Beauty education


Dr. De Merlier & Sara Ottevaere

Ever heard of microneedling? It’s a non-invasive skin technique that can be used for a variety of purposes and has become increasingly popular lately. To learn more about this technique we sought the advice of two experts: Dr Piet De Merlier (dermatologist) and Sara Ottevaere (medical consultant) are colleagues at Lightfalls clinic.

What is microneedling?

S. Ottevaere: “Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, is a cosmetic procedure that inflicts micro-wounds to trigger the natural healing process of your skin. A sterile head is used with ultra thin needles that puncture the skin at high speed up to varying depths between 0.5-2.5 mm.

"By damaging the skin under these controlled circumstances, microneedling activates the natural healing process of the skin. The skin is repaired thanks to the increased production of collagen and elastin.  At the same time, these small puncture wounds can be used to introduce high concentrations of active ingredients into the skin. Puncturing this barrier makes it possible to transport hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, vitamins and co-enzymes to the dermis, where they have a much greater impact on the skin.”

For what purposes is it used?

Dr. De Merlier: “Microneedling can be used for various purposes as the quality of the skin is improved on multiple levels."

  • Skin aging: Fine lines fade and the skin is tightened slightly
  • Acne scars
  • Pigment spots
  • Hyperpigments on the hands

What are the pros and cons?

Dr. De Merlier:“Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure with an excellent price/quality ratio. As a treatment it offers a high patient satisfaction rate. A depth of just 0.5 - 1mm is often enough to achieve a genuine increase in collagen production. There is no downtime after the treatment so patients can immediately resume their daily routine.  Moreover, microneedling can be combined with other treatments such as peelings and injectables for even better results.

You may feel a slight burning sensation the first few hours and there may be some redness. In cases where the procedure was slightly more invasive the redness may persist for several days. When you’ve had a session the skin may temporarily be slightly more sensitive to outside influences, in particular for any product rubbed on the skin within the first 24 hours and in case of sun exposure. This is because microneedling is a light form of trauma and may result in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. That is why it is extremely important to apply sunscreen in order to avoid complications."

Does it hurt?

S. Ottevaere: “Microneedling feels somewhat unpleasant rather than painful. Up to a depth of 1 mm needling is generally easy to tolerate. Exceptional cases (e.g. deeper acne scarring) require deeper treatment, which may be experienced as painful. If necessary a numbing cream is applied first to make the treatment painless.”

Can I perform the procedure myself?

S. Ottevaere: “The dermarollers that are sold to the general public often don’t penetrate beyond 0.5 mm. Normally speaking this is not enough to reach the dermis.In principle this can be enough to boost the collagen production without the risk of scarring. Still, you should be careful because bad hygiene can do a lot of damage. In a professional environment a sterile needle head is used whereas at home it is much harder to create a sterile environment. The cleaner sprays offered with dermarollers are often not enough to eliminate all bacteria and other potential hazards. When these are rolled into the skin you’re obviously doing more harm than good.  Penetrating your skin beyond a depth of 0.5 mm is always a bad idea because the risk of infection and scarring is much greater.”

“It is extremely important to properly disinfect the skin to prevent infections.”
Dr. De Merlier

Dr. De Merlier::“Microneedling is not a panacea for any skin or any condition.Depth also plays a major role in the success of the treatment. Professional advice is rather important in this regard. Another benefit of having a professional carry out the microneedling process is the fact that they have access to top-quality sterile serums that can be passed into the skin. These are not sold to private individuals and it is certainly not OK to have just any product penetrate deep into the skin, even worse is to let them enter the bloodstream.”

Did this blog rouse your interest in this kind of treatment or do you think this might be the solution to your skin problems? Then contact Lightfalls clinic.  They specialise in this type of treatment and they can also determine whether your skin type qualifies for this treatment.