I have come to appreciate some newer technologies over the last 12 months of practice. In a field fraught with therapeutic gimmicks, it is important to be aware of things that “sound too good to be true”.

In spite of this, I am definitely on board with micro needling, a simple and relatively inexpensive new solution to treat acne scars, large pores, stretch marks, hypopigmented spots and resistant tattoos.

Micro needling employs a series of small needles which are used to create small micro injuries in the skin. The device that we use, the Dermapen™, is easy to handle, requires a regular electric outlet and is the same size as a large pen. It is extremely transportable (unlike a lot of lasers), and has a relatively easy learning curve.

Micro needling induces fresh collagen and glycoaminoglycans formation in the dermis, the second layer of the skin. This creates a more supple and fresher appearing complexion. Micro injuries can also serve as a portal of entry for medication delivery, e.g., allowing us to treat acne scars with topical retinoids, red stretch marks with vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and hypopigmented skin spots with bimatoprost (Latisse™)

The entire procedure takes under 30 minutes and can be performed in a standard exam room without any special requirements or the need for protective eyeshields (unlike laser). Patients come into the office with a topical anesthetic applied on the treatment area. This is subsequently washed off and an antiseptic solution is applied to the skin. A hydrating serum, in many instances hyaluronic acid, is used to make the Dermapen™ glide easier and small linear passes are made over the skin. Usually two to three passes are applied over the treatment site in a horizontal, vertical and diagonal direction.

Another nice aspect of this technology is that the needle tips are inexpensive and disposable, there is no heat applied to the skin (making it safe for all ethnic skin types), and the depth of the needles can easily be changed depending on what we are trying to treat. Three sessions are usually required. Patients have minimal downtime ( 1-2 days) and discomfort is described as minimal- similar to a microdermabrasion.

In summary, micro needling is an up and coming technique that I believe will live up to the hype…and I am not one who is easily impressed.

For more info on Microneedling and to schedule a consultation, visit our Microneedling page- http://wp.me/P4Asez-17V

David T. Harvey, MD, FAAD, FACMS Mohs Surgeon & Cosmetic Dermatologist