If you have skin wrinkles from sun damage or aging, scars from an old injury, surgery, or acne, or would like to smooth out your skin using restorative tattooing, you might be a good candidate for microneedling. Keep reading to learn more about microneedling, how it works, and its risks and benefits.
What is Microneedling?
Microneedling, also known as “collagen induction therapy”, is a medical technique that induces a “controlled injury” process to open up your skin with micro-level or tiny tears. The healing process then promotes collagen and elastin production, which fills in and smooths out wrinkles and fine lines. This is done by using a fine needle roller or pen device that creates tiny holes in the top layer of the skin. Skin serum or cream is then added after the procedure.
Microneedling is usually done before attempting to camouflage a scar with tattoo pigment. In many cases, one or two microneedling sessions are enough to reduce the appearance of the scar on their own without additional camouflage. The cases that do require additional attention see better results from the already lightened scar.
Conditions Treated for Microneedling
Microneedling can treat various conditions such as wrinkles due to cumulative sun damage and aging, stretch marks, and scars from injuries, surgical procedures, or acne. Microneedling is commonly used on the face, but it can also be used on other parts of the body. It has also been used to smooth out stretch marks on the thighs and stomach.
How Microneedling is Related to Restorative Tattooing
Microneedling is often used as part of restorative tattooing. Restorative tattooing is used to camouflage scars, add pigment to reconstructed nipples, create the illusion of a three-dimensional nipple where there is no physical tissue, and more. These tattoos help patients who have endured trauma, and patients who have lost something – in many cases, more than one thing – to get something back. That restoration has a profound impact on mental health and facilitates long-term healing.
Blood Flow Restoration to Old Scar Tissues – Microneedling can restore blood flow to old scar tissues.
Activating the scar with tiny needles reactivates the body’s natural healing process and stimulates blood flow in the area. This act of encouraging the body to heal itself again on a newer, deeper level can create a smoother scar that is lighter in colour. Since the process wakes up healing processes within the skin, it can even help on older scars.
Ability to Camouflage Darker Scars – Darker scars that cannot be camouflaged using tattoo pigment often benefit from this therapy. Pre-treating the area with a skin lightening serum can further reduce the pigment in the scar. Once it is properly lightened, a medical tattooist can tattoo over it if necessary.
Improved Mental Health through Restoration – Microneedling is an important part of scar management that can facilitate scar camouflage. Covering a scar or the act of “restoration” can improve mental health for those who have suffered from trauma, injury, or accident. It might also improve job prospects, such as those in the acting or modelling industry.
Risks Associated with Microneedling
Minor Pain – As with any medical or cosmetic procedure involving needles, there might be a certain level of pain. The pain associated with microneedling procedure is minor. The medical personnel would apply a topical numbing agent to help control the “poking” sensation that you might feel during the procedure.
Redness or Skin Discolouration – It is common for patients’ skin to remain red for a few days. Some light or dark discolouration may occur, especially for people of colour. This is common and should go away after a few days.
Infection – Although the needle holes are very small, the open wounds can get infected or become irritated. This is why it’s important to keep the skin clean and avoid irritation lotions, swimming pools, gyms, and other possible exposure to infection shortly after getting the procedure done. The staff at Body Love Ink can provide you with after-care instructions and answer any questions you might have.
Is Microneedling Worth It?
Absolutely! The benefits of microneedling and restorative tattooing outweigh the minor risks outlined above. The staff at Body Love Ink are trained professionals and will make sure that the procedure is done a safe manner, and will provide tips and guidance for after-care.
Wrinkle and scar management is highly individual. As with most medical procedures, microneedling timing and techniques must be determined individually, based on the patient. The type of scar, skin type, and area on the body dictate that medical tattooist’s decisions. For example, a lightening serum might be recommended to patients with certain skin types to reduce the probability of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Certain medications can also factor into the overall outcome of any tattooing procedure. It’s important to come in for a consultation so that we can work together to create a scar management plan. Contact us to book a consultation appointment today!