There is currently no cure for rosacea. Luckily, there are several treatments to manage and control rosacea symptoms and one of these is microneedling. Many patients ask, “does microneedling help with rosacea?”.
Microneedling is a minimally-invasive cosmetic procedure that uses tiny needles to puncture the skin gently. This activates the skin’s natural process of healing and promotes collagen growth. This procedure strengthens and thickens the skin. And for rosacea, this minimizes inflammation, redness, and visible blood vessels.
Microneedling is not a “cure-all” treatment. It’s worth noting that not every rosacea patient will get the same exact results. Some will benefit while others won’t. This is why a consultation with your dermatologist is a must before you try any new treatments.
In this article, we’ll go over the basics of rosacea and microneedling. We’ll also talk about how it might help with rosacea.
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition characterized by persistent blushing, flushing, and redness. It mostly affects the center of the face, cheeks, and nose though it can also appear on the chin and forehead.
Rosacea is a common skin condition affecting more than 16 million Americans and more than 415 million worldwide. This is so prevalent that the picture-perfect celebrities we see on our screens are no exception. Read here for our favorite celebrities with rosacea.
It’s also a long-term and chronic skin condition. A rosacea patient, once diagnosed, has to deal with it for the rest of their life. Symptoms also come and go in cyclic flare-ups. These flare-ups can last up to weeks or months at a time.
Symptoms vary from one patient to another but below are some of the most common are:
- Persistent facial blushing and redness
- Visible blood vessels
- Pus-filled and acne-like bumps
- Thickening skin, especially on the nose
- Skin burning, sensitivity, stinging, or warmness
- Bloodshot, irritated, and watery eyes
What causes rosacea?
The exact cause of rosacea is still unknown. For now, it can be pointed to both genetic and environmental factors.
Anyone can have rosacea but there are certain groups of people who are at more risk.
People with fair skin, hair, and eyes are at risk of developing rosacea. Women are also more prone inclined to develop it, though men are more likely to develop severe cases.
People between the ages of 30 and 50 are also more susceptible to rosacea. And people with Celtic or Scandinavian ancestries are at more risk.
Other than genetic predispositions, several environmental factors may also trigger symptoms:
- Spicy foods
- Hot beverages
- Hot and cold temperature
- Sun exposure
- Alcohol and caffeine
- Stress, anger, and anxiety
- Excessive sweating
Types of rosacea
There are four types of rosacea and patients can experience overlapping symptoms.
Subtype 1: Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (ETR) causes persistent flushing and redness due to dilated blood vessels. Commonly affected areas are the center of the face, cheeks, and nose. The chin and forehead may also exhibit symptoms.
The skin may also feel warm and sensitive with some burning or stinging sensation. This is the mildest and most common form of rosacea.
Subtype 2: Papulopustular (acne) rosacea is characterized by pus-filled and acne-like bumps spread across the face. This with the general rosacea redness gives the face a very inflamed appearance.
These bumps develop deep within the skin. They appear very red and are very painful. The skin can also feel sensitive and burn.
Subtype 3: Phymatous rosacea refers to the thickening of the skin that appears raised and bumpy. This thickening of the skin often occurs on the nose, causing a bulbous appearance known as rhinophyma. This is a more common occurrence in male rosacea patients.
Subtype 4: Ocular rosacea causes bloodshot and irritated eyes. The eyes can also be watery, causing blurry vision. Bumps or cysts may develop on the eyelids.
In addition to that, the eyes can experience itching, drying, swelling, and general sensitivity.
Click here for a more detailed guide on these four rosacea types.
There is no cure for rosacea. The good news is there are several available treatments to cope with, control, and manage the symptoms.
Several topical creams and oral medications are available upon consultation with your doctor. Other common routes many take are lifestyle changes including dietary changes according to personal food triggers. Read our post here on how diet can help with rosacea.
While some patients choose to build a rosacea-friendly skincare routine, some go for professional in-clinic facial treatments. These include chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser and light therapy. You can read more about laser treatment for rosacea here.
And another emerging rosacea treatment is microneedling.
What is Microneedling?
Microneedling is a minimally-invasive cosmetic procedure. It uses small and sterilized needles to prick the skin and create minuscule wounds. These wounds trigger the skin’s natural healing process.
This encourages new collagen and elastin growth. It’s also called collagen induction therapy. As a result, the skin tightens and smooths out. This can improve blood circulation in the area, increasing collagen production.
Microneedling can treat a variety of skin concerns including acne scars, stretch marks, enlarged pores, wrinkles, and other scars.
Microneedling is done by a dermatologist or an esthetician.
Does Microneedling Help With Rosacea?
Microneedling can be an effective treatment for rosacea. When the tiny needles prick the skin’s surface, this boosts epidermis growth. This strengthens and thickens the skin.
This process helps reduce redness and skin inflammation due to rosacea. Previously-visible blood vessels also become less visible on the skin.
Skin needling works best for milder forms of rosacea.
How Does a Microneedling Treatment for Rosacea Go?
Before you decide to get microneedling treatment for rosacea, you should consult with your dermatologist first.
A consultation will help a professional assess your skin, condition, and whether you will benefit from this treatment.
This would also be the best time to ask questions regarding treatment preparation, aftercare, and side effects.
If they decide that you can undergo the treatment, they will guide you through everything you need to know and do and what results you can expect.
Is Microneedling Safe for Rosacea?
Microneedling is a minimally-invasive treatment. It requires little to no downtime.
The wounds will not give the skin scars and will only encourage the body’s natural healing process for collagen production. Redness and skin irritation immediately after a session is also common.
Does Microneedling Make Rosacea Worse?
Currently, there are limited evidence and research on the effectiveness of microneedling treatments for rosacea. Many patients saw a huge difference after undergoing the treatment but the same can’t be said for all patients. After all, everyone reacts differently to various treatments. This is why a consultation is important.
It’s important to note that professionals and research suggest it would be more beneficial for milder forms of rosacea like ETR or vascular rosacea.
Specific rosacea symptoms and types may not fare as well as others. For instance, those with subtype 2 or active acne rosacea may not be ideal candidates as this can be a contraindication.
This is why consultations are very important and are not an option before undergoing microneedling for treating rosacea.
How Long Does It Take To See Microneedling Results?
You may need three to six sessions to get your desired results. These sessions are usually done with four weeks in between.
How many sessions you would need would depend on factors like the severity of your symptoms, your desired results, and the size of the treatment area.
You can expect full results several weeks after a session, which is enough time for collagen growth to finish.
Microneedling Before and Aftercare For Rosacea Patients
A consultation with your medical professional will let you know how to care for your skin before and after a microneedling treatment.
Here are some general guidelines you may need to follow:
- Stop taking certain medications like Ibuprofen and the acne treatment Accutane months prior to the session.
- Avoid acids, retinoids, and exfoliators that can increase skin sensitivity before the treatment.
- After the treatment, patients are advised to avoid rosacea triggers including food, beverages, and strenuous activities.
- Patients should not sweat so avoiding activities that induce sweating should be avoided.
Your healthcare provider will give you more specific before and aftercare guidelines during the consultation.
Though rosacea affects millions of people worldwide, there still isn’t a cure to make it go away for good. The good news is there are several treatment options to manage and control symptoms. One emerging rosacea treatment option is microneedling.
Microneedling is a cosmetic procedure that uses tiny needles to prick the skin. This boosts collagen and epidermis growth. For rosacea, this reduces redness and inflammation symptoms and makes blood vessels less visible.
And that has been our detailed guide on the query, “does microneedling help with rosacea?”. For other questions, reach out to us below!