Yes, I’m going for the eye catching title. But, you’re already reading this, so stay with me.
Collagen Induction Therapy is also known as microneedling or (if using plasma) is called the “vampire facelift”. What it is, essentially, is the creation of tiny punctures in the skin that allow the body to start the wound healing process with an influx of growth factors and stimulation of collagen production.
Why collagen? Well, collagen is what allows the face to have a more full, youthful appearance. As we age, we lose 1% of collagen a year after age 18. This leads to skin that can be a little looser, fine lines, etc. By stimulating and reorganizing collagen the skin becomes thicker and tighter allowing for reduction of fine lines and laxity.
You can pair this with PRP for a more robust response. since PRP (platelet rich plasma) is from your own body, there is no risk of an allergic response. Why, you ask (inquisitive, aren’t you?), well plasma, as we mentioned in the last blog, is full of growth factors which can help stimulate the process of collagen remodeling/formation.
“So you are going to poke a bunch of holes in my face?”. Essentially yes, but here are a few key things you should note. 1) YOU WILL BE NUMB 2) the needles are very small and 3) It should feel like a moderate sunburn. 4) It is done to produce a redness of the skin, but there should not be bleeding.
I wanted to make sure I knew what I was talking about with the experience, so I decided (against my better judgment) to do this at home, during naptime for my 5 month old. As you can imagine, there was a bit of a race against time on my end but here’s how it went:
I put the numbing cream on. Gave it about 10 minutes as the clock was ticking – he’s tricksy with his naps these days – sometimes you get 20min, sometimes an hour. Anyway, glad I did so I can tell you that even if you do not put the numbing cream on your lips, they will go numb. So there I was, alone with a baby, thinking I was about to drop to the floor due to a massive allergic reaction. Dogs provided no assistance.
However, didn’t have time to panic as clock was ticking and continued on with it. Survived. Lips and throat didn’t swell, just the effects of the numbing cream. Der-da-dur.
Sorry, back to the story. Started with the under the nose area as I was told this was a very sensitive area and I couldn’t feel a blessed thing there. It was fine. No pain. Proceeded to the cheeks no pain but a little burning towards the 3rd pass as it was getting slightly irritated. Felt like I forgot I was sunburned and scratched an itch.
Here is where I went wrong, I left the cream on the forehead and was going to wash it off last, since it was the last place I was going and I’ve heard it was sensitive. So, that is what I did, and the microneedling was fine. No pain. However, trying to get the numbing cream off without contaminating the areas that were already done was tricky and I didn’t do a great job (keep in mind, I am absolutely rushing at this point to get done as his lordship in the other room is starting to stir). We’ll come back to this.
I finish, Ash wakes up, I grab him. I look like I put a swaddle on and went out tanning. Face is red, cheeks are the worst, will submit pics. Don’t judge the no-make up me or we won’t be friends. As the topical numbing agent wears off my face feels hot. Again, like a sunburn. It is also tight. That’s about it.
Now, to circle back to the “where I went wrong”. I went to itch under my right eye – had an eyelash or something- and it was numb. Like REALLY numb. Again, panic ensued. Obviously, I’m stroking out and this is an atypical symptom. Still alone with the baby. Dogs, still offering no assistance but WILL lick baby mercilessly if I go unconscious. Realized, still had cream there from when I was trying to carefully wipe if off. Removed it. Regained sensation about 15 min later. All was well.
I’m currently typing this at 5 in the morning. Face feels a little tight but no bad. Redness has greatly subsided. Will add these pics as well. Getting the best results requires a few treatments about a month apart, so I’m not expecting to look 20 tomorrow but we’ll see what happens in about 2 weeks when you should start to see some improvement in overall texture of the skin.
I should also mention, whilst I continue on this microneedling conversation, it can be used to minimize or eliminate acne scars (depending on depth), minimize stretch marks and improve the look of the skin of the neck.
If any of this sounds interesting to you, give me a call and we can chat about it. Microneedling can be done with or without PRP. I promise not to have a napping 5 month old at the office so we will be able to take our time.
- Brooke Rieth FNP