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A woman lies on a facial bed as another women performs microneedling on her face.

Dermatologist Q&A For Spas: Is Microneedling Safe?

Are you planning to offer microneedling in your spa? If you have Clients dealing with acne scarring, wrinkles and stretch marks, introducing this treatment might lead to very happy customers. If you’re unfamiliar, microneedling (or collagen induction therapy) boosts collagen production, which in turn smooths fine lines and reveals youthful, glowing-looking skin. This is a safe and effective procedure (when performed by an appropriately trained professional) with a fairly short downtime. 

But don’t take it from us — we interviewed Hooman Khorasani, MD, a quadruple board-certified dermatologic and skin cancer surgeon in New York City. Here’s what he had to say about microneedling benefits and how to introduce it into your spa. 

A woman checking her face after treatment

Microneedling sounds scary—What is microneedling and how does it work? 

Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure developed to treat multiple skin concerns like acne scars, skin tightening and rejuvenation and minimizing the appearance of pores. Microneedling causes micro-incisions (controlled trauma) in the epidermis and superficial dermis, allowing more collagen production and your body’s natural healing mechanisms to kick in. The process of microneedling rapidly creates multiple micro channels in the treatment area, leaving the skin noticeably smoother and more uniform after three to six months.

What results should Clients expect from microneedling? 

The results of microneedling alone can be subtle and most individuals will require multiple treatments for the optimal outcome. To increase the treatment’s efficacy, many practitioners combine microneedling with the application of platelet rich plasma (PRP). PRP will contribute to additional growth factors derived from the patient’s own plasma.  

It is important to note that microneedling does not have any effect on treating hyperpigmentation. Therefore, one may have to combine microneedling with a laser treatment or a chemical peel to combat pigmentation concerns.  

Can you combine other add-ons with microneedling?

In recent years, microneedling is often combined with the delivery of radiofrequency heat to the skin. This technology is called RF microneedling and is more effective than traditional microneedling alone. The principle of the treatment process is the same, with the added benefit of heat being generated in the dermis, resulting in further stimulation of fibroblasts. This treatment is usually recommended in a series, every four to six weeks, and is often performed in conjunction with complementary treatments, such as chemical peels and PRP therapy.

In addition, add-ons such as chemical peels and PRP treatments maximize the efficacy of microneedling and will allow you to exceed your Client’s skin expectations (if applied correctly). This treatment may be performed on various parts of the body, allowing you to customize the treatment and cater to your patient’s needs. The best results may be achieved through multiple, consistent treatments. 

What pre-microneedling treatment advice should we give Clients?

Patients should be instructed to avoid blood thinning agents such as aspirin, Ibuprofen, Vitamin E, fish oil, garlic and ginger for seven days prior to treatment to avoid unnecessary bleeding and bruising. Patients who are prone to getting cold sores should have prophylactic treatment with an anti-herpetic medication such as Valtrex. 

 What aftercare tips should be provided?

Remind Clients that immediately after the microneedling treatment, the skin may appear red for a few hours, similar to a moderate sunburn with some pinpoint bleeding. The appearance depends on the length and depth of the needles used and the number of passes performed.

Six hours post-treatment, the Client can gently massage the treated area with lukewarm water and a cotton round to remove any remaining serum or plasma. Advise Clients to use non-comedogenic products, such as Eminence Organics Firm Skin Acai Cleanser and Blueberry Soy Night Recovery Cream

The skin may feel drier or tighter than usual, so advise Clients to keep the skin hydrated with a hyaluronic acid serum, such as the Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Serum. You want to cleanse the skin twice a day and apply moisturizer in the morning and evening, and apply a mineral sunscreen every day, reapplying every two to four hours, depending on the heat level and direct sun exposure. 

Avoid applying makeup until the skin is fully healed, usually seven to 10 days post-treatment. A tinted mineral sunscreen may be used as a makeup substitute, if needed.

Product Picks

  • Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Serum
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Serum

How do you best train and prepare microneedling practitioners? 

The primary focus should always be on staff and patient education, as this is the key to successful microneedling treatments and results. Novice practitioners should be careful with higher treatment depths being used (>1.5mm). They should be more conservative when treating over bone in areas such as the forehead. The type of microneedling pen used should be FDA approved to ensure sterility is respected. This is a particular concern, as a few devices have been associated with the transmission of viral components. 

Note: This article is intended for licensed and certified spa professionals only. Before offering any of these treatments to your Clients, it is the responsibility of all spa professionals to ensure they are trained and certified in the relevant spa treatments, prioritize the safety and well-being of their Clients and adhere to the guidelines outlined by their professional licensing and certification.

Have you incorporated this treatment into your spa? Share your experiences with us in the comments below and join the conversation on social media. You can also find out how to become an Eminence Organics Spa Partner here.