If you are considering a microneedling treatment, plan to give your skin a little time to heal. After all, microneedling works by triggering your body’s natural healing process.
Sometimes, people ask, “Can you be in the sun after microneedling?” In short, the answer is please avoid sun exposure as much as possible for at least 48 hours after your microneedling session. In the interest of helping you get the most out of microneedling, here are more details about how to help your skin heal in the days following microneedling and what to avoid afterward.
Why Avoid the Sun After Microneedling
Microneedling causes tiny or “micro” puncture wounds to the upper layer of the skin. It triggers the skin’s natural healing process, resulting in collagen and elastin production, basically creating a new top layer of skin. Exposing it to the sun after a procedure will damage that sensitive, new skin being established.
Really, the skin is more sun sensitive after many resurfacing treatments, so it is always recommended to avoid sun exposure after a cosmetic skin treatment. Plan to bring a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, or possibly a parasol with you to protect your skin from the sun until you get home. Otherwise, you are at more risk than usual for sunburn and hyperpigmentation from sun exposure after a treatment.
By all means, please avoid making any plans that involve spending time outside for at least a week to ten days after a microneedling session. In other words, please don’t book your session days before a sunny vacation destination, weekend at the beach or a summer outdoor pool party.
When you go outside, even briefly, plan to wear a broad-spectrum sunblock that protects against UVA and UVB sun rays. You may find it more convenient to also wear protective clothing like hats and sunglasses, especially if you don’t carry your sunblock with you to reapply it regularly.
Things to Avoid After Microneedling
For the first three or four hours after microneedling, you may notice tingling or stinging sensation – often referred to as ‘stingely’, numbness, redness, and mild discomfort. Your provider may apply a gentle moisturizer and sunblock after treatment to help while you heal.
Talk with your provider about what you can do to ease the discomfort. You will want to avoid anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen, Advil, or Motrin since you want to let the skin perform its natural anti-inflammatory responses. You may be able to use Tylenol if you need it; please discuss this with your provider. You may use cold compresses or ice to relieve discomfort, but be sure to discuss with your provider how to plan for your recovery. While you shouldn’t experience the kind of downtime you would from a surgical procedure, you do want to leverage your body’s natural healing after microneedling for your best results.
Immediately after microneedling, you can help your skin heal by avoiding a few other things. As mentioned, avoid sun exposure. Make a plan to protect your skin as you leave your Medispa to get home. Then, stay inside the rest of the day and the next. Your skin may be too sensitive to wear chemical sunscreens or even physical sunblocks comfortably. Try using a hat, scarves, sunglasses, or even a parasol at first.
Also, don’t plan a vigorous workout for at least 24 hours after your microneedling session. Sweat contains salt and may irritate your skin. Remember, your skin is more sensitive after microneedling. Also, if you exercise outside, at a gym, or in a less than-immaculately clean environment, bacteria or germs may get on your skin, risking infection.
Avoid swimming, even in an indoor pool, for at least 24 hours as well. The pool’s chemicals can irritate your skin. Chances are your skin will be fresher and smoother within a week and after the flaking slows. But this is just the start of your microneedling results.
Although it can be hard, try to avoid touching your face as much as possible so you don’t inadvertently expose your skin to germs and bacteria. Also, avoid shaving or other hair removal treatments.
Your skin may start to peel or flake within the first couple of days after microneedling. Please avoid scrubbing or exfoliating since your skin is already sensitive.
Use mild, gentle products like a cleanser, sunblock, and possibly a hydrating moisturizer as your skin heals. You can probably return to your usual skincare routine after 48 hours, but please be gentle with your skin, even for a little longer if you need to. Most people can comfortably wear mineral makeup after a day or so, but some of your usual cosmetics may sting or irritate the skin for a few days.
Maintaining Your Results by Avoiding Sun Damage
The sun can damage skin both short term and long term. Chances are, you experienced the painful, short-term sunburn damage at some point in your life. On one level, the advice to avoid the sun immediately after microneedling is to protect your newly sensitive skin from immediate damage.
On another level, the sun is one of the most common sources of premature aging. The rays cause cumulative damage to the skin, even changing the skin’s DNA at a cellular level. Skin cancer is one problem caused by accumulated sun damage, even if you never get a sunburn or sun tan.
Damage to your skin’s collagen and elastin is a negative consequence of this damage that directly affects how your skin looks. Other signs of sun damage include “sun spots” or brown spots, broken capillaries, wrinkles, and other changes to skin texture.
This is why dermatologists and plastic surgeons always recommend you wear broad-spectrum sunscreen consistently throughout the year whenever you go outside. The sun’s rays are strongest in the summer, but your skin is exposed to damaging UV rays, even on cloudy or rainy days.
If you are considering microneedling, your first step is to schedule a consultation with a skilled provider. If you live in the Charlotte, NC, area, then The Skin Center by CPS is your go-to for today’s most sought-after cosmetic skin treatments, including microneedling. Contact us today to book your appointment.