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When Kim Kardashian made news with her "vampire facial," the procedure actually wasn't new. Microneedling therapy, also known as skin needling, has been around for many years but is currently enjoying a renaissance. And although microneedling devices are now available for home use, trying to undertake the procedure on your own carries significant risk.

Why use microneedling?

Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure that stimulates collagen growth. A mechanical pen, its head filled with tiny needles, is rolled over the skin and as it vibrates, it delivers microinjections, penetrating the skin many times over the course of a few seconds. The needles are used to create a controlled skin injury.

For decades, dermatologists have successfully used this procedure to treat facial scars and promote collagen growth. It can be used after traumatic injuries or to treat depigmentation disorders.

In addition to its effectiveness as a procedure on its own, microneedling can also be a vehicle for delivering other treatments. That's because rolling the needles over the skin creates channels in superficial portions so that medicines or products can be delivered more effectively through the skin.

Why not try it at home?

Effective microneedling is an exact science; the skin should be penetrated only to a certain depth, where the procedure can be effective but not harmful. It's difficult for an untrained, inexperienced user to get the right depth.

Not only could an inexperienced user harm the skin, but because microneedling involves skin penetration and blood, the risk of infection in an uncontrolled environment is high. Also, if you try the procedure at home, you are likely to create scarring.

Finally, microneedling hurts, especially in a non-clinical environment. When we do it in our office, we can provide prescription-grade numbing creams to the area to ease the pain--but it's not completely painless.

While microneedling is valuable and effective, it's safest when done by a trained professional. To learn more about the microneedling procedures offered by Skin Wellness, please call our office at 205.871.7332.