Need For Needle: Uncolored Tattoo Procedures (part 2)

Another paramedical tattooing procedure that doesn’t require pigment application but helps in skin restoration after scarring is Skin Needling. It can be used for two main purposes: melanocytes restoration and collagen restoration.

Melanocytes are cells that are responsible for producing melanin, the pigment that gives color to our skin. Areas with hyper- or hypopigmentation can be successfully treated with this procedure as the discolored area then blends into the color of the surrounding healthy skin.

Patients with acne, burns and varicella (chickenpox) scars as well as stretch marks qualify for skin needling for collagen restoration. This method has a lot of advantages compared to quicker, but more damageable methods such as laser treatments, deep chemical peelings, etc. The latter damage the epidermis, thus making it thinner and more vulnerable. The structure of scar collagen produced as the result of these damageable treatments also differs from the normal one: inflammatory reactions make the fibroblast cells produce collagen in parallel orientation, whereas in normal healthy skin it forms a lattice network. These factors make the skin overly sensitive to UV light and prone to discolorations.

The principle of skin needling confines in clefting the epidermis rather than removing it, which eliminates skin vulnerability to photodamage and inadequate pigmentation. Skin needling, apart from the treatments mentioned above, stimulates regeneration rather than cicatrisation. The approach of Skin needling consists in creating micro wounds that start in the epidermis and go deeper into the papillary dermis, thus causing superficial bleeding. This process gives a signal to the body to start a natural healing process and boost collagen production in response to the pricks made by the needles. Since the old collagen network that connected the scar with the dermis is disrupted, the new one is formed under the epidermis. The results show increased disposition of collagen and elastin and thickening of epidermis that give the skin much healthier look and eliminate the scar marks.


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One month prior to the skin needling procedure the patient should start applying Vitamin A and Vitamin C creams on the treated area twice a day. The procedure begins with the application of a topical anesthetic cream. If large or highly sensitive areas are being treated, stronger means of anesthesia may be required. The needle tool is rolled upon the treated area in vertical, horizontal and diagonal (twice) senses.

Immediately after the skin needling has been performed the treated area appears swollen, with superficial bruises. The initial bleeding lasts for several minutes and is then replaced by serous ooze that will be present for 2 hours after the treatment. To absorb the bleeding and ooze the treated area should be covered with a damp sheer cloth which should be changed as necessary. After the oozing has stopped, and the area is washed with an antiseptic cleanser, a thorough wash should be repeated at home. Postoperative edema can be quite significant, but is usually relieved after two to four days. Vitamin C and A creams topically are recommended after the treatment to stimulate the collagen production.

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