As an anti-aging specialist, I’m always on the lookout for innovative ways to help my patients look and feel their best. And I have a great way to restore the smooth, glowing skin of your youth.
The best part? It’s not painful and doesn’t involve a long recovery — like some mainstream procedures like chemical peels or surgery.
I’m talking about microneedling.
This therapy harnesses your body’s own healing powers to repair and rejuvenate your skin. It softens wrinkles, minimizes pores, fades the appearance of scars — even the deep pitting from old acne scars — and leaves you with brighter, tighter, more youthful skin.
During the treatment, I use a medical device studded with very fine needles that vibrate. The device looks like a pen. When I place it against the patient’s skin, it delivers hundreds of micro punctures per second.
The tiny needles break some of the blood vessels directly below the surface of the skin. As the blood clots, it creates the right conditions for collagen and elastin to form.
You already know that collagen and elastin support your skin’s underlying foundation. It keeps your skin stable, strong and firm.
The tiny punctures the needles make also allow topical treatments to reach the deeper layers of the skin. I sometimes apply a nutrient-infused rejuvenating serum before the microneedling procedure.
But there’s another anti-aging breakthrough that takes microneedling to a whole new level. It’s called platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
A small amount of the plasma is set aside and then applied to your skin before your microneedling treatment. The platelets attract stem cells to the damaged area. Once they get there, the stem cells multiply rapidly to grow new, healthy tissue.
Platelets also contain hundreds of growth factors. These proteins help heal wounds at least two to three times faster than normal.
Studies show PRP stimulates the growth of new collagen and revitalizes skin tissue.
Combining PRP with microneedling is a powerful way to revive old, tired skin. The tiny needles start the natural wound healing process. But PRP intensifies healing with a high concentration of the patient’s own platelets. Adding PRP to the needling leads to quicker healing, less irritation, and much better results.
The results in my clinic have been remarkable. And research proves what I’ve seen in my patients. In one study of 30 men and women with acne scars, doctors gave patients PRP with microneedling. After four treatments, 23 patients had excellent or very good results in improving scarring.
A topical anesthetic is applied to the face prior to treatment, so there is minimal discomfort. And microneedling doesn’t leave behind any bruising, swelling or bleeding the way chemical peels, laser therapy or microdermabrasion can. Most patients say they feel like they have a slight sunburn for the first 24 hours after their procedure.
One caution… You may see ads for do-it-yourself microneedling at home. I don’t recommend that. Many people overdo home needling and don’t allow skin to heal properly between treatments. That leads to a risk of allergic or other skin reactions.
If you are in South Florida — or can travel here to the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine — you can arrange for a consultation by calling my staff at 561-784-7852. Or visit my website at www.searsinstitute.com.
There are other things you can do to smooth skin, reduce scarring and look younger. Here are three things I recommend to rebuild collagen right at home.
1. Coffea arabica Seed Oil. Research shows oil from greencoffee seeds can improve the strength, resilience and elasticity of your skin. When scientists tested the oil on human skin samples, they found elastin production increased 1.5-fold. And collagen production went up nearly 2-fold.
2. Avocado Oil (Persea Gratissima Oil). Studies show this rich oil increases the strength and density of collagen to repair skin damage.4 It can also increase skin elasticity and keep natural moisture intact.
3. Vitamin C. The older you get the less collagen you produce. Duke University researchers found that vitamin C boosts collagen production whether you’re a newborn or 93 years old.5
I recommend getting 3,000 mg per day of vitamin C from food and supplements. That will give you enough to produce collagen to repair and rebuild your skin. You can also apply vitamin C creams or serums right on the skin.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Redaelli A, Romano D, Marcianó A. “Face and neck revitalization with platelet-rich plasma (PRP): clinical outcome in a series of 23 consecutively treated patients.” J Drugs Dermatol. 2010;9:466–472.
2. Chawla S. “Split Face Comparative Study of Microneedling with PRP Versus Microneedling with Vitamin C in Treating Atrophic Post Acne Scars.” Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery. 2014;7(4):209-212.
3. Velazquez Pereda Mdel C et al. “Effect of green Coffea arabica L. seed oil on extracellular matrix components and water-channel expression in in vitro and ex vivo human skin models.” J Cosmet Dermatol. 2009;8(1):56-62..
4. de Oliveira AP et al. “Effect of semisolid formulation of persea americana mill (avocado) oil on wound healing in rats.” Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013:472382.
5. Phillips CL, et al. “Effects of Ascorbic Acid on Proliferation and Collagen Synthesis in Relation to the Donor Age of Human Dermal Fibroblasts.” Journal of Investigative Dermatology 1994; 103, 228–232.