Microneedling is a popular cosmetic procedure which naturally has a number of factors which contribute to its cost. In this article we will discuss these factors, as well as advantages and disadvantages for a balanced account of the cost of microneedling.
Some areas we will discuss in this article include how the location of the hospital or medical center can affect the cost of microneedling, as well as recovery periods, if you need to take time off of work, and a general idea of the average cost of the procedure itself.
What is microneedling?
But first, let’s answer the very basics: what is microneedling? Microneedling is a cosmetic procedure which involves the skin being punctured with very small sterilized needles. The wounds from these needles in turn cause your body to make more collagen and elastin. This heals your skin, making it look younger. You may also have heard microneedling referred to as collagen induction therapy.
The procedure itself
What actually happens when you undergo this procedure? Firstly, the person performing the microneedling will most likely be a dermatologist (a doctor who specialises in skin care and skin disorders). However, aestheticians can also perform microneedling.
The procedure itself tends to only take between 10 and 20 minutes. However, most people need between 4 and 6 appointments before they begin to see a difference in their skin.
The first step of the procedure is that a numbing cream will be applied to the skin where the needles will prick you, so that you cannot feel them – it will be a generally pain free procedure.
Next, the dermatologist or aesthetician will move a pen-shaped device across the skin. This device has tiny needles in it that will prick the skin. This may cause some bleeding, and after this, a cream or serum may be applied.
Microneedling is generally done on the face, but can be done on other parts of your body, including the stomach and thighs.
How much does microneedling cost?
The cost of microneedling varies, but as a general rule, it can cost anywhere from $200 to $700 per session. Although the number of sessions required will vary from person to person, most people generally need somewhere between 4 and 6 sessions. Therefore, you can expect to pay anywhere from $800 right up to $4200 for microneedling.
Factors that affect the cost of microneedling
As mentioned earlier, there are a number of factors that can affect the cost of microneedling, ranging from location to the type equipment used. We will outline the major factors below.
- The location of the clinic
Depending on where you get the microneedling done can affect the final cost. Like with many other cosmetic procedures, urban areas with a higher cost of living are naturally going to be more expensive than rural areas.
For example, the cost of microneedling will be higher if you have it done in Los Angeles, California than if you have it done in Springfield, Missouri. This is because the population of Los Angeles is much higher than that of Springfield, as well as a much more urban area of the country.
Therefore , depending on where you live, the cost of microneedling can increase or decrease from the average figures quoted earlier in this article.
- Experience of the medical professional
Another factor which can both increase or decrease the cost of microneedling is the experience and expertise of the medical professional undertaking the procedure for you.
Naturally, more experienced professionals, such as board-qualified dermatologists, will charge more for their services, in comparison to a relatively inexperienced aesthetic surgeon. However, this is not always the case.
It is worth checking with the medical professional how much they will charge, as well as asking about their previous experience in microneedling. You may also want to ask if there are any other hidden expenses that you may not have been made aware of.
- Medical equipment and supplies
The type of medical equipment and supplies used can also affect the overall cost of microneedling.
For example, some devices – such as derma rollers – are cheaper than other types of devices, particularly laser-equipped ones, and the automated microneedling pen.
Other supplies can also add to the cost of microneedling, such as numbing creams and serums used. If you need extra visits, you will obviously need extra numbing cream, which can end up costing you more than you may have initially anticipated or budgeted for.
- The number of treatments that you require
As mentioned earlier, the number of treatments that you require can change, depending on person to person and how well or poorly your skin reacts to the procedure.
As a general ballpark figure, most people need between 4 and 6 sessions, although sometimes some people can need more than 10. It is worth consulting with a medical professional – preferably the dermatologist or aesthetician who will be performing the procedure – how many microneedling sessions you personally are likely to need.
- Recovery time
A rather external factor, but worth mentioning as it may affect the cost of microneedling in general, is the recovery time.
Compared to other cosmetic procedures and surgeries, the recovery time for microneedling is very short – you are usually fully recovered within 24 hours, and can return to work and even wear makeup within a day of having the procedure completed.
However, once again this does depend on the person – for some people it can take up to 3 or 4 days to fully recover from microneedling. This will likely mean that you will have to take time off work, if this is the case for you.
Not everybody has the luxury of paid holiday (or you might not have enough paid holiday left to take) so you might end up losing out on wages or your salary if you are required to take any time off work to recover. This is worth bearing in mind, should you need extra time off of work to recover from the procedure.
Advantages of microneedling
Below, we are going to discuss some of the main advantages of microneedling, before going into some of the disadvantages, so that you can weigh up the pros and cons yourself before making a decision, regardless of the cost.
- Safe for all skin types. Unlike other cosmetic procedures and surgeries, microneedling is safe for people with any type of skin, including those with sensitive skin. This is because, unlike other cosmetic procedures, microneedling does not involve the use of harsh chemicals nor lasers, thus making it a safe option regardless of the sensitivity of your skin.
- Improves your skin texture. As well as smoothing out rough patches of skin, and reducing the appearance of pores, microneedling has other dermatological benefits. For instance, the microchannels created by the needles allow for better penetration of the skin, making any further treatments more effective.
- Stimulates collagen and elastin production. As we mentioned earlier, this is one of the primary benefits of microneedling. For context, collagen is a protein which provides structure to the skin, whereas elastin is responsible for skin elasticity. Microneedling can therefore help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, skin lines and any scars due to this stimulation.
- Recovery time. When compared to other cosmetic procedures and surgeries, the recovery time for microneedling is very low. In fact, although you may experience mild swelling and some redness immediately following the treatment, this is likely to subside in a matter of hours. This can save you money in the overall cost of microneedling as it is highly unlikely that you will need to take any time off work to recover from it.
Disadvantages of microneedling
Although the advantages of microneedling make it seem like the ideal cosmetic procedure, there are naturally some disadvantages associated with it too.
- Potential for infection. Like with any skin treatments, there is a risk for infection. This risk is hugely increased if you do not go to a professionally qualified dermatologist or aesthetician. To miminize the risk of infection, it is also important that you strictly adhere to the aftercare instructions.
- Risk of skin damage. There is a small risk of receiving skin damage from microneedling. Unfortunately, like above, the chance of this is increased if you do not choose a reputable dermatologist or aesthetician.
- Discomfort. Although the process of microneedling only takes between 10 to 20 minutes, you may feel a slight to heavy discomfort. This does depend on your pain threshold being taken into consideration, so some people may feel more discomfort than others. Some people have described it as a prickling sensation, not too dissimilar to getting sunburnt.
- Multiple treatments. Despite the fact that sometimes microneedling only takes 2 attempts, some people may need over 10 in order to get the results they want. And naturally, the cost of microneedling increases with every treatment that you have to undertake. It is important to budget for this.
Despite the disadvantages listed above, the pros generally outweigh the cons when it comes to microneedling. For example, the potential for infection and risk of skin damage are greatly decreased by doing your research first, and making sure that a reputable, experienced and qualified dermatologist or aesthetician performs the procedure for you.
In addition, despite the costs associated with microneedling, there are various payment plans available to help you pay for it.
For instance, by finding out how many treatments you are likely to need, you can save up the sufficient amount, or even look at taking out a loan to fund it. There is also the option of using a credit card to pay for the treatment, although you do run the risk of incurring credit card debt and high interest rates. You may also want to consider looking for government grants or funding, if you are eligible.
Unfortunately, as microneedling is a cosmetic procedure, it is unlikely that any health or medical insurance will cover the costs for you.
Overall, the cost of microneedling is ultimately worth it for your skin to feel and look better.