Q & A: What is the difference between micro-needling and a laser treatment?
Posted November 29, 2017
This question has been asked to us on numerous occasions, so we felt it needed to be addressed this month as part of our Q & A.
What is the difference between micro-needling and a laser treatment?
Both treatments are effective in treating aging skin. Micro-needling is a minimally invasive treatment used to rejuvenate the skin as well as smooth fine lines, minimize wrinkles and correct minor skin imperfections. The Aerolase LightPod Neo laser can address aging issues as well such as large pores and poor skin tone. The laser also works to address acne, Rosacea, angiomas, pigment spots, sun damage, melasma, facial vessels and facial hair reduction.
What should I expect with each treatment?
Micro-needling and the Aerolase LightPod Neo laser may be used on all skin types. Micro-needling requires a topical numbing cream that is applied approximately 45 minutes prior to treatment to minimize discomfort. A small hand-held device is used to create tiny punctures in the top layer of the skin. These micro-injuries trigger the body to create new collagen and elastin as part of the healing response which is seen in the tone and texture of the skin. The Aerolase laser is most effective with thermal buildup therefore there is no gel, numbing or cooling solution used. A laser wand is used to make multiple passes on the skin and patients will feel heat but should not experience pain. Each treatment lasts approximately 30-45 minutes. Laser treatments may also be done safely prior to using an injectable or 2 weeks after an injectable treatment.
What should I expect after each treatment?
With micro-needling, patients may have a flushed tone to their skin that may appear as a sunburn. This may last 24 hours with normal skin or slightly longer with sensitive skin. Patients should avoid makeup for 24 hours post treatment and are encouraged to wear SPF. A smoother, brighter appearance will be noted within the first week, but the full effects may not occur until months later. Treatments are typically done every 4-6 weeks and require 4-6 treatments if used to treat scars. Ideally, patients should return every 3 months for skin maintenance once they have reached their desired result.
Following a laser treatment, patients will begin to see results even after the initial course of treatment with improvement continuing throughout their series of treatments. Sunscreen is recommended for all patients post treatment. There may be mild redness, darkening or lightening of spots or scabbing following treatment. These skin changes should resolve within 4-5 days. The skin feels tight and warm after treatment and a glow is noted throughout the next 5-7 days that increases in duration after each treatment.
Both micro-needling and laser treatments may be done to the face, neck and décolleté. Both treatments are considered a safe and effective method of skin care treatment when performed by a trained, medical aesthetician. Patients are also encouraged to use a good skin care routine to maintain their treatment results. A consultation with a medical provider is encouraged to design the best treatment plan for each patient that focuses on meeting their individual needs.