Potential Microneedling Side Effects + How to Deal With Them

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Microneedling, or collagen induction therapy (CIT), is a minimally invasive skin rejuvenation technique.

Basically, microneedling is like a facelift without all the downtime.

When done right, it will leave your skin looking younger and plumper – but there’s a downside to microneedling that many people don’t know about.

Despite being safe, there is still a chance of microneedling side effects for those who’ve done it.

That’s why we’ve compiled this guide to what you need to know before microneedling to avoid the most common side effects.

microneedling side effects

What to Expect from the Treatment

You’re better off knowing what to expect before going under than being shocked and unnecessarily worried.

Before we explore microneedling’s potential side effects, let’s look at what it does.

You’re lying face down, looking up, your chin resting against a tiny, hollow handle. The esthetician presses down on the needle, creating small punctures on your skin that help skin cells regenerate.

A microneedle punctures the skin area by area, stimulating new cells under the skin. About 12 needles will prick into your skin at about 2 mm depth, and they will also leave tiny bruises on your face.

Based on reviews from different who underwent microneedling, we found that some felt like they were rubbing sandpaper over their faces.

People say they feel like they’re sunburnt after their skin becomes stretched and red. Before the procedure, the aesthetician will put numbing cream on your face to keep you from feeling pain.

Immediately after the procedure, you’ll have red, warm skin for at least three days until it starts to heal.

The Side Effects of Microneedling

Regardless of how effective the procedure may be, you cannot ignore what follows. There may be some side effects after microneedling. You may get:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Puffy face
  • Sunburnt feel

Make a mental note not to pick at your face. Even though pricking is natural, you shouldn’t interrupt the healing process midway. Don’t pull it off your face when it starts peeling.

Aside from the usual microneedling side effects, some of the adverse include:

  • Bleeding
  • Skin peeling
  • Skin infection
  • Bruising
  • Yellow/green pus coming out
  • Allergic reaction
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Hives
  • Discomfort

Understanding and accepting these potential side effects is essential before undergoing treatment. This will help you to manage your expectations and overall experience better.

To make sure you can deal with the side effects, it is always better to take a day or two off work or classes. Although microneedling has a long list of potential side effects, you shouldn’t worry about them.

Most of the time, these things won’t happen, so you’ll want to follow whatever your esthetician says. Be sure to keep your doctor’s number handy just in case.

How to Deal with the Microneedling Side Effects

You didn’t think we would leave you without telling you how to deal with the post-microneedling side effects, did you?

While you can get side effects, it’s a good idea to have some remedies on hand for aftercare.

Don’t panic

First, know that side effects like inflammation and bruising are temporary and usually disappear within ten days.

Keep hands off your face

Even if the procedure was performed by a qualified professional, it’s still possible for bacteria or other contaminants to enter your wound through your fingers. If you must, make sure your fingers are clean.

Know how to manage swelling

Although your skin may look red and puffy, that swelling will disappear over a few days. However, in some cases, the swelling may last a few weeks.

Take no anti-inflammatory medicine to help your puffy face because your body needs to heal naturally. It’s okay to take pain medication, but make sure it’s not anti-inflammatory.

If you don’t want to be seen in public for a few days, it’s best to stay home and rest.

Avoid makeup

Avoid rubbing your skin when it’s healing, and don’t wear makeup or sunscreen for 5 to 7 days. After the procedure, keep your skin well hydrated for about 24 hours.

If you’re going to wear makeup on your face, wait about 3 or 4 days and make sure your skin looks healthy.

Keep away from peeling

Even though peeling and dry skin might be super tempting for a couple of days, you need to allow your skin to rejuvenate naturally. To combat dryness, apply moisturizing cream but do not remove it yourself.

Take it easy on the skin

Make sure you apply a mild moisturizer or cleanser to your face to avoid causing irritation. Make sure you use unscented skincare products. If your skin feels overly irritated, you can apply 1% hydrocortisone cream.

For those who use Vitamin C, glycolic acid, AHAs, or Retinol A serums, you may need to hold off for at least three days.

Keep your skin dry

Don’t exercise or engage in any activity that will cause you to sweat, such as the gym, sauna, or running. If you plan on returning to these activities after the procedure, wait for approximately three days.

Moreover, avoid swimming pools because unclean water can penetrate your pores, causing rashes and allergies.

Protect yourself with sunscreen

After the treatment, wear sunscreen when you go outside. Make sure you always wear it because UV radiation can damage your skin.

Drink plenty of fluids

Especially if you are experiencing swelling or heat sensation, you should drink plenty of water. The fluids will aid in flushing out toxins and encourage blood flow.

Follow all pre and post-treatment instructions

Following all pre- and post-treatment instructions provided by your healthcare provider is important to ensure optimal results and safety. You can do this by avoiding excessive sun exposure, wearing sunscreen, avoiding hot showers or baths, and applying soothing cream to the skin.

Frequently Asked Questions about Microneedling Side Effects

Are microneedling side effects as serious as they seem?

For the most part, microneedling is considered almost risk-free for most people. When severe conditions arise, other factors are certainly at work.

To prepare your skin for the procedure, for instance, you must avoid sun exposure 24 hours before the procedure and avoid autoimmune medicines about 24 hours in advance. Furthermore, people that have taken Isotretinoin or other acne medications six months before the procedure will not be able to undergo the procedure.

If you follow through with these suggestions beforehand, you can ensure that you will cause no damage to your skin during the treatment.

Can microneedling make skin worse?

You can actually improve your skin with microneedling. On the other hand, if you have acne scars on your face, this procedure might actually make your skin worse rather than better.

By pricking into the acne with needles and then going all over your face with the same needles, bacteria will spread all over your face and inside your skin. The procedure can cause allergies and rashes on a larger scale, so avoid it if you have acne on your face.

Can microneedling fail for anyone?

Almost all people who undergo microneedling report positive results. The main problem would be if you didn’t follow the instructions before and after the procedure. Luckily, it’s a simple process.

This study highlights the use of microneedling to treat pigmentation, age-related skin damage, acne scars, and surgical scars.

How long do microneedling side effects last?

In the beginning, your skin will be a little red following the treatment, and it will last up to two days before it fades naturally.

If you have any severe symptoms, such as bleeding, pus formation, etc., that last for more than two days, consult your doctor.

Even though it only takes two days to recover normally, it typically takes almost two months for the process to be fully complete.

How effective are at-home microneedling pens?

Thanks to at-home microneedling pens on the market, you can do microneedling at home. Even though the microneedling pens at home have shorter needles than those used in clinics, they are nevertheless highly effective.

This means the treatment’s effects will take longer to manifest than they would if you performed it with an expert’s help. You can see the results of your treatment at home in 4 to 6 months.

The side effects mentioned above also apply to microneedling at home.

The bottom line

By now, you should have a clear understanding of possible microneedling side effects and how you can deal with them.

When it comes to microneedling, people who are not willing to take time off work or afraid of the risks of microneedling or its long-term effects are better off staying away instead of starting right away.

Microneedling isn’t the only thing you can do to revive your skin, so investigate what else you can do instead.

If you don’t prefer going to a professional, you can buy a microneedling pen at home and treat your skin at will without having to go out or spend all that money. Contact your doctor right away if you experience a medical emergency.

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