the chest, stomach or thighs where it is used to target crepey skin, scars or even stretch marks. Advanced microneedling is a professional treatment but there are also at-home devices that can be used safely. 

How Does Microneedling Work? 

Microneedling uses tiny needles to create punctures in the skin using a device called a dermaroller. A dermaroller contains hundreds of microneedles and are meant to puncture the skin without causing tearing or damage. Microneedling encourages the skin to create new collagen by causing micro-injuries that make the skin cells respond.  

This results in the production of elastin and collagen, which can help improve the appearance of the skin by making it thicker and tighter. Because the treatment is uniformly applied to the skin, this results in firmer skin with a more even tone and texture. 

Microneedling Benefits 

The clearest benefit to microneedling is that it improves the appearance of the skin and boosts your natural levels of collagen. It can help to reduce the appearance of scars, fine lines and wrinkles, and pigmentation on the skin, leaving you with more youthful-looking, smooth and plumper skin.  

It is popular amongst patients with ageing skin who wish to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as the elasticity of the skin. People with acne scarring can also benefit from microneedling as it helps reduce textured skin and hyperpigmentation. Microneedling can also be used to just boost skin to give a smoother and more radiant complexion. In addition, the treatment itself is non-invasive, with minimal pain and side effects, so you don’t need to worry about extended recovery times, unlike other cosmetic procedures such as laser therapy.  

Alternatives to Microneedling

There are several non-surgical alternatives that can produce similar results to microneedling or can even augment the effects of this procedure. These include:

  • Lasers resurface the skin and can help with skin ageing as well as scarring and texture. They are a good alternative if you are afraid of needles but beware that lasers are still uncomfortable and may have a lot more downtime in terms of recovery
  • Chemical peels are another good alternative if you want to avoid needles. Like lasers, chemical peels work by resurfacing the skin. They are a good alternative treatment for hyperpigmentation and skin ageing.
  • Profhilo skin boosters are an excellent alternative to microneedling if you’re after the collagen and elastin-producing effects but want fewer treatments as usually only 2 treatments 4-6 weeks apart are required. As an extra benefit, Profhilo also helps boost the skin’s hydration. It’s a great alternative to microneedling for treating skin ageing or boosting your skin’s radiance.

Is Microneedling Painful? 

Microneedling should not cause you any pain if performed correctly, but you may experience some discomfort during the procedure. At City Skin Clinic, we use numbing cream to reduce this and make the experience more comfortable for our patients. Despite this, you may not be able to tolerate the procedure if you have a fear of needles. If you have concerns regarding needles or injections then you should discuss this with your doctor before you go ahead with the procedure so that they can take steps to help you feel more at ease. If you are feeling uneasy ahead of your appointment,let your doctor know. They will ensure that you are suitably relaxed before starting the procedure. It also helps to keep in mind that this is a safe and common procedure with excellent results. 

How Long Does Microneedling Last? 

How long microneedling lasts will depend on how much collagen and elastin your skin produces and the extent of your skin concerns initially. This is because those with more minor skin concerns will need less collagen and elastin production to see results and so usually require a course of 3-5 treatments performed 4-6 weeks apart. For more complex concerns such as acne scarring and hyperpigmentation, a typical course can be 8-12 treatments 4-6 weeks apart. Typically, you can expect microneedling results to last at least to 6-8 months but a treatment as little as every 3-6 months can help maintain the results. This does ultimately depend on the rate your cells turnover and breakdown as well as producing collagen. Your lifestyle can also have an impact with factors like stress, smoking and UV damage all causing collagen to break down faster. You will also need to adopt good regular skincare with Retinol and sunscreen to ensure that the results are maintained for as long-lasting as possible.  

Most microneedling patients choose to top up their treatment every three to six months. It is best to talk to your doctor about how often you’ll need a top-up, as they will be able to give you a better idea based on your skin concerns and goals. Whilst there is no such thing as a silver bullet for skin ageing, acne scarring or hyperpigmentation, our patients still find options like a course of microneedling preferable over more invasive cosmetic procedures thanks to the speedy recovery time and incredible results.  

The Microneedling Procedure 

Before the procedure, your doctor may recommend that you cease using certain medications and topical treatments. These include topical retinoids such as Tretinoin which are commonly used for concerns like acne, hyperpigmentation and skin ageing. They may also want to review if you are taking any medications that increase your risk of bruising. Your doctor may also apply a local anaesthetic (such as numbing cream) to help with any discomfort during the treatment. 

During the procedure, your doctor will use a device such as a dermaroller, dermastamp or a dermapen to create microscopic channels (tiny pin-pricks) in your skin. You should let your doctor know if you feel any pain, as the procedure should usually be pain-free. The microneedling procedure itself will usually take around 30 minutes, after which your doctor may apply a serum or treatment to calm the skin and boost the results.  

After the procedure, you may notice some reddening of the skin which should only last a few hours and no more than a day or two. You can usually go about your normal routine straight away, though you should avoid wearing makeup until the skin is fully healed (usually it takes a day or two).   

Microneedling Aftercare And Recovery 

After your microneedling appointment, you’ll need to take care of your skin properly. This means avoiding makeup until the skin is fully healed. You should use sunscreen at all times for at least a week after the procedure – even during winter. This is because your skin will be more susceptible to sun damage after the procedure, which might result in the effects wearing off more quickly. Your doctor may also advise you to start using certain active skincare products such as retinoids, Vitamin C or exfoliating acids which they may feel will augment the effects of microneedling. You may start to see the initial results of your microneedling treatment within a couple of weeks but the peak effect will be 4-6 weeks after the treatment as that is the time it takes for skin to turnover. 

Can I Use Retinol After Microneedling? 

You will usually be advised to avoid using retinol or retinoid products for at least 48 hours before and after your treatment. This is because active products like retinol may exacerbate any inflammation or dryness caused by the procedure. It can also make your skin feel more sensitive and hence increased discomfort during the procedure. If you usually use retinol in your skincare routine, you should check with your doctor when to restart it after the procedure. They may suggest that you use less than you would typically and with resuming at a slower frequency than usual to ensure that it doesn’t irritate your skin.  

Microneedling Side Effects 

Because microneedling is non-invasive, there are fewer side effects or complications associated with its use compared to alternatives such as laser resurfacing. As such it is generally seen as a low-risk, high-reward procedure if performed correctly. That being said, no procedure is risk-free. Even in the best hands, there is still the possibility of infection occurring after microneedling, so it is vital to be aware of the signs. 

These include:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pain

Consult your doctor immediately if you’re concerned you may have an infection as a result of your microneedling. This is the most serious potential risk of microneedling and can be reduced by going to a reputable clinic where your practitioner will use sterile equipment and work in an aseptic environment. Other risks include scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation which can occur if an inappropriate microneedling device is used or an untrained/inexperienced practitioner performs it.   

Microneedling Cost UK 

The cost of microneedling varies but typically reflects the consultation process, the quality of your doctor and the location of the clinic. There may also be an increased cost if you would like RF microneedling instead of traditional collagen induction therapy. Always choose a safe, clean and reputable clinic for microneedling where you can be offered a personalised treatment as well as aftercare, This will help you get the best quality of care and cosmetic results. It is best to avoid anyone offering discount microneedling, as this can come at the cost of the quality of the devices used or the skill or qualifications of the practitioner. 

In the UK, the cost of microneedling generally ranges from £150-£450 but can be more depending on the type of microneedling performed and the area of the body treated. At City Skin Clinic, our microneedling procedure for the face and neck costs £250 and other areas of the body can go up to £450, depending on the extent of the treatment and area of the body. We pride ourselves on giving our patients the very best in care, from consultation to treatment and excellent aftercare. You’ll be in safe hands with our expert team carrying out your personalised microneedling treatment. 

Book A Microneedling Consultation 

City Skin Clinic has years of experience and expertise in providing the highest quality aesthetic skin treatments. We have testimonials from countless happy patients who have a new lease on life thanks to the confidence they gained from microneedling. 

We use only the very latest technology in our practice and are constantly striving to improve and grow. Our clinic is state of the art, and our team is as highly qualified in performing microneedling, ensuring you get the safety and results you deserve. If you want to learn more, book a consultation today so that we can help you with your skincare journey.