What is Microneedling? Benefits, Costs, Side Effects

Microneedling is a standard cosmetic treatment for fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage and stretch marks. This treatment may also improve the appearance of scars, boost collagen and encourage hair growth. In microneedling, very fine, short and sterilised needles are inserted carefully into the skin like pinpricks for rejuvenation. As per the experts, when the skin feels pinpricks, the body will naturally rush to heal them and make more collagen and elastin. This results in a plumped and more youthful appearance.

Microneedling on a short-term basis plumps the skin and makes the skin look more radiant. But, for some people, the effects may take some more time to show. This may happen as the efficacy of this treatment comes from the skin healing itself and some people may see the results after a few sessions.

Microneedling Procedure

Treating the skin with multiple sessions of this cosmetic treatment spaced at least one month apart may offer an increase in collagen and skin elasticity. The treatment generally takes up to 30 minutes, depending on how big the area is. Most people may require 4-6 treatments to see the results.

Microneedling begins with getting a numbing cream smoothed onto the face which acts like a topical anaesthetic, so one can’t feel the needle pricks. Then the dermatologist will move a pen-shaped rolling tool with tiny needles around the face. The needles make small cuts in the skin, which may cause a bit of bleeding. The dermatologist may then spread a cream or serum on the face after the session is over.

The majority of people get microneedling on the face, but it can also be done on other parts of the body like the stomach or thighs. The treatment aims to start the body’s healing process by sending collagen and elastin to patch up tiny injuries and thereby rejuvenate the skin.

Benefits of Microneedling

Microneedling may benefit in problems such as acne, dark spots or patches (hyperpigmentation), large pores, scars, stretch marks, damage caused to skin by sun exposure, fine lines, wrinkles, and reduced skin elasticity. Furthermore, as compared to laser treatments, this cosmetic procedure is less expensive.

Microneedling may also prove helpful for people with darker skin tones as it doesn't involve the use of heat like laser treatments. It can reduce stomach and thigh stretch marks when combined with fillers.

Additionally, this treatment might give hair locks a new luscious life, but there's not enough evidence to prove how helpful microneedling can be for treating hair loss. Research suggests that three microneedling sessions may last up to 6 months and if done correctly, may be safe. However, some people may witness certain side effects of this treatment.

Side Effects of Microneedling

In general, microneedling may fall under the safe cosmetic treatments category, but there may be some side effects which vary from person to person. The most common side effect may be skin irritation and redness of the skin for a few days after the treatment. But, this cosmetic procedure may also come with other risks.

Other possible side effects may include peeling, bleeding, bruising or skin infection. People, who may easily develop scars, have open wounds, take blood thinners or have a bleeding disorder like haemophilia or Von Willebrand disease, should always consult their doctor before going for microneedling.

In addition to that, if someone is pregnant, has recently undergone radiation therapy or has a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis, they should not do cosmetic procedures like microneedling without a doctor's permission.

As a precaution, one may avoid certain things before the procedure, including sunburn, acne medication, topical acne treatments and ibuprofen as these may act as blood thinner and retinoids, since they may cause skin irritation. Also, the skin may become a lot more sun-sensitive until fully recovered and hence, one can apply sunscreen after the procedure.

An allergic reaction to the cream or serum that goes on your skin after the microneedling may occur in some cases and the wounds might get infected if proper skin hygiene is not maintained. One should avoid going to places that could have lots of germs, like swimming pools, lakes, rivers, and oceans. Moreover, after the treatment, one should avoid using irritating soaps and lotions to avoid skin irritation and redness.

Cost of Microneedling

The cost of a single microneedling session depends on the prices in the area, how many sessions a person wants to buy and the amount of skin a person wants worked on. Since microneedling is a cosmetic treatment, it’s not covered by insurance. One can discuss with the healthcare provider to see what treatment is best for the skin as well as the budget.

Home microneedling kits or home rollers have gained popularity in recent years as they are widely available and comparatively inexpensive. Home rollers use shorter, duller needles as compared to the professional microneedling devices which are used by dermatologists. These home kits may temporarily stimulate blood vessels to brighten the skin, but may not give the same results as microneedling done at a dermatologist’s office or medical spa.


Microneedling may work wonders if used correctly. There might be many do-it-yourself home microneedling kits available in the market, however, microneedling devices are best used by a trained professional to reduce the risk of overuse and permanent skin damage. Getting cosmetic treatment at a dermatologist or medical spa may ensure needles are sterile and prevent skin damage and infection.