Needling is a skin treatment involving the pricking of the top layer of skin with needles. As the skin heals, collagen is directed into the affected area by the body. Collagen gives the skin a smoother, healthier appearance. As a result, skin needling is an effective method of treating complications like sunken eyes, stretch marks and wrinkles. It can also be performed on all skin colors and types. Side effects of needling are mild and generally involve surface discomfort or skin discoloration.
Side effects of needling have little impact and are often nonexistent. Most come in the form of mild discomfort, tingling or redness around the affected area. Side effects typically abate within a few hours of treatment with no lasting, permanent damage.
Needling has been known to cause mild pain. Pain experienced is typically tolerable and not acute in any way. However, medical grade rollers administered by a practitioner are sometimes used with local anesthesia to numb any potential discomfort. Skin may appear red or pink and feel warm and itchy for 12 to 24 hours following needling. Mild flaking or dryness also may occur. Small white dots may appear on the skin following needling (a side effect known as milia). These can be removed by a practitioner.
In if needling is severe, scabbing, bruising or bleeding may occur. Darkening of certain areas of the skin, known as hyperpigmentation, is rare but has been known to follow needling. Hyperpigmentation is not dangerous and typically resolves itself in approximately one month. Needling has been known to cause flare-ups of cold sores, so speak with your doctor before needling if you have a history of cold sore outbreaks.
There are a few actions you can take to prevent the occurrence of additional side effects. Wash your hands following treatment and try to touch the affected area as little as possible. This will help prevent the possibility of infection. Apply gentle sunscreen to the affected area when outside to prevent sun damage.
There are also several things to avoid if you want to decrease the chance of skin damage or further side effects. Needling should not be administered to areas afflicted by cold sores. Skin that is numb or lacks sensation should not be needled. Skin that has open cuts, sores, lesions or abrasions on it should not be needled. Speak with a doctor before having your skin needled if you have a history of poor wound healing. Do not use makeup or makeup-related products on the affected area for about 12 hours following the treatment.
Medical grade rollers and needles are to be used only by licensed surgeons, nurses, doctors and aestheticians. Do not ever attempt to perform needling by yourself unless you are a trained, licensed professional.