The human body has an amazing capacity for healing and improving itself, which is the basis for a variety of skin rejuvenation treatments, including microneedling and platelet rich plasma (PRP), at the Charleston area's Germain Dermatology. Both are minimally invasive options that encourage collagen production, creating more of the protein that gives skin its structure and capacity for moisture and elasticity.
While microneedling is often performed on its own, PRP can enhance its results. PRP is also frequently used to augment the benefits of other treatments. Dr. Marguerite Germain and her team will help each patient to make the right choice from the available services to deliver beautiful, youthful skin.
Microneedling is considered to be one of the safest treatment methods for natural skincare. There are many benefits to microneedling, including that it is suitable for all skin types—even thin and sensitive skin on any body part—and there is no fear of hyperpigmentation.
At Germain Dermatology, our providers use SkinPen® by Bellus Medical, the first microneedling device approved by the FDA. The clearance is particularly for acne scar treatments, though the device can be used for a range of other applications at the hands of an experienced provider. SkinPen® works on a wide range of pigmentation, as proven in clinical trials.
The SkinPen® microneedling device employs a sterile needle cartridge filled with precisely spaced micro needles that create invisible, vertical, micro perforations in the epidermis and the top layer of the dermis. As this micropen moves across the skin, the needles create hundreds to thousands of tiny holes each second, prompting the skin to shift its natural repair mechanism into high gear and start producing collagen and elastin to repair these micro-perforations. This self-repairing property is an entirely natural form of skin renewal from the inside out. Microneedling is a revolutionary procedure, in that it will act the same as lasers and ablative methods by increasing collagen production, but without removing the protective layer of skin. The healing also does not involve the formation of scars, as it simply remodels tissue in the treated area.
The advantage of microneedling compared to other treatments is that it not only activates cell regeneration, it also enhances the absorption of PRP or hyaluronic acid administered during the treatment before the skin closes.
When preparing for your microneedling procedure, it is important that you adhere to certain guidelines so that you obtain optimal results.
Preparation and an understanding of facial resurfacing are key to a successful treatment.
A provider will delicately pass the SkinPen® device over the skin to be treated. The treatment should take around half an hour. PRP or hyaluronic acid may also be introduced at this time.
Three or four treatments, spaced a suitable span of time apart, may be required to achieve ideal results. Patients must typically wait one month between sessions.
Your skin may appear red, similar to the look of a sunburn, for the first 24 to 48 hours following treatment. It also may feel warm and tight. As new collagen grows and PRP or hyaluronic acid are absorbed and do their work, skin becomes firmer and regains its elasticity, fine lines and wrinkles are visibly reduced, pores become finer, circulation is stimulated, and the overall condition of the skin tone and texture improves.
Germain Dermatology recommends taking these special precautions after a microneedling treatment:
Skin improvements can continue for up to six months after a SkinPen® microneedling session. Dr. Germain and her team recommend sun-safe practices throughout this entire time—and beyond—to keep the skin healthy and to best maintain the results. The skin will continue to age, though protecting it against ultraviolet radiation and other forms of environmental damage will slow the destruction of new collagen. It is also important to ensure adequate sleep, proper nutrition and hydration, and regular exercise.
Because microneedling with SkinPen® is a relatively gentle treatment, it can be incorporated into long-term skincare regimens, with maintenance visits scheduled over a course of years as needed.
Dr. Marguerite Germain is known for her passion and desire to help others. In addition to her medical training she has long since developed an eye for beauty. Inspired by years spent traveling, particularly in Italy, her artistic talent evolved into inspiring confidence in others through her practice.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is blood plasma that contains a concentrated amount of platelets. During the healing process, the body rushes many cells to the wound in order to initiate the healing process. Platelet cells perform many functions, including formation of a blood clot and release of growth factors into the wound. These growth factors function to assist the body in repairing itself by stimulating stem cells to regenerate new tissue.
When used in facial aesthetic procedures, your own blood is drawn and then spun in a centrifuge to extract and concentrate the platelets. The PRP portion of your blood is then put back into your skin to stimulate new collagen production, and to re-energize your cells into rejuvenating themselves. The product injected is 100% your own blood by-product. PRP permits the body to take advantage of the normal healing pathways at a greatly accelerated rate.
Hyaluronic acid is a natural carbohydrate found throughout many organs and structures in the body. It is an excellent lubricant and keeps skin pliant and hydrated, but its levels in the skin drop over time. When reintroduced through an injection and facial massage, it can help to reduce inflammation and empower antioxidants, smoothing out and rejuvenating skin.
Though PRP makes use of a patient's own blood, hyaluronic acid is typically derived from another source.
Find out more about what microneedling, hyaluronic acid, and PRP could do for you.
Germain Dermatology also offers RF microneedling, which combines this treatment with the rejuvenating benefits of radiofrequency energy deployed beneath the surface. Other cosmetic services include chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and HydraFacial®. The ideal solution varies from patient to patient, which is why a consultation is important prior to starting any treatment.