Microneedling Aftercare: Tips For Results

Microneedling aftercare is the cornerstone of skin rejuvenation, allowing your skin to properly heal and get the best results out of your treatment.  What you put on your skin after microneedling is just as important as the procedure. In this article, we’ve consulted experts in the dermatology field to provide aftercare tips and instructions to help you prepare and protect before and after a standard microneedling procedure.

Key Points

  • Hyaluronic Acid is recommended immediately post-treatment
  • Most side effects typically subside within the first 48 hours
  • Aftercare tips will vary by patient, treatment, and the issue treated
  • No makeup for at least 24-48 hours post-treatment

What To Expect

While microneedling is generally very well-tolerated by a majority of people, there might be occasional side effects. Since everyone has unique skin, it is difficult to predict how well the procedure will turn out.

The most common side effects seen after standard microneedling treatments are temporary erythema (redness), dry skin, and swelling. Breakouts, flaking, and peeling after microneedling can also be expected. Bruising or bleeding rarely occurs.

If you do experience one or more of these side effects, you should remember that they are temporary and can be easily treated with the proper microneedling aftercare routine. 

Visiting your physician for a consultation before the procedure will provide a better understanding of what to expect out of your treatment. Depending on the treatment and issue treated, your microneedling aftercare regime may need to be modified.

Microneedling Aftercare
Hyaluronic Serum applied

Microneedling Aftercare

Detailed microneedling aftercare instructions will be provided by your medical professional. Below are the general steps to properly prepare and protect for a standard microneedling treatment.

Pre Microneedling Care

In the week leading up to your treatment, here are some tips you can take to prepare.

Avoid

  • Tanning beds or sun exposure
  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications (aspirin, ibuprofen) 
  • Blood Thinners (Fish Oil, Vitamin E) 
  • Topical antibiotics, retinoids, exfoliants, acids, hydroquinone 
  • Hair removal creams, electrolysis, and waxing.  Do not shave the day of treatment
  • Laser treatments and fillers

Accutane, commonly found in acne medication, should be avoided for 6 months prior.

Day of Treatment

Make sure to arrive with clean and hydrated skin with no facial products applied. Healthy skin will respond better and help provide optimum results. Make sure to update your physician on any medical updates.

Most microneedling treatments are done with a topical anesthetic agent to reduce the pricking sensation or discomfort. The treated area will be cleaned with an antiseptic cleanser and alcohol.

Microneedling Post Care 

Below are the general day-by-day microneedling aftercare steps and healing stages.

First 24 Hours

After your microneedling treatment, immediately apply hyaluronic acid to nourish the skin. This will help stimulate collagen production as the channels for absorption close rapidly.  

This can be applied every three hours for the first 24 hours. Continue twice a day for the first week to keep the skin moisturized.  This is the only product applied to your skin for the first 24 hours!

Bathing is discouraged immediately after unless bleeding has occurred.  Wash the treated skin with lukewarm water four hours post-treatment but without a cleanser. Use just your hands to massage the skin and pat dry to avoid contamination

The skin will appear red and feel very tight and dry, almost like a mild sunburn. It is common for the face to have a puffy appearance, especially in areas with thin skin.

Day 2-3

Redness, swelling, and sensitive skin are normal for the first 3 days.  Swelling may be more noticeable on day two. The skin can now be washed with a gentle cleanser.

After 24 hours, nutritional supplements and topicals such as VItamin C, E, Calcium, and Omega 3 may be applied. Kiwi oil is great for sealing the skin.  Vitamin A can offer great results (especially around the eyes), but it may cause skin irritation. 

By day three, many people are satisfied with their appearance to return to work or out in public. Light mineral makeup may be applied if needed. Remember to use chemical-free sunscreen

DAY 3-5 

At this point, you may have minimal swelling, and peeling may start. Peeling means that your skin is healing and the normal cell turnover is carrying on as usual.

Allow the skin to flake off naturally. Do not try to remove it yourself by picking at it. 

Patients may have pink skin but most are pretty confident with their appearance. Keep skin hydrated with hyaluronic serum or moisturizers with ceramide or collagen-stimulating peptides. The best microneedling serums will target specific skin concerns.

DAY 5-7

Most side effects have subsided or are minimally visible. Most patients have healed after a week and notice that their skin is radiant with a smoother texture. 

Return to your normal skincare routine as soon as the irritation has subsided. No earlier than 48 hours post treatment but waiting a week is often recommended.

Continue with sun protection every day.  Follow-up treatments are recommended every 4-6 weeks.

What To Avoid

Remember to avoid the following to minimize the risk of interrupting the skin’s healing process. 

  • Cleansers and other topicals for the first 24 hours (Only Hyaluronic Acid)
  • Direct sunlight for two weeks. If outside, use chemical-free sunscreen, only after the first-day post-treatment
  • Makeup for at least 24-48 hours. Hold off for a week if you can. Make sure to use a clean makeup brush and light mineral makeup if needed.
  • Sweating and gym environments. Places prone to bacteria and heat (saunas, pools, steam room). 72 hours – 1 week
  • Touching the face. Clean your phone and pillowcase. Try sleeping on the back
  • Alcohol-based skin products or toners for two weeks
  • Inflammatory medications – 1 week
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acid(BHA) – 48 hours – 1 week

Cosmetic Needling at Home

Below is a walkthrough on how to take care of your skin before and after derma rolling.

Pre-Instructions

Wash your skin with a chemical-free cleanser before the procedure to remove the possibility of any bacterial infection. A toner can be applied. 

A hyaluronic serum can be used during the process but it is not necessary.

Dermarolling Aftercare

After dermarolling, you can apply nutrient products like growth factors, copper peptides, and vitamins A, C or E, onto the skin.  Allow the products to absorb for a few minutes before using moisturizer.

Rinse your face after the procedure and disinfect your derma roller for future use. You may use a gentle cleanser and apply mineral makeup the next day.

When To Contact a Doctor

If you develop high-grade fever, nausea, recurrent bleeds, discharges, headaches, or hives, you should immediately seek medical attention. Most of these symptoms result from inappropriate sterilization or lapses in safety maintenance. 

Some people also might have an allergic reaction to the hypodermic needles on the device. Contact your physician and report any adverse reactions as soon as possible.

Final Tip

The outcome of your treatment relies heavily on the appropriate microneedling aftercare routine to calm symptoms and ensure long lasting results. Remember to take before and after photos so that you can track all the subtle changes. Follow any aftercare instructions provided by your physician to expedite the healing process.

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