Monday, 27 April 2020 13:18

A Perfect Pairing: Microneedling and LED

Written by   Pam Cushing

The pursuit of youthful skin, as well as a healthy glow is the desire of the of majority women. Very few are blessed with porcelain, blemish-free skin. It’s therefore no surprise that skin rejuvenation and the reduction of the signs of aging are the most frequent cosmetic requests that present to the professionals. The pursuit of youthful skin, as well as a healthy glow is the desire of the of majority women. Very few are blessed with porcelain, blemish-free skin. It’s therefore no surprise that skin rejuvenation and the reduction of the signs of aging are the most frequent cosmetic requests that present to the professionals. There are endless cosmetic treatments available, as well as antiaging products with incredible promises. So, how do we choose the best treatment for clients? And how do our clients choose the best products? What interventions can professionals adopt to improve the skin integrity, smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, and enhance skin for a healthy glow? Which treatments are best and will provide visible results, improve the skin, and deliver long lasting results at an affordable price?


There is an array of invasive and non-invasive procedures available in clinics and spas. Establishing which modality and pathway to choose can be a daunting challenge. We can be easily drawn in by the latest and best device that promises amazing results but carries a heavy financial burden to small businesses and spas.  The more invasive procedures using the latest equipment, while very effective in collagen rejuvenation and remodeling, carry risks and complications as well as downtime and, for some, prolonged recovery periods. Minimally invasive procedures while more tolerated may require frequent treatments to achieve the same results.However, there is an increasing demand from the consumer for treatments with little or no downtime, carry little risk of complications, and are cost effective. One of the many non-ablative treatments that remain a popular choice among professionals is microneedling or collagen induction therapy. 


Microneedling is a safe and effective procedure involving repetitive puncturing of the skin with sterilized needles to induce trauma to the epidermis. The concept originally developed by Orentreich in 1994, used skin needling to release fibrous strands in depressed cutaneous scars and fine lines. Dr. Andre Camirand reported that needle dermabrasion using a tattoo gun without ink could improve scars and improve the skin texture and tone of surrounding skin. However, Desmond Fernandes suggested that the depth needed to be deeper to stimulate collagen and elastin fibers and went on to develop the first cylindrical roller. Subsequent studies demonstrated a substantial improvement from 400% to 1,000% in elastin and collagen fibers six months after dermaroller therapy. 


The effectiveness of microneedling is the stimulation of controlled inflammatory and healing reaction and the remodeling of collagen through the release of growth factors, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast and epidermal growth factor (FGF and EGF), platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), and transforming growth factor (TGF). Studies have shown that VEGF is upregulated after needling and plays an important role in angiogenesis, as well as keratinocyte function. Microneedling helps to regulate the secretion of melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) with a reduction two weeks after the procedure. As a non-ablative technique its results are similar to other invasive modalities but without the adverse side effects, such as hyperpigmentation, and is versatile, treating a number of skin concerns with very short downtime.The adoption of light emitting diode (LED) continues to grow in popularity. Research continues to demonstrate that this form of non-thermal, light therapy has major benefits in treating skin conditions. The low cost, ease of use, and excellent safety profile coupled with the measurable visible results achieved ensures its place as one of the sought after therapies among professionals and consumers alike. LED, and in particular red wavelengths penetrate deeper and alters the intrinsic cellular activity using the principles of photobiomodulation. Chromophores in the skin absorb photons that cause alterations in the skins biophysiology that stimulates and generates change in cell proliferation, inflammation and collagen production. These affects include an increase in ATP, modulation of reactive oxidative species, increased collagen, increase microcirculation, and blood flow. The use of red LED has been shown to activate FGF, increase collagen type I and reduce matrix metalloproteinase (MMP -1). The increase in fibroblasts supports the increase in collagenesis. Studies have demonstrated that improvement in fine lines and wrinkles continue to improve up to 12 weeks post treatment. Red LED has proven to be beneficial for wound healing, photodamage, and premalignant lesions.When considering treatments which offer measurable results which are cost effective with minimum downtime and side effects, combining microneedling and LED appears to offer the best of both treatments. The release of multiple growth factors coupled with the increase in ATP and the fibroblast proliferation that the LED ensures, demonstrates that the combination treatment protocol of microneedling and LED are a perfect match to achieve healthy, glowing, rejuvenated skin.


Pam Cushing



Pam Cushing is a registered nurse with over 35 years of experience in emergency medicine. She has worked in the field of aesthetics for over 15 years, full-time for the last five years. Cushing holds a degree at the master’s level, with commendation, as well as a post-graduate diploma in aesthetic medicine, with merit. She is an independent nurse prescriber in the United Kingdom. Cushing is a consultant educator for a couple of companies educating in injectables, skin resurfacing and chemical peel, microneedling, and LED. She thrives on being able to educate, motivate, and encourage others to grow and develop professionally. She is passionate about skin and the benefits of aesthetics in improving the confidence and quality of lives. Cushing believes our key role is to educate the consumer on appropriate treatment modalities with the focus on maintaining skin health.

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April 2024

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