Microneedling Recovery

Microneedling (collagen induction therapy) is one of the trendiest cosmetic procedures, popular for skin enhancement results and little recovery time. It is a minimally invasive procedure that uses fine needles to puncture the skin, creating a controlled skin injury. 

The desired response to these injuries is the regeneration of the skin tissue, where the treated skin is replaced by new skin cells. The procedure encourages the growth of new blood vessels the formation of new collagen in the skin. 

Collagen induction therapy is widely used for different types of scars, stretch marks, and general skin rejuvenation.

Let’s walk through some tips on how to speed up the healing process and what to expect from your microneedling recovery experience.

Microneedling Recovery Time

Most microneedling treatments require little to no downtime or recovery period. Most patients return back to work and to their normal routines immediately or the next day.  

Depending on the extent of the microneedling procedure, it may take up to 3 days for your skin to look normal after the procedure. Redness and other normal side effects caused by the treatment usually subside within 48 hours. 

Keep this in mind if you need to show your appearance in public. It may be best to plan your treatment at the end of the week so that your recovery can happen over the weekend.

Microneedling Recovery Factors

  • Depth of Treatment
  • Condition Severity Treated
  • Treatments Performed
  • Individuals Healing Response
  • Health of Skin
  • Aftercare Regime

Treatments with PRP, radiofrequency, or conditions located deep within the skin (scar tissue), may require a longer microneedling recovery timeline.  Dermarolling and the use of at-home tools, generally require no downtime at all.

microneedling recovery time

How To Speed Up The Microneedling Recovery Time

While it can take less than three days for the appearance of your skin to heal after the procedure, collagen and elastin production can take weeks to months.  

Make sure to follow the recommended aftercare instructions provided by your dermatologist for several weeks post-treatment. This will provide the right protection for your skin.  A proper aftercare regime will also help to support collagen production, blood circulation,  and speed up the healing of the wound cycle. 

Read our full list of aftercare instructions here. Below are some general tips to help you with your microneedling recovery process. 

Sun Protection

Direct sun exposure should be avoided for at least two to four weeks after your microneedling treatment.  Wear sunscreen, hats, and scarves to protect the facial skin from UV rays.

After microneedling, your skin becomes more vulnerable to sun damage. Therefore, it’s extremely important that you wear a minimum broad-spectrum SPF 30+ for several weeks after the procedure, rain or shine. 

Do not apply sunscreen on the same day of your microneedling treatment!

You must apply a sunscreen that offers protection against all types of UV rays, including UVA rays, UVB rays, and UVC rays. Broad-spectrum sunblocks containing UVC protection formula support collagen health and minimize the risk of melanoma or skin cancer. 

Sunscreens with lower sun protection factors can work for people who have higher melanin in the skin. However, sunscreens with higher protection factors are more effective in preserving your natural complexion and skin tone. 

Hyaluronic Acid & Antioxidant Serums

Hyaluronic Acid should be applied immediately after your microneedling procedure so that it can be absorbed into the needling channels.  It’s generally recommended as the only product to be used within the first 24 hours post-treatment.

It can help with lubricating and moisturizing dry skin to keep it hydrated and diminish redness and inflammation.  Hyaluronic acid can also help to stimulate collagen production and reseal the skin layers.

Other antioxidant serums and moisturizers are usually recommended for use in the first three days post-treatment.  Vitamin C and E are ideal to help restore and heal the skin and can be applied twice daily.  The products applied to the skin after microneedling will play a significant role in the overall results of the treatment.

Nutritional Supplements

One day after your microneedling treatment you can start to take nutritional supplements orally such as Calcium, Omega 3, Vitamin A, C, and E.  These supplements can provide the building blocks for your skin cells. 

One study has shown that oral supplementation of hydrolyzed collagen can be an effective treatment for aging.

Eat Fruits, Vegetables, and Plenty of Protein

Collagen induction therapy is designed to stimulate the formation of new collagen, a structural protein that serves as one of the primary building blocks of your skin. 

Therefore, increasing your protein intake may help support new collagen formation in the skin. You can get bioavailable protein from poultry, eggs, grass-fed beef or bison, tilapia, and tuna. 

Fruits and vegetables provide your body with antioxidants, vitamins, and other essential nutrients that support collagen production and strengthen the blood vessels that supply the skin. 

Including fruits and vegetables in every meal of the day will fulfill the RDA (recommended daily allowance) for essential nutrients. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will result in clear and healthy skin.

What Should You Not Do After Microneedling

Avoid Extreme Temperature and Infection

Refrain from activities that would cause sweating, as it will cause skin irritation. Exercise, tanning beds, saunas, and swimming pools should all be avoided for a minimum of 72 hours, as they are prone to bacteria. 

There are things that touch your face that you probably would never think of after your microneedling treatment. Make sure anything that touches your face is clean.  This includes your hands, phone, mask, or pillowcase.

You cannot conceal any side effects with makeup as it will clog the pores and cause breakouts. Wait a minimum of 48 hours before applying mineral makeup. Using a general cleanser and a fragrance-free moisturizer will help soothe the skin. 

Avoid Tanning Beds

no tanning after microneedling

Many people believe that tanning beds are safer than soaking up the sun on the roof.  Contrary to popular belief, tanning beds are not good for your skin health. They are just as harmful as sunbathing with suntan oil. 

If you want a tanned look, you can simply use a tanning lotion. You can also ask your dermatologist for an alternative tanning solution. There are many healthy over-the-counter alternatives to tanning beds, such as spray tans, tan towels, and sunless tanning lotions. 

With these safer alternatives, you can get your desired look without experiencing UV-induced skin damage, such as leathery skin, premature aging, and hyperpigmentation. 

Avoid Processed Foods

If you want to enjoy the best results of microneedling, you must avoid eating processed food for a few weeks after the microneedling treatment. Try adding natural skin-enhancing foods to your diet to support collagen and elastin production. 

Processed food contains an excessive amount of added sugar and refined grains that have unfavorable effects on your skin health. Taking high amounts of added sugar can destroy the existing collagen and elastin in the skin.

Loss of collagen and elastin can make your skin look saggy, leathery, and crinkled. 

Added sugar can also cause inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne and rosacea. You cannot have a microneedling treatment over active acne. 

Abstain from Alcohol

While moderate alcohol consumption comes with some health benefits, you should completely avoid drinking alcohol for two to four weeks after having a microneedling session. 

Alcohol is a diuretic that can leave you dehydrated by eliminating excessive amounts of water from your body. The water that is flushed out of the body also carries nutrients that are vital to your skin health. 

Avoid Smoking

After the procedure, you should avoid smoking for at least two weeks. Tobacco is replete with compounds that have unfavorable effects on collagen production. These chemical compounds can inhibit the formation of new collagen and adversely impact your skin health. 

Tobacco consumption constricts your blood vessels and increases blood pressure, preventing human growth hormones, nutrients, and growth factors from getting to the skin. This can prolong recovery time and make conditions worse. 

Appropriate Candidates for Microneedling

Collagen induction therapy has become extremely accessible since it can be used on all types of skin. This minimally invasive procedure can be used for a wide range of skin problems:

  • Acne scars 
  • Wrinkles and fine lines
  • Stretch marks
  • Large pores 
  • Surgical scars
  • Skin Texture
  • Reduced skin elasticity
  • Sunspots and uneven skin tone

The best way to figure out if you are an ideal candidate for microneedling is to attend a consultation with a medical professional to discuss your medical history and assess your conditions. Those who are pregnant, on blood-thinning medications, or have active acne should avoid microneedling.  

Follow-up Treatment

Collagen induction therapy normally requires four to six sessions spaced out every month to six weeks. The exact number of sessions and the interval between them depends on your skin type, the extent of the treatment, and the desired results. 

Two to three sessions are required for surface-level issues like to even out skin tone and remove textural irregularities and wrinkles. Treating acne scars, on the other hand, usually require four to six sessions minimum.