I'm peeling after micro needling. Is that normal?

I had a micro needling session 4 days ago and now my face is starting to peel. Is this a good sign? Is my skin recovering from the treatment? The skin on my face has a scabby texture now, almost like I had a mild sunburn.


F, 40, New Jersey

Tags:woman age 35-44 face recovery normal peeling

Microneedling creates a controlled injury by inflicting tiny punctures in the skin using a device such as a dermaroller. The body responds by initiating repair. The healing process creates a new layer of skin and triggers new collagen and elastin production as the upper layer of the old skin begins peeling off. As a result, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, stretch marks, age spots or acne scarring on the skin are reduced, and the skin tone is improved.

This peeling process should be minimal, comparable to mild sunburn as you mentioned. It is also common for the skin to assume a scabby texture, or experience tightness in the area where the microneedling was performed. The extent of the scabbing depends on the depth of the microneedling. The longer the microneedles in the device, the more scabbing is likely.

While the symptoms you have described are a common side-effect of treatment and indicate that the microneedling procedure is working as it should, it can look and feel unpleasant. There are post-treatment skin care measures you can take to help accelerate the healing process and soothe and protect your skin as it is undergoing repair.

Ensure you use a very gentle cleanser to clean your face. Avoid exfoliation or vigorous washing. Dry your face carefully after rinsing. Your skin may feel tight and much drier than normal due to the increased turnover of skin cells. Skin dryness can be alleviated with a topical products such as a gentle moisturizer, hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin or an antioxidant-rich serum to reduce irritation. Check with your medical professional to see what they recommend. Finally, minimize your sun exposure and use a broad spectrum sunscreen to prevent sun damage and possible scarring.

Microneedling is a minimally invasive treatment used for skin rejuvenation. The treatment is also referred to as percutaneous collagen induction therapy. The rejuvenation comes about as a result of controlled injury inflicted by 0.5-1.5 millimeter long needles which create micro-channels into the skin without damaging the epidermis. The procedure stimulates massive growth of elastin and collagen improving the skin's texture and tone. The old layer of skin flakes and scabs, and is ultimately replaced by the production of new skin cells.

During this regeneration process, your skin may feel warm, tight, itchy or irritated, and there may be some redness or swelling. This is entirely normal, and a sign that the treatment is working. Most of these symptoms should subside within 24-48 hours, though it may take a week for the skin to finish peeling and any tiny scabs to completely heal. During this time it is critical that you stay out of the sun as the skin is very vulnerable when shedding old layers and exposing new skin. It is also important to avoid using makeup as it can block the pores and irritate the skin.

Ultimately, the way your skin responds to microneedling depends on several different factors: the type of microneedling used, the length of the needles, the number of passes over the treatment area, if energy is used or not, and individual skin factors: individuals with rosacea or skin sensitivity may take longer to recover. Generally, the more invasive the treatment, the longer the recovery time.

Some patients who undergo microneedling choose to complement their treatment with platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatment for maximum benefits. PRP decreases redness and speeds up recovery. You can also use gentle skincare products recommended by your treatment provider (such as aftercare serums, copper peptides and vitamin C) to help protect and heal the skin as it regenerates.

While scabbing and redness can be uncomfortable, if you follow your medical professional's guidelines your post-treatment skin should heal quickly to reveal a fresh, new, younger layer of skin. Over time, regular treatments usually result in decreasing redness and irritation.