Micro-needling is the hottest topic in dermatology, especially when it comes to consideration of melasma, a condition most common in females, which is darkened patches or spots on the face. Micro-needling is really an older concept that has be revived with companies and renamed as SkinPen, MicroPen or CosmoPen.

At the 2015 American Academy of Dermatology in San Francisco, laser experts stood on the podium and touted its many benefits which are accompanied by very low risk due to the fact that there is no heat involved in the treatment application, unlike more costly lasers which dermatologists have used with varying degrees of success with pigmentation on skin, especially in patients with skin of color.

Utilized in a series of treatments, micro-needling creates micro-injuries to the surface, and deep to the surface, of the skin forcing new skin cells to arise and push out those containing the unwanted darkened pigment. With each treatment, there is mild discomfort (feels very similar to an aggressive microdermabrasion treatment) and resultant mild swelling and even minute crusted lesions which heal in 24-48 hours. One week after micro-needling, you see the beautiful results.

In addition to micro-needling, some companies offer additional things like platelet rich plasma (a substance which is contained in our bloodstream) that can be extracted through a simple blood draw, spun down in a centrifuge to retrieve the collagen-stimulating plasma, and then applied immediately topically post-treatment after micro-needling.

Because of the lack of heat generated with this treatment, it is a safe treatment that can be utilized in all skin types, regardless of the time of year. Now as fall is approaching, it is a great time to talk with your dermatologist or esthetician about micro-needling in order to clean up your skin of the remnants and reminders of our summer sun.