Aging creeps up on all of us at some point and will make its way onto our complexions eventually. This not only takes its toll on what we see in the mirror and in pictures but on our self-esteem and self-image. If you’re tired of the signs of aging staring back at you, call Southeastern Institute of Restorative Medicine in Dothan, AL to talk about everything microneedling can do for your skin.
What Causes Signs of Aging?
Things like fine lines, wrinkles and uneven tone and texture are just byproducts of what time really takes away from us: collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is a strong and fibrous protein responsible for keeping the middle layer of our skin, the dermis, solid and smooth. Because the collagen fibers are so tightly packed together, the top layer of our skin, the epidermis, lies perfectly smooth on top of it, showing no wrinkles. This solid foundation also helps our skin cells to regenerate quickly so our skin’s tone and texture stay even and soft.
Collagen creates a solid anchor for the bottom and the top layers of our skin to adhere to. When all three layers are firmly packed together, our skin is pulled tightly to our bone structure and underlying tissue, making it look taut. Collagen works closely with the protein elastin.
What Is Elastin?
The protein elastin, like its name suggests, keeps our skin flexible and elastic. When we make repeated expressions, it is elastin that keeps our skin returning to its original position. When we’re young, we can pull and stretch our skin without it showing any signs of laxity. Young skin holds up against gravity, staying firmly attached to the underlying tissue while remaining flexible.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring sugar our bodies produce to keep our skin, eyes and connective tissues lubricated and hydrated. When we’re young, we have plenty of these molecules, which can hold up to 1000 times their weight in water. This keeps our skin looking dewy and feeling supple. When our skin is this hydrated, it takes on a healthy “bounce” which helps it look and feel firm and plump.
The Aging Process
When we’re in our early 20s, we lose production of collagen by about 1% each year. When we lose collagen, we also lose elastin and hyaluronic acid. Losing collagen means that the once strong foundation we had that provided an even surface for our skin to lie on weakens. As collagen fibers are pushed around when we make expressions, crevices form.
Because we’ve lost elastin, our skin can’t hold up to gravity, and it falls into those crevices forming lines, folds and wrinkles. We no longer have a strong surface for our skin cells to regenerate on, so we develop uneven skin tone and texture. The lack of hyaluronic acid can leave us with a tired and dull appearance.
There are many effective solutions for areas of concern, but one of the most versatile is microneedling. This is such an effective treatment because it does far more than address just one sign of aging. This treatment can address almost all of them.
What Can Microneedling Do for Your Skin?
Microneedling is also referred to as collagen induction therapy. Our treatment uses a small, hand-held device full of hair-thin, medical-grade needles. We pass this device gently over the skin, and as we do, it makes micro-perforations in the skin. Microneedling is a great option for various areas of concern, including:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Enlarged pores
- Uneven skin tone and texture
- Mild-to-moderate acne scarring
- Hyperpigmentation and other pigmentation issues
- Sun Damage
How Does Microneedling Get Results?
When the micro-perforations are made during treatment, they trick your body into thinking it has suffered an injury. Your body’s natural healing response is to produce extra collagen. As your body heals these micro-injuries from the inside out, a strong, new layer of collagen is formed.
This new collagen doesn’t just heal the microneedling spots, but it also fills in fine lines and wrinkles, erases acne scars and shrinks pores. It helps healthy skin cells regenerate more quickly, evening out skin tone and texture. The result is a younger-looking complexion and stronger, more elastic skin.
What to Expect
As with any treatment in our center, it begins with an in-depth consultation to determine your areas of concern and what you’d like your results to be. We’ll examine your skin to check its condition. Once we agree on microneedling as the right solution for you, we’ll just have a few pre-treatment instructions making sure you get the most out of treatment.
Two weeks before your appointment, you’ve got to stay out of direct sunlight, including tanning beds. If you experience a cystic acne breakout or develop a cold sore, lesion or skin infection, call the office because we may need to reschedule you for another day when your skin has calmed down. We’ll ask you to stop taking blood-thinning medications for two weeks before treatment just to lower that already small likelihood of bruising.
During Your Appointment
When you arrive, we’ll apply a numbing cream to your face to ensure you remain comfortable throughout your appointment. After about 20 minutes, we’ll wash your face with an antibacterial wash and begin treatment. Once treatment begins, the session usually lasts about 30 minutes.
Once treatment is complete, you’re free to go. There is no downtime associated with this treatment. You can go back to your normal routine immediately. You will need to stay out of direct sunlight for a few weeks. Your skin will be sensitive to the sun, and the UV rays could damage your newly regenerated skin.
Most clients see an immediate brightening to their complexion. This is because the dull and dead layer of skin cells is broken up by treatment, revealing a brighter layer of healthy cells. The real results come over the new few weeks and months as collagen is being built below the surface. New, strong collagen fibers fill in those micro-channels that were made by the needles, and as they do, they fill in fine lines, wrinkles and scars.
The new collagen tightens up pores and shrinks them. This new collagen also helps new cells regenerate, clearing up hyperpigmentation and other uneven tones in your skin. These smooth skin cells also even out your skin’s texture. Because elastin and hyaluronic acid are also being produced, your skin’s overall health is boosted.
Extend Your Results
You can enjoy results for up to six months if you take care of your skin. One of the easiest ways to protect your new collagen is to stay out of the sun. The sun will damage collagen faster and more significantly than anything else. Other things you can avoid, making your results last longer, include:
- Excess consumption of alcohol, sugar or processed foods
- Consistent lack of sleep
- Unmanaged stress levels
- Not drinking enough water
- Poor skin care routine
Speaking of skin care, right after treatment your skin care products will be more effective than ever. Why? Because those micro-channels go deeper into the skin than your products could do on their own. We can recommend great products that will address your skin type and areas of concern.
How Many Sessions Will I Need?
Each client is different. Many clients may get the results they want after just one treatment, while others will want multiple treatments to maximize their results. We recommend coming in every six months once you’ve achieved your desired level of results.
We’ll recommend the right follow-up schedule for you if you decide on multiple treatments. We usually schedule them about four weeks apart, but we’ll make a schedule that’s right for your skin and concerns.
Don’t Put Off Having a Younger Appearance
There’s no reason to put off getting the results you want. You can take control of your aging process by calling the Southeastern Institute of Restorative Medicine in Dothan, AL to schedule your consultation today. We focus on treating the whole patient, not just their skin. When you come to us, we want you to experience caring and compassionate treatment and comprehensive care focused on helping you look and feel your absolute best. We look forward to talking with you!