It may sound like a formula for disaster to roll hundreds of tiny needles all over your face in the name of improved skin.
This concern is especially true for those with darker complexions who, by their very nature, are more likely to display symptoms of skin damage, such as scars and dark patches.
However, those very fine needles used in professional microneedling therapy by licensed providers do exactly this: they improve the texture and look of the skin.
However, there is a persistent narrative that those with dark skin should steer clear of the therapy whenever possible; but this is not true.
Below we will walk you through the Fitzpatrick scale and Microneedling for darker skin.
The Fitzpatrick Scale
The Fitzpatrick scale is a numerical categorization system for human skin color. Other names for the scale include the Fitzpatrick skin typing test and the Fitzpatrick phototype scale.
Thomas B. Fitzpatrick, an American dermatologist, devised the scale in 1975 to assess the reaction of various skin types to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. He did this to gain a deeper comprehension of the impacts of skin exposure to the sun.
The scale was first created using skin color as the foundation for determining the right amount of UVA for PUVA treatment.
However, because the initial testing (based solely on hair and eye color) resulted in too high a dose of UVA for some people, it was changed to be based on a patient's report of how their skin reacted to the sun. The tests were later expanded to cover a wider range of skin types.
The Fitzpatrick scale is still widely used as a research instrument in dermatology to study human skin color. Listed are the six types of skin established in the Fitzpatrick scale:
- Type I skin: Marked by persistent redness and lack of tanning (palest; freckles)
- Type II: Burns easily and tans only very slightly when exposed to sunlight (light colored but darker than fair)
- Type III: Tans evenly, occasionally with a faint burning sensation (golden honey or olive)
- Type IV: Causes only mild burning and consistently produces a healthy-looking tan (moderate brown)
- Type V: Particularly resistant to sunburn and develops a tan fairly quickly (dark brown)
- Type VI: Does not burn (deeply pigmented dark brown to darkest brown)
What Exactly Is Microneedling Anyway?
It is vital to have an understanding of the function of microneedling before evaluating the potential advantages and disadvantages of the procedure.
During the procedure, very fine needles are inserted into the skin via a special instrument, which results in the formation of several very small punctures. The needles cause micro "injuries" to the skin, which will subsequently heal and generate a complexion that appears to be newly revitalized.
Microneedling is a treatment that numerous medical professionals highly recommend for individuals who suffer from acne scars, hyperpigmentation, large pores, or an uneven complexion.
Is It Safe to Perform Microneedling on Dark Skin?
One of the most common misunderstandings regarding microneedling is the possibility that the punctures produced by the device may result in a darkening of the skin.
This possibility is an understandable worry. However, these concerns are groundless. The procedure promotes collagen production, and in order for the skin to scar, practitioners need to cut into the dermis: it is essential for the depth of penetration to reach the dermis layer.
When treatment is done appropriately, microneedling does not result in such side effects.
Qualified and experienced dermatologists highly recommend microneedling treatment for clients with dark skin tones.
Because the needles are so fine, there is minimal chance of skin damage. According to the opinions of experts, the prevention of risk should primarily take place both before and after the microneedle service.
What Occurs Before the Microneedling Procedure?
No matter what color your skin is, you shouldn't go into a microneedling treatment without first consulting a professional. Preparation for the procedure is highly recommended in order to achieve the best possible results.
To acquire the best results in terms of brightness, it is necessary to prepare the skin for the treatment. Therefore, it is best to begin preparing a couple of weeks before the therapy.
Patients typically begin by applying hydroquinone, a retinoid, a topical steroid, and sunscreen if they choose to maximize their results.
Not only does this routine promote the outcomes of microneedling, but it is also a useful approach to a personal skincare routine after the treatment has been completed.
Consider this procedure more of a journey than a single step because the entire process will take some time.
During the Course of the Process
Before beginning your procedure, your practitioner will apply a topical numbing lotion to your skin to reduce discomfort. They will then use a device that resembles a pen to move very fine needles across your skin.
When performed by unqualified individuals, microneedling carries a significant risk of causing unintended and adverse consequences.
Doing your research and finding a provider with expertise in both treating patients with skin of color and working with energy-based devices is something we highly recommend you do.
Candidates who have dark skin tones are strongly encouraged to think about splitting their microneedling treatments into consecutive sessions rather than trying to cram everything into one.
It is important to avoid intense or harsh skin treatment as either can result in excessive irritation, which can lead to hyperpigmentation if left untreated.
Work with your practitioner to take things slowly and carefully over the course of numerous sessions rather than through a single, more forceful treatment.
According to the recommendations of specialists, the normal interval between checkups is three to four weeks.
Following the Use of Microneedling
After completing your treatment, you may notice that your skin is noticeably red. This inflammation should fade after a few hours at the most.
There is usually little recovery time needed, and you should be able to continue your usual routine with only a few modifications.
During your recovery, there is no need for isolation. Gentle exercise is beneficial, but avoid excessive sweat, heavy makeup, and sun exposure as much as possible.
It is highly recommended that you put on sunscreen immediately after the treatment, particularly one with physical blockers such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide.
A fresh complexion that is vivid, healthy, and unmarred by hyperpigmentation can be maintained for longer when the skin is protected from the sun.
If you have darker skin and are considering a cosmetic procedure, then microneedling may be right. The microneedling process stimulates collagen formation, reducing the visibility of creases and fine lines.
Microneedling also stimulates blood flow, which makes the skin look healthier and younger. And because the recovery process for the procedure is minimal, you can enjoy the results immediately.
At Elite Practitioner, we provide a professional and comfortable space for you to enjoy your microneedling experience. Book your appointment here to have your skin looking fresh and rejuvenated.