Microneedling: Home or Medi-Spa?

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Dr. Phillip Chang

Dr. Phillip Chang

Board Certified By The American Board of Plastic Surgeons.
Voted Top Plastic Surgeon in Loudoun, Virginia
Offices in Leesburg, Virginia.

Best of Loudoun 2019
real self top doctor virginia

Microneedling is a procedure used to improve the skin by creating micro injuries with tiny needles. These tiny needles are rolled over the face to create pin prick holes. As the holes heal, they boost collagen production and improve the quality of the skin. It is a very popular procedure with people of all ages. It really is not as scary as it sounds!

The beauty industry has noticed how popular micro-needling has become, and there has been a rush of at-home products designed to recreate the cosmetic procedure. But which better: at-home or at a medi-spa?

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What Can Micro-Needling help with?

There are many reasons to get micro-needling:

  • It can help with wrinkles
  • It can help with acne
  • It can reduce scarring
  • It can tighten the skin
  • It can brighten the skin
  • It can help reduce pigmentation and sunspots

Many people choose to add an extra treatment, smoothing creams and serums, and even PRP Therapy (a treatment that uses your own plasma) onto their micro-needling session so it gets deep under the surface layer of skin to nourish and treat the skin.

Why Go To A Professional

In order for micro-needling to be truly effective,  it needs to reach an area called your Dermal Epidermal Junction or DEJ. And to reach that area, you need to be at least 130 microns deep into skin, which would pass capillaries. That is when the pin point bleeding occurs. Professional micro-needling machines are able to get that deep, but at home products don’t have needles that long so won’t have the same affect.

Also, the pins must be sterilized before use. This is something you can expect to happen at a professional medi-spa. At home machines are difficult to clean and keep sanitary. The expectation is on you to clean them thoroughly and a spritz of alcohol isn’t going to get rid of all the built up bacteria. You could be rolling junk into your face which can lead to infection.

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What About Costs?

Micro-Needling done professionally costs around $350 for one facial treatment. Of course, costs depend on the type of treatment, e.g. If you have add on treatments like PRP Therapy. The number of treatments you have depends on what results you want. Collagen production typically requires 3 treatments.

At home micro-needling machines cost around $200 – $500. The needles will need to changed regularly, and you should also spend money on getting good quality sanitizer.

Do The At-Home Machines Work?

Most dermatologists and medi-spa professionals will say to be wary of at-home machines. They have seen many patients with scarring and infections due to using them.

The machines can give a glow to skin but don’t expect them to have the same results as a professional micro-needling session. Sometimes when people talk about the positive results they see from at-home machines they are just seeing swelling due to irritation from the roller.



Going to a professional will get you better results. They can provide a safe, sterile environment to help reduce the risk of infection, and their treatment can penetrate deeper to enhance collagen production.

If you want to get rid of wrinkles and scarring and not risk infection,  a professional route is the best option.

FAQs About Micro-Needling

The risks include: swelling, redness, bruising, skin irritation. If you have any blood disorders or have active acne or a skin infection, you are advised not to have micro-needling.

In order for microneedling to be effective, it needs to create a degree of trauma to the skin. A topical anaesthetic is applied to the area prior to the treatment. There should only be mild discomfort, but most patients say it is bearable.

  • Avoid the sun for 24 hours.
  • Do not go swimming for at least 24 hours after.
  • Don’t exercise for 24 hours.
  • Avoid make-up for 24 hours.
  • Use the serums and creams provided or suggested to give your skin added nutrients.

By day 3 post treatment, your skin should be plumper and more radiant. Longer term and with multiple treatments you should see a 400% increase in collagen production six months after treatments finish.

 You can combine micro-needling with a laser treatment, which should lead to better results. You can also have PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) rubbed over your skin post treatment. The plasma is extracted from your own blood prior to the treatment. It gets deep into the tiny marks left by the needles, helps nourish your skin, and encourages collagen production.


For those wondering whether micro-needling might help improve the quality of their skin, we invite you to simply come in for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Chang or one of the cosmetic laser and injection nurses to explore whether you would make a good candidate. To find out more whether Aesthetica can help you, contact us online or at 703-729-5553 to arrange an appointment. Dr. Phillip Chang is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Northern Virginia near Leesburg, Virginia and an expert in a wide variety of cosmetic treatments.

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Our office can provide you with helpful information, schedule a free consultation, and walk you the many services and procedures Aesthetica offers.

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