Microneedling is an effective and safe way to stimulate collagen and elastin production in your skin. Both collagen and elastin are vital in keeping your skin looking and feeling healthy and youthful. In the past few years, the popularity of microneedling has skyrocketed, but many people have no idea how often they should do it.
The standard microneedling frequency is once every 3 to 6 weeks for three to six months. The ideal frequency for each individual may vary depending on the condition of their skin, age, needle length, and desired results.
If you want to get the most out of microneedling, you need to work it into your long-term skincare plans. In this article, I’ll tell you more about how it’s done and how long you should continue to microneedle to maintain the results.
What Is Microneedling and How Does It Work?
Microneedling has a lot of benefits, including glowing skin, reducing acne, evening out your skin tone and texture, and reducing skin pigmentation, to mention a few. For those who are new to the subject, here’s a brief definition of microneedling:
Microneedling is a skin treatment that uses tiny needles to penetrate the skin’s surface and stimulate collagen production. It effectively treats a variety of skin concerns including acne scars, stretch marks, fine lines, and sun damage.
Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure with few side effects. The procedure uses tiny needles that create microscopic channels into your skin where new cells (many of them collagen cells) grow at an accelerated rate. The idea is to pierce through the epidermis layer of the skin and cause microscopic “injuries”, to which the skin responds by producing collagen and elastin.
The procedure does have a few limitations in its ability to treat some concerns like deep scars or wrinkles. You may want to speak to a skincare professional about what are realistic expectations for microneedling treatment.
✅A chemical peel is another effective skin procedure for reducing the appearance of scars and wrinkles. Check out my article here comparing microneedling and chemical peels to determine which is the better option for you.
How Often To Get Microneedling Treatments
Too much microneedling can do more harm than good. The turnover time between microneedling treatments will vary by the condition you’re trying to treat, age, and size of needles used. Your skincare provider will recommend carefully spaced appointments for the best results.
Most microneedling treatments are scheduled monthly or every 5-6 weeks. This is also the average amount of time it takes to heal and prepare for the next treatment. Some skin care professionals recommend having 2-3 treatments spread evenly during the first 4 weeks of treatment to get desired results.
Once again, this may vary from person to person, skin type, and treatment method (mechanical microneedling, fractional radiofrequency, or mesotherapy).
How Many Microneedling Sessions for Acne Scars?
Microneedling is one of the most effective treatments for acne scars. It gives quicker results compared to other treatments and has proven quite effective.. The number of sessions for acne scar treatment varies from person to person based on the severity of acne and age.
Someone in their 20s may need fewer sessions as their skin tends to heal faster than those of us over 40. This is because the level of collagen production in our skin decreases with age which leads to a slower rate of healing. However, the severity of the acne scars is also a very important factor.
The average person needs 3-4 sessions of microneedling to see a noticeable improvement in acne scars. The results may start showing as soon as a week after treatment. 4 to 8 sessions may be needed for more severe acne scars.
For someone with very light acne scarring, 1 to 2 sessions might be enough.
It’s important to note that microneedling at hone with current acne breakouts could worsen the condition by spreading the acne bacteria over your skin. Microneedling at home should only be done after acne has healed. If you are seeing a professional for an in-office treatment they can advise if you if it’s OK to have the treatment with a current breakout.
If you are using the small-sized needled derma roller, you can microneedle your face once a week. This helps you slowly get used to the microneedles and yields results gradually. Do it once a week, get used to it, then advance to a monthly microneedling. Lastly, do a follow-up 2-3 times a year to maintain the results.
Remember to be easy on your face when using a derma roller to avoid skin damage. The longer the needles on your derma roller, the less often you should microneedle.
Microneedling for The Body
Like many people, I thought microneedling was a face-only treatment. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Microneedling is effective for areas like the neck, back, legs, and arms. It helps reduce wrinkles, cellulite, and stretch marks in all these areas.
Microneedling for the Scalp
Microneedling treatment also helps in hair growth. Scientific evidence shows that it induces stem cells in the hair follicles, which stimulates hair growth. Microneedling for hair growth should be done on parts of the scalp without hair to avoid hair loss.
Only microneedle your scalp once every 1-3 weeks. Microneedling more than once a week can lead to bleeding and loss of hair due to scalp damage. Depending on the area you are working on, it should only take 10 minutes to microneedle your scalp.
After 6 weeks, you should start seeing some hair growth. Using too long needles interferes with hair follicles, leading to hair damage. The preferred size for microneedling on the scalp ranges from 0.25 mm to 0.6 mm.
Microneedling Side Effects: What Happens if You Microneedle Too Often?
Now that you know the benefits of microneedling, you might be wondering what actually happens if you decide to do it more often than recommended. This is a big mistake.
If you microneedle too often, the needles can cause excessive redness, pimples, bleeding, and extreme irritation. Doing it too often slows down the healing process, making your skin even worse. Too frequent microneedling can lead to scarring in extreme cases.
Other common mistakes to avoid are using too long microneedles at home, derma rolling on open wounds and active acne, and microneedling too aggressively. Always use the roller gently on your face. Lastly, ensure that you properly clean your face and sterilize your derma roller before use.
Getting professional treatments is safer and will be more effective in the long term. In-office treatments using longer needles which will stimulate more collagen and elastin production.
Microneedling at Home
I understand that many people will want to microneedle at home. It’s way more affordable, and all you need is a derma roller and a clear understanding of what you’re doing. Derma rollers are skincare devices with microneedles that roll across your skin, mostly designed for home use. They come with various needle lengths based on your skin needs.
How often you can microneedle at home is determined by the length of the derma roller needles you use and how quickly you heal. When using small needles (.25 mm or less), you can microneedle every other day.
The longer the derma roller needles, the longer you should wait in between sessions. You’ll find different recommendations on the maximum length of needles you should use at home. I’d recommend nothing over .5mm at home.
Check out this article for more information on how often you should derma roll at home, depending on the length of the microneedles.
Remember, you must observe high levels of hygiene when using a derma roller at home to avoid infections. Sterilize your device with alcohol every time you use it.
Microneedling Maintenance: How Often?
Do you have to keep going for microneedling treatments once you achieve your results? The answer is a big YES! You don’t want to go back to square one after seeing big improvements.
Two to three times a year is the ideal recommended frequency for microneedling maintenance. The results of microneedling are not permanent and start to fade away slowly after 3-5 months. As a result, follow-up maintenance is recommended for long-lasting skin health.
Final Thoughts On How Often To Microneedle
Microneedling can give visible results with little recovery time, unlike some more invasive procedures. However, for optimal results you will most likely need a series of treatments, so you’ll need to be patient. Like most things, it’s worth the wait to get the best possible outcome for your skin.