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What Is Microneedling?

Microneedling is a non-surgical, minimally invasive cosmetic procedure intended to rejuvenate the appearance of your skin. It is also simply referred to as skin needling by many estheticians and medspas. For many years, microneedling has been used extensively across Europe as an effective anti-aging treatment. Since being introduced to the United States in recent years, microneedling has now gained increasing popularity, especially here in San Diego.

In the simplest terms, microneedling involves use of tiny (therefore, the term micro) needles that gently pierce the top layer of the skin in a very systematic manner. In doing so, the piercing stimulates a biological response from your body. This is essentially stimulation of new skin growth, which results in the development of healthy, rejuvenating collagen for your tissues. Because microneedling induces this type of skin collagenesis, it is also commonly known as collagen induction therapy, or CIT.

Microneedling Benefits

Think of microneedling like an incredibly powerful and sophisticated facial treatment. Although facials are hugely beneficial for so many cosmetic patients, facials don’t even compare to the results that you can achieve with microneedling. Facials can provide you with a nice glow that may last for days to weeks. In comparison, microneedling stimulates new collagen, improves elasticity and thickens your skin to give you visibly radiant skin that will go way beyond what a facial will do for you.

So what are the benefits of doing microneedling of the skin? The following are frequently improved with microneedling treatment:

  • Lip wrinkles and fine lines
  • Acne scarring
  • Traumatic scarring
  • Stretch marks
  • Large pores
  • Skin texture and tone
  • Melasma and abnormal pigmentation
  • Sun-damaged skin

The bottom line is that microneedling will help your skin look refreshed, rejuvenated and years younger.

Microneedling Areas

Although most microneedling skin treatments involve the face region, it can really be used all over the body to help improve the appearance of the skin.

How Deep is Microneedling?

Microneedling offered by Dr. Hilinski utilizes a professional-grade device that can penetrate into the skin 0.25 – 2.5 millimeters. At this range of depth, there is optimal stimulation of the deeper skin layers while limiting risk of unwanted scar tissue.

What about skin rollers? Many patients think that over-the-counter skin rollers are the same thing as microneedling performed in a medical office. Unfortunately, that is simply not the case. Skin rollers that are purchased online for at-home use just don’t provide the same type or degree of improvement seen with microneedling offered by Dr. Hilinski and his team of specialists.

Microneedling and PRP

PRP, or platelet rich plasma, is often times used in conjunction with a microneedling skin treatment to make the results even better. PRP, in and of itself, can improve skin color, tone and texture. When combined with a microneedling session, PRP can provide you with even more amazing skin enhancement. Since the microneedling creates thousands of micro-punctures in the skin layer, topical application of PRP allows for delivery of precious growth hormones to the deeper, underlying tissues. Allowing the PRP to penetrate beneath your skin translates into even more enhanced collagen production with more capacity for rejuvenation.

Acne and Microneedling?

Microneedling has emerged as one of the most popular and effective treatments for acne and acne scarring. In fact, the Kardashians have been quite helpful in getting the word out about microneedling and acne. Microneedling’s effectiveness is particularly great for acne scarred skin. So many patients who have undergone microneedling for acne scars will tell you how their skin looks smoother and firmer after a series of treatments.

For patients with acne scarring who have darker skin tones, laser treatment is often times not recommended due to the risk of abnormal pigmentation that may develop. Fortunately for these patients, microneedling is a wonderful alternative choice to treat the acne scars. Microneedling has been shown by solid medical studies to effectively improve the appearance of acne scarred skin while having very little risk in terms of pigmentation.

Microneedling Versus Microdermabrasion

So how does microneedling compare to microdermabrasion? There is no comparison actually. Microdermabrasion is a very superficial skin treatment that essentially targets the most superficial layer of dead skin. It does make your skin look better – mostly by exfoliating the dead skin away. But microdermabrasion does not stimulate new collagen and elastic production like microneedling will do for you.

What to Expect During and After Microneedling

Most microneedling skin treatments can be done with application of a numbing cream prior to the session. This is usually sufficient to make patients quite comfortable during the treatment. The forehead and lip areas are the most sensitive when it comes to microneedling. Even then, most patients describe the treatment as being more uncomfortable than painful.

Recovery from a microneedling treatment ranges from 1-3 days. During the early recovery process, your skin can appear a bit red and flaky. The intensity of this can vary depending on how deep the treatment was performed. Over the next 1-2 days, the skin will typically appear slightly red or pink as it is healing. Some patients equate this appearance to a mild to moderate sunburn. There also may be some swelling that is visible. By day 3, the skin will usually be a light pink color – or normal. Swelling at this point is minimal. Within several weeks of the microneedling, your old skin is gone – replaced by a more youthful, glowing skin layer.

Dr. Hilinski and his staff will commonly recommend a skin care regimen that should be used following your microneedling treatment.

For optimal results, it is recommended that you undergo a series of microneedling skin treatments – spaced apart by 4-6 weeks.


Dr. Hilinski carefully selected the Bellus SkinPen as his preferred device for microneedling treatments. The SkinPen is clinically proven to help improve the appearance of patients’ skin. It is also the only FDA cleared device when it comes to microneedling skin enhancement. The SkinPen also is considered one of the safest microneedling devices out there based on its sophisticated design and engineering, which limits the risk of potential infection that other devices are more prone to with use.

Don’t settle for other microneedling devices being offered by other offices if they don’t have the proven track record and FDA label of the SkinPen.

San Diego Microneedling Consult

Learn more about microneedling and how it can help give you that amazing skin glow you have always wanted by calling our office at (619) 296-3223 to schedule a complimentary consult with our aesthetic RN.

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