A reader on my blog recently sent me this question:
"Do you feel that needling is better than chemical peels?"
I thought it's an excellent question because, with so many treatment options available, it can be quite confusing.
Micro-needling and chemical peels are two different modalities used for different purposes. It's like comparing apples to bread. Not everyone needs micro needling, and not everyone is a suitable candidate for chemical peels.
Micro needling (or dermal rolling) was initially used as a clinical treatment for improving and reducing post-acne scarring. It works by breaking down existing scarred tissues with fine needles which apparently stimulates skin healing and rejuvenating process. Over the past few years, it has become a popular modality for reducing the appearance of aging, lines, wrinkles and tightening the skin. The process is called Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT). Micro needling theoretically stimulates collagen synthesis, firming skin, minimizing lines, wrinkles, and scarring. Micro needling works at a dermal (deeper) level.
Chemical peels, on the other hand, are superficial resurfacing treatments and work by chemically exfoliating the skin. Chemical peels improve the appearance of the skin by enhanced exfoliation. Chemical peels work more on the surface at the epidermal level, to minimize and improve signs of clogging, congestion, acne, open pores, brown spots, pigmentation and fine lines.
So when would you choose micro needling vs chemical peels? If you have post acne scarring or are showing signs of premature aging with sagging of the skin and deeper wrinkles, then I would choose micro needling. If you are showing signs of fine lines, pigmentation, uneven tone, or clogging, congestion, open pores or blackheads, then chemical peels would be more suited to you.
Can these modalities be used together? Not in the same sitting, but certainly if we wish to improve the skin appearance at the surface level, we would recommend a course of peels. Following that, if the skin needs further rejuvenation treatments, tightening and reducing the appearance of deeper wrinkles, than a course of micro needling will certainly be beneficial.
I do not, however, recommend these treatments as a "preventative" which is sadly sold as such too many times in the industry. Peel and micro needling are excellent modalities we use to improve skin where it needs it. But just because a person with damaged skin gains excellent results does not mean a young, healthy skin needs it as a preventative. It's like taking antibiotics when you are not sick.
Instead, healthy skin should focus on "preventative" treatments such as facial treatments infusing vitamins, minerals, peptides, anti-oxidants, cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing. Wearing sunscreen every day is perhaps one of the best "preventative" things you can do for a healthy and beautiful skin.
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