Written By: Kelsie Matthews, L.E.
Ever since Kim Kardshian posted this photo a few years back, microneedling has been all the rave. The treatment she received was microneedling with PRP, also known as the “Vampire Facial”, but there are definitely many other forms of microneedling on the market today.
- SkinPen Microneedling
- Microneedling with Radiofrequency
- Microneedling with PRP
- At-home dermal rollers
- Collagen pens
What is the difference between at home “microneedling” and medical grade “mircroneedling” treatments?
The dermal “microneedling” rollers that are available for at-home use are entirely different than the ones used in MedSpas and Physician offices. The needles typically range from 0.5-1.0mm and made of stainless steel. Due to the rolling motion used over the skin, the needles are inserted at an angle. This leads to a higher risk of tearing the skin and damaging tissue under the surface. Since these are reusable, it is very difficult to keep them completely clean and free of bacteria. The needles can also get dull and potentially rust over time, which can also lead to damage in the skin and a higher risk of infection.
Microneedling devices used in Physician offices are typically pens that use single-use cartridges that vibrate in and out, piercing the skin completely perpendicular. Because of this, there is a much lower risk of tearing the skin when the needles are inserted (as long as it is properly used). Another great thing about professional microneedling devices is that they have the single-use cartridges. This means that no needles are being reused, even on the same patient.This is vital because it ensures each treatment is as clean and sanitary as possible, minimizing any risk of infection or bacteria getting into the skin during the treatment. Lastly, medical grade devices also come with cartridges that have adjustable needles. Most of them can be used at depths ranging from 0.5-2.5mm, meaning that they can penetrate much deeper in the skin than at home dermal rollers.
Professional Microneedling Device At-Home Dermal Roller Microneedling Device
What is the difference between Microneedling with PRP and Microneedling with Radiofrequency?
PRP (platelet rich plasma) can be added to any microneedling treatment. It is a serum taken from your own blood, and applied topically during and after the microneedling treatment.
PRP is full of nutrients, growth factors, and cytokines. This leads to even stronger anti aging benefits like increased collagen and elastin, reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, scar revision, and helps correct cell damage.
Microneedling with radiofrequency (RF) is a combination of using needles and heat energy instead of adding a topical serum to the skin. When the needles are inserted into the skin, it releases the radiofrequency which heats up the tissue. Microneedling RF is great for skin tightening and scar correction. It is a much more intense treatment than traditional microneedling, but typically also more effective. The needles in microneedling RF devices commonly are 0.5-7mm with 1 mm of thermal profile added, meaning that the treatment penetrates much deeper in the skin leading to even more correction.
Overall, microneedling is a great treatment for skin rejuvenation and anti aging. Depending on your specific needs, budget, and lifestyle, your medical/skincare provider will recommend the best type of microneedling for you.