What is Microneedling & How It Works

what is microneedling and how it works

What is Microneedling & How It Works


Also known as collagen induction therapy (CIT) and percutaneous collagen induction (PCI), miconeedling involves the use of a needling device to create micro-injures in the skin for the purpose of skin rejuvenation. In the past few years, it has increased in popularity due to its ability to improve skin texture and firmness, and to diminish scars, pore size, and stretch marks.

Various ways exist for administering microneedling. One of the most well-known methods is using dermal rollers, which are cylindrical drums covered in microneedles that are rolled over the skin. Similarly, a dermal stamp punctures a specific area using a stamping action.In 2010, the mechanical microneedling pen was introduced, dramatically increasing the number of micro-punctures in the same amount of time.This latter device is lauded for its precision and ability to reach more difficult areas of the face such as the eyes.

One of the greatest benefits of microneedling is the broad range of application. Anywhere on the body, microneedling can improve texture, reduce scarring, and diminish the look of discoloration. Even commonly “off-limits” regions such as the delicate skin around the eyes can be treated (carefully!) with microneedling. This procedure also works well on sunken areas of the skin such as acne scars.


Microneedling is a relatively simple and fast method for safely treating fine lines, wrinkles, and scars. The intact epidermis ensures safety, enabling secure repetition. Nearly everyone prefers microneedling as a treatment, especially for sensitive areas like around the eyes and mouth, as well as the hands and chest, where laser treatments and deep chemical peels are typically avoided. Individuals with Fitzpatrick skin types V-VI should consult with an experienced practitioner prior to receiving medical-grade microneedling (1.5 mm-3 mm) to avoid triggering a pigment response in the skin.


Simply put, microneedling is a method of triggering the repair response of skin. The needles on a microneedling device puncture the skin to create a controlled skin injury. Each puncture of the needle creates a microscopic channel, or empty space. The skin recognizes this channel as tissue loss and begins to produce collagen and elastin to “fill” the channel. Collagen, is the main structural protein in skin responsible for sustaining skin integrity, firmness, and elasticity. The result is an improvement in skin texture and firmness, as well as a reduction in scars, pore size, and stretch marks. Sometimes, skincare professionals will combine microneedling with topical formulas such as SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 to help complement results.

Choosing microneedling treatment requires careful consideration of the needle length, as it dictates the depth and extent of the procedure. Needle sizes start at 0.1 mm, which only affects the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin), and can range up to 3.0 mm, thus affecting the deepest layer of the skin (the reticular dermis). Needle lengths between 0.1 mm and 0.3 mm serve cosmetic purposes, enhancing topical serum penetration. To address fine lines and wrinkles, practitioners employ needles ranging from 0.5 mm to 1.5 mm. More invasive procedures use needle lengths from 1.5 mm up to 3 mm to reduce scarring, deep wrinkles, and stretch marks.


Microneedling treatments in the office can last from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the treated area. The length of the needle will affect whether there will be any discomfort or bleeding. To enhance patient comfort, deeper microneedling typically involves the application of a numbing cream. Your skincare professional will then roll the microneedling device over your skin to create tiny punctures.
Patients commonly describe the sensation as “prickly.”

Immediately after treatment, your skin may experience redness and minor swelling. These effects generally subside within a day, but can take up to one week to fully resolve. It’s highly advisable to steer clear of sun exposure right after a procedure since your skin is more sensitive., your skincare professional will likely advise you to avoid wearing makeup 24-48 hours following the treatment.


As with most in-office procedures, microneedling will increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. It is best to schedule microneedling sessions during times when sun exposure will be minimal.

When scheduling your procedure, keep in mind that although results may be visible after one session, it’s generally advisable to undergo microneedling in a series of 3-5 treatments every 4-6 weeks, followed by a maintenance program.The frequency of treatments depends upon the desired effect and needle length used. Your skincare professional will work with you to design a treatment plan specifically for your skin.