When you hear the word microneedling, you might shudder a bit—putting needles near your face might seem scary! Even after you’ve seen the incredible results for a variety of skin concerns, from acne scars to fine lines and wrinkles, you might be hesitant to do the procedure for yourself because you’re afraid it will be painful.
That’s one of the most popular concerns and questions people have about microneedling. The experts at Skin Spa New York are here to walk you through every step of microneedling, from how it feels to how you can alleviate and prevent any discomfort.
Does Microneedling Hurt?
Although microneedling procedures don't hurt, they can nonetheless be uncomfortable, especially for people who might be needle-phobic. During this procedure tiny needlepoints are used to create punctures within the dermis and thus encourage collagen production.
During the Procedure
If you experience any discomfort at all, you’ll likely experience it during the actual procedure when your dermatologist or aesthetician moves the needle pen across your skin. Most people say the forehead and jaw, where there’s less fat, hurt the most.
People have compared microneedling to a variety of sensations. Some people say it feels like getting a tattoo—which makes sense, considering both utilize small needles. Others say it feels like a cat licking you, or fine sandpaper being rubbed over the surface of your skin. Because everyone’s skin and pain tolerance is different, the experience is slightly different for everyone, and all evidence is anecdotal.
After the Procedure
In the 24–48 hours after your procedure, you’ll likely experience some slight discomfort. Most people compare the feeling to a mild sunburn, like a slight burning with mild redness. It’s usually a manageable pain that doesn’t last too long.
How to Prevent and Alleviate Discomfort from Microneedling
Before the Treatment
Your dermatologist or aesthetician might apply a numbing cream to your entire face before beginning the treatment. About 20 minutes after application, your face will be numb, and you likely won’t feel much during the actual procedure! If you’re unsure if your spa or doctor has numbing cream available, ask before your appointment so you’re prepared.
During the Treatment
If you do experience any discomfort, take slow, deep breaths, and try to focus on something else. All in all, the procedure usually takes around 20–30 minutes, so bring your headphones and zone out to your favorite podcast.
After the Procedure
Your aesthetician will give you specific instructions to follow post-microneedling. Immediately after, they’ll likely apply a serum, since your skin will be able to better absorb it due to the micro-injuries in your skin. This serum, as well as any creams that are applied after, will likely feel soothing and cooling, relieving a little of the post-procedure discomfort.
At home, in the days following your microneedling appointment, wash your face with warm water and a gentle cleanser, and apply hydrating serums and creams to soothe and cool your skin. Ask your treatment provider to recommend gentle non-irritating products to use post-treatment.